It’s been obvious from the get-go that Disney’s forthcoming Jungle Cruise (7.24.20) is strictly for the family-moron trade. It therefore shouldn’t matter (certainly not to HE readers) how much Dwayne Johnson or Emily Blunt were paid for their services. Nonetheless TMZ reported yesterday with some hoo-hah that Johnson was paid $22 million while Blunt “only” received a piddly $9 million.

Sorry but this doesn’t have the same pay disparity ring as the notorious Mark Wahlberg-Michelle Williams additional shooting compensation saga on All The Money in the World.

As the term “jungle” connotes thrills and danger in a wild, slithery, Tarzan-like atmosphere with hippos, pythons and chimpanzees, the film is obviously geared to allow Johnson to perform his brawny machismo routine at certain critical junctures in the narrative.

If the template is a dumbshit African Queen, Johnson is aping Humphrey Bogart‘s Charlie Allnut character with Blunt playing Katharine Hepburn‘s Rosie. Two-handers are all about conflict and chemistry and give-and-take so why isn’t the pay even-steven? Fair question.

But Jungle Cruise is obviously adhering to a classic formula — a flawed male alpha figure in the front-and-center position with a spirited woman of refinement and sensitivity who steps in and gradually ups his game. Blunt isn’t the Jungle Cruise charisma magnet — Johnson is. She knows it, Disney knows it, HE readers know it.

Posted on 8.2.18: Imagine being complacent enough to actually consider buying tickets to see Jaume Collet-Serra‘s Jungle Cruise. Imagine being that pliant, that willing. The Disney pic has been shooting in Hawaii since late May.

Dwayne Johnson mentions the example of The African Queen, which was released 67 years ago, and the Charlie Allnut and Rose Sayer characters (played by Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn) that Johnson and Emily Blunt‘s characters (Frank and Lily) are presumably based upon.

What percentage of the potential Jungle Cruise audience has even heard of The African Queen, much less seen it? What percentage of this percentage would care one way or the other? The culture that knows and cares about classic 20th Century cinema is fading fast.

Boilerplate: “Frank, a boat captain, takes his sister and her brother on a mission into a jungle to find a tree believed to possess healing powers. All the while, the trio must fight against dangerous wild animals and a competing German expedition.”