Trailer for ‘Jungle Cruise’ offers the first glimpse of one of Disney’s first gay roles

Jack Whitehall and Dwayne Johnson

Disney has just dropped the first trailer for Jungle Cruise, the latest cinematic incarnation of one of its iconic theme park rides. The film will also feature an out-gay character in a supporting role…though he barely appears in the first trailer.

Jungle Cruise follows in the mold of movie classics like The African Queen, Fitzcarraldo and possibly Anaconda by finding explorer Lily Houghton (played by Emily Blunt) searching for a fabled tree that offers the cure for a disease. To find the cure, she must journey upriver into the jungle, guided by the eccentric Captain Frank (Dwayne Johnson).

Reports from filming have made quite a big deal about Lily’s younger brother McGregor (played by Jack Whitehall) being played as something of a campy gay man. The choices to play the character as an over-the-top stereotype, and to have a straight actor playing such a stereotypical role, have attracted controversy. Disney had previously attracted criticism for claiming the character Lefou in the live-action Beauty and the Beast remake was also gay, though nothing in the film specifically identified him as such.

Jungle Cruise opens July 24 2020 in cinemas.

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