Katharine Hepburn Saved Dwayne Johnson’s $220M Movie, Even Inspired Co-Actress’ Character Name

Katharine Hepburn Saved Dwayne Johnson's $220M Movie, Even Inspired Co-Actress' Character Name
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Up until now, Hollywood had several major motion pictures that portrayed naval adventure between a man and a woman, against menacing animals and dangerous jungles. However, Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt’s 2021 movie Jungle Cruise simply doubled it up with their quest through the wet and dark jungles of the Amazon in search of the Tree of Life.

Jungle Cruise
Jungle Cruise vs The African Queen

But while watching Jungle Cruise, one cannot simply get over the striking similarities it shares with the 1951 movie, The African Queen. Appearing as a tribute to the 20th-century Katharine Hepburn movie, it is believed that Dwayne Johnson’s 2021 movie was heavily influenced by the same. Even Emily Blunt’s character name had some resemblance to that of Hepburn’s name. 

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Katharine Hepburn’s 1951 Movie The African Queen 

Disney originally conceptualized the idea of combining the sensibilities of adventure with war and thus came up with the 1951 John Huston adventure film, The African Queen. Becoming the chief inspiration for several films afterward, Huston’s timeless movie not just influenced aesthetics but different aspects of filmmaking.

The African Queen
The African Queen (1951)

Based on the novel by C.S. Forester, The African Queen starred Katharine Hepburn as British missionary Rose Sayer. Bringing out her adventure in East Africa during the early stages of World War I, the 1951 movie became an instant hit. Caught up amid World War I, the movie navigated the story of Hepburn’s character whose village gets decimated by German forces. 

Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart

Further, after the murder of her brother (Robert Morley), Rose Sayer hitches a dangerous ride down the river on a steamboat with the unkempt, drunkard skipper, Charlie Allnut (Humphrey Bogart). Hoping to create a makeshift torpedo to destroy a nearby German ship out for revenge, Katharine Hepburn’s character ends up falling for her fellow travel buddy on their journey together. 


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Dwayne Johnson’s Jungle Cruise parallels The African Queen 

Fast-forwarding to 2021, Disney released Jaume Collet-Serra-directed Jungle Cruise starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt. Based on a ride inspired by The African Queen, it only makes sense that the film parallels the 1951 masterpiece. The film makes a strikingly similar opening featuring Emily Blunt as British explorer Dr. Lily Houghton in South America during the middle of World War I. 

Jungle Cruise
Jungle Cruise (2021)

While Blunt’s character Lily and Hepburn’s character Rose are both names of flowers, the former’s last name was majorly influenced by Katharine Hepburn’s middle name Houghton. Further, the movie proceeded as Blunt’s character voyaged on a dangerous ride down the river with the mildly unkempt skipper Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson), in search of a mythic healing tree in the Amazon. The two characters are at odds with each other, however, eventually fall in love just like in the storyline of The African Queen

Dwayne Johnson
Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt

Not just the storyline or Emily Blunt‘s character name, but even the ride vehicle used in Jungle Cruise clearly mimic the design of The African Queen boat. Further, the memorable scene where Humphrey Bogart’s character charmingly imitated a group of hippopotamuses in the river was featured in Jungle Cruise, where they came across a group of hippos. Apart from such major resemblances, the 2021 movie was also influenced by the aesthetics of The African Queen

Watch Jungle Cruise (2021) on Disney+ and The African Queen (1951) on Amazon Video. 

Read more: “How dare you! I got fit for this one”: $375M Movie Forced Emily Blunt to Become as Fit as Tom Cruise for Wearing Bulky 85 lbs Suit


Source: Collider


Written by Krittika Mukherjee

Articles Published: 1745

Krittika is a News Writer at FandomWire with 2 years of prior experience in lifestyle and web content writing. With her previous works available on HubPages and Medium, she has woven over 1700 stories with us, about fan-favorite actors, movies, and shows. Post-graduate in Journalism and Honors-graduate in English Literature, when this art enthusiast isn't crafting your next favorite article, she finds her escapism in coffee, fiction, and the Wizarding World.