Ask any film buff to identify the title of a movie in which a macho boat captain is hired by a prim, educated woman to take her to a remote destination up perilous river on run-down steamboat and the answer that’s likely to be given is “The African Queen”, the 1951 classic starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn.
Disney’s upcoming “Jungle Cruise” shares a similar storyline, with “intrepid researcher Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt)” enlisting the “questionable services” of “wisecracking skipper Frank Wolff” to “guide her downriver on La Quila — his ramshackle-but-charming boat.”
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Bogart’s son, Stephen Bogart, addresses the similarities between the two movies, particularly given that “The African Queen” will be returning to the big screen this year for a special rerelease in honour of the film’s 70th anniversary.
“The Rock is fine. He’s got a great personality. He seems like a very good person. I think he works hard; he cares about it, and I’ll go see the movie. It’ll be fun. But I never thought of it as a continuation, nor do I think Dwayne Johnson is trying to be Humphrey Bogart, that’d be tough,” Bogart told EW.
“I don’t want to disparage [anyone],” he said diplomatically when asked to compare the two films. “But 70 years later, they probably won’t be doing a rerelease of ‘Jungle Cruise’.”
Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” releases in theatres and on Disney+ with Premier Access on July 30.