08th Nov2019

Why is there Such a Demand for Jungle-Based Cinema Action?

by James Smith

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Dwayne Johnson is set to appear in not one, but two films set in a jungle in the next year, after having already starred in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle in 2017. It seems that the deep forest theme is back in fashion in popular culture, with numerous films, TV series, and games choosing it as a setting. Could this increasing demand for jungle-based action be down to the fact that people are desperately seeking respite from the technological world?

Entertainment is all about escapism, taking viewers away from the stresses of their everyday existence for a couple of hours at a time. Realism is a popular theme for a lot of programming and movies, but in recent times there has been a switch towards offerings which are worlds away from the modern world. Loosely historical titles like Vikings and Black Sails have attracted high numbers of viewers, and there isn’t a single piece of modern technology in sight.

The jungle is a good option for escapism because it can take viewers away from their 21st Century luxuries and conveniences. Characters are faced with numerous dangers and obstacles that wouldn’t be found in any other location. Things such as snakes, tigers, waterfalls and deadly tribes can all be used in jungle settings, and there is unlikely to be any phone signal in the middle of nowhere to call for help. Judging by the trailer for Johnson’s upcoming romp, Jungle Cruise, there will be all of these things and more to entertain viewers next July.

The challenges that arise in jungle settings are perfect for games, and there have been hundreds of titles over the years which have used it as a spot for an adventure. One of the most recent offerings is Jungle Spirit, a slot game at the online bingo site, MoonBingo. It features wild animals, trees and butterflies, and gives players a chance to win money. On mobile, there are titles like Jungle Adventure Island from All Jungle Adventure, a developer which specialises in this genre.

Another reason for the sudden obsession with jungle in cinema is down to the unprecedented success of both The Jungle Book and Jumanji reboots. The Disney live action offering from Jon Favreau made $966 million worldwide and is the 47th-highest grossing film ever. The 2017 film from Jake Kasdan raked in $962 million worldwide, making it the 49th-highest grossing film of all time.

After such an excellent commercial and critical response, a sequel to Kasdan’s picture was inevitable. Jumanji: The Next Level will be coming out later in 2019. As tends to be the case in Hollywood, producers try to jump on the success of other films and create something in the same vain while interest in the genre is still high.

If the sequel to Jumanji and Jungle Cruise are both hits, there are likely to be even more jungle-based adventures coming to the silver screen. There is already talk of The Legend of Tarzan getting a sequel, with the 2016 adventure starring Alexander Skarsgard having done fairly well with a $356 million take at the box office. For an area of land which is nothing but dense woodland, the jungle makes for an excellent setting for adventure entertainment.
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