Jaume Collet-Serra
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

Well, it seems like the front-runner to direct ‘Suicide Squad 2’ would rather smell what the Rock is cookin’.

In an exclusive news break from Deadline, it’s been revealed that Jaume Collet-Serra has been successfully wooed away from the Warner Brothers sequel in the ever-growing DC Extended Universe to instead work with Disney and one of Hollywood’s current most bankable stars.  Dwayne Johnson is headlining ‘Jungle Cruise’ for the House of Mouse, and if the report is accurate, the film now has both its star and director all locked up and ready to go.

‘Jungle Cruise’ is not to be confused with Johnson’s “other” jungle-themed film coming out soon, the reboot/reimagining of ‘Jumanji,’ subtitled ‘Welcome to the Jungle,’ which will release later this year.  Instead, ‘Jungle Cruise’ hearkens more along the lines of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ – a film based on an attraction in the Disney theme parks that the company hopes can support a new film franchise.

Existing in several of Disney’s theme parks, including Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, and Tokyo Disneyland, ‘Jungle Cruise’ is a ride that allows park guests, as Disney’s website puts it, to “set sail for high adventure on a scenic boat tour of the most exotic and exciting rivers across Asia, Africa, and South America.”  The rides are generically “set” in the era of the 1930s, as guests leave a British explorers’ lodge and take steamer boats off on their aquatic adventures.

The movie itself has been stuck in a bit of “development Hell” for a while, with Disney working on plans for the film for over a decade.  Originally planned for a 2006 release, the movie has undergone several changes in both script work and star power: the movie was originally planned to feature ‘Toy Story’ duo Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, and was going to a follow a riverboat’s journey through the jungle in search of a cure for a specific disease.

The plot work for the updated version of the film is being kept tightly under wraps, but JD Payne and Patrick McKay, fresh off their work on the ‘Star Trek 4’ script, have reportedly completed a working draft for the film.  We’ll keep you posted as information develops on ‘Jungle Cruise!’