Cruising with aloha

  • Dwayne ‘the rock’ Johnson’ / Facebook

    Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson posted an encouraging message for Kauai to social media May 12.

LIHUE — Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson immediately put his hands to work when he landed on Kauai last week, helping with flood relief efforts.

“We’ve been working here with Malama Kauai who is helping to restore our communities and rebuild,” Johnson said in a video uploaded May 12 to his social media accounts.

Megan Fox, executive director of Malama Kauai, wasn’t able to share any details of her interaction with the Hollywood star, who spent time as a child on Oahu.

The organization, however, has been coordinating relief efforts since the April 14 and 15 flood caused devastation on the North Shore and in other pockets throughout Kauai.

“I get off the plane and I can feel the mana, and I can feel the aloha spirit the fighting spirit because we’re rebuilding now,” Johnson said in the 57-second video.

Above the video, Johnson wrote: “Thank you to all the rescue workers and volunteers working tirelessly to help rebuild our communities and assist our local families. Proud of our fighting spirit and proud to bring our JUNGLE CRUISE production back home to HAWAII.”

He then provides a link to donate to Malama Kauai’s relief efforts.

Amidst Johnson’s encouragement for Kauai to “stay strong” in the rebuild after the floods, work is ongoing on the set of “Jungle Cruise,” an Elixir Feature Film production.

Filming was set to start on May 7, according to a production bulletin and locations for the production are in Hawaii, Atlanta, Georgia and South America.

Hundreds of Kauai women, men and children lined up in the early morning at Aqua Kauai Beach Resort at the March 31 casting call for paid extra and specialty work, and rumors are rippling throughout the island about those who landed parts.

Those who are jumping on board with the cast of Jungle Cruise aren’t dishing details, at least in public — they’re under a gag order from the production company so mum’s the word for now.

Kapaia Reservoir has been bustling with activity since before the casting call and the set, situated above Wailua Falls, is now becoming more of a hotspot of activity with Johnson in the mix.

In Lihue, production headquarters have been set up in the old Sports Authority building.

The film, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, is based on a Disneyland theme park ride called Jungle Cruise and stars Johnson alongside Emily Blunt.

Though much of the storyline is still under wraps, it’s said to have an Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean flavor. Johnson reportedly plays a riverboat captain in the 1920s taking a group of travelers through the jungle on the Amazon River.

Blunt comes into play as a scientist aboard the riverboat and on a mission triggered by her brother’s death due to infectious disease, possibly on a quest to find the Tree of Life.

Johnson compared the movie to the 1951 classic “The African Queen” in interviews.

The Jungle Cruise at Disney Parks celebrated its 60th year in 2015. Guests who visit the attraction board a replica tramp steamer from a 1930s British explorer’s lodge and take a 7-minute trip down major rivers in Asia, Africa and South America.

Native tribes are situated along the banks of the river alongside tigers, cobras, alligators, elephants and other animals while live Disney cast members crack jokes and some of that should be reflected in the upcoming film.

And while they’re making the movie, Johnson is intent upon encouraging the island.

“We’re going to get through this Kauai,” he said. “Stay strong.”


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