Dwayne Johnson is one of the best bets in movies right now. He sells tickets. And when he says he needs Emily Blunt to be in a movie with him, rest assured, teams of people are going to try to make that happen. In the end, it boiled down to a heartfelt video message sent by The Rock himself.
In Hollywood, some projects will never get off the ground unless they have specific people attached. After all, making a movie these days costs in the tens to hundreds of millions. With that kind of investment, studios want to be sure that the movie has a chance to recoup.
Of course, the hope is that the final product is a good enough movie to stand on its own. But a familiar, proven face in the lead role is a good hedge. And Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” has had Dwayne Johnson attached for years. But in 2017, when the studio first started working on the film that is set to release at the end of July, they found themselves in a bind.
They had one familiar face in Johnson. But he had a condition- Emily Blunt needed to be his co-star.
“I had always admired her as an actor, but also when I would watch her on talk shows, she had this personality that was effervescent, that was cool and very, very charming,” Johnson said in a press junket with Emily Blunt.
Unfortunately for everyone involved with “Jungle Cruise,” Emily Blunt was on a hiatus. She had just wrapped up a busy stint working on multiple projects and needed to take some time. Breaks being a seemingly foreign concept to The Rock, based on his work schedule over the past few years.
Dwayne Johnson was Surprisingly ‘Sensitive’ in His Plea to Emily Blunt
Despite offers coming from people like Disney’s live-action studio head, Emily Blunt continued to decline the role. It wasn’t until the “Jungle Cruise” director, Jaume Collet-Serra, personally traveled out to pitch her with a painstakingly filmed Dwayne Johnson video message in tow that Blunt finally agreed. But even then, it took ages.
“I must have shot it about five or six times because I had not communicated with Emily yet. I had not even met her. And I wanted to let her know via this video just how important she was to this movie and how I only wanted her in this movie,” Johnson continued.
What did Blunt do? Well, she made him wait. Though, eventually, she gave in and agreed to be involved with the movie.
“I thought the video was sweet. Didn’t know you were going to be so sensitive,” Blunt told Johnson during the interview.
$200 million later, Disney has a final product in its hands. “Jungle Cruise” is set to be released on July 30.