Tom Hanks & Tim Allen Go On A JUNGLE CRUISE!

I love Tom Hanks and I love Tim Allen so obviously I'm insanely in love with the idea of the iconic voices of Woody and Buzz, my generation's Butch and Sundance, reuniting for a live-action, family adventure Jungle Cruise movie at Disney. Honestly, I'm not at all concerned that Jungle Cruise is based on a theme park ride from Disney World. Who cares? That simply allows writer Robert S.H. Schulman (Shrek) to enjoy the same kind of freedom of storytelling that the Pirates of the Caribbean ride gave to Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio and which allowed the duo to play around with all the conventions of a forgotten Hollywood genre and create such magical characters as Jack Sparrow and Captain Barbossa. The only notes Disney will have for the writer is - it's a cruise that takes place in a jungle where bad, but PG-13 rated horror and HUGE budgeted adventure stuff happen. What joyous freedom that brings a storyteller who doesn't have to worry about a video game or comic book character being true to his/her roots and I dare say there's way more chance of Jungle Cruise turning out to be something special than Jon Favreau's Magic Kingdom, which will have a gigantic checklist of characters & settings that will have to be explored to appease execs. I mean I do understand why many have spoken rather cynically about Jungle Cruise today. Yes clearly in terms of business alone it's a great move for the always opportunistic Disney and after trying to get several of their theme park rides into movies post-POTC and failing, the hiring of Allen & Hanks has given them the platform to almost print their own money. We get that. But by the same token, we aren't ready to put the sword to this film just yet. If Schulman and Allen/Hanks create a disaster, then it's simply because they haven't been creative - it's got nothing to do with the limitations (so-called, anyway) that a movie based on a theme park ride brings. No director is attached as of yet, but I imagine they'll have a fair few helmers knocking down their door over the next week....
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.