Comedian Jack Whitehall. | Photo: Amanda Benson / Flickr
Comedian Jack Whitehall will play Disney’s first openly gay character in new film Jungle Cruise.
The straight British comic will star alongside Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Emily Blunt. Whitehall will reportedly play the brother of Emily Blunt.
On the ride, a small riverboat takes a group of travelers through a jungle filled with dangerous animals and reptiles. But something magical happens.
According to The Sun, Whitehall’s character will be ‘hugely effete, very camp and very funny.’
The anonymous source also confirmed: ‘He is playing a gay man.’
The movie is set in the 19th century – a dangerous time in history for LGBTI people.
— Jungle Cruise (@JungleCruise) 9 August 2018
Jack Whitehall took to Instagram on Friday (10 August) to reveal a teaser of The Rock explaining the backstory of the Disneyland ride.
‘I’m so honoured to be part of this epic adventure,’ Jack Whitehall wrote in the caption to the video. ‘Filming is underway and I am having the time of my life with my amazing co stars.
‘It’s so cool to be part of something of this scale and also as possibly one of the biggest Disney nerds on the planet so exciting to be working on a project with this much history,’ he said.
The release date will be 11 October next year.
Disney and LGBTI representation
Jungle Cruise will not be the first time Disney has given a nod to the LGBTI community.
Last year, Disney had its first ‘exclusively gay moment‘ during its remake of Beauty and the Beast.
Director Bill Condon said LeFou, the diminutive manservant to Gaston, will show a struggle with his sexuality and his feelings for ultra-macho leading man Gaston.
Played by Frozen star Josh Gad, the director promised there will be a ‘big pay-off at the end’.
The big pay off was a same-sex dancing scene at the end of the film.
The finale scene also saw a moment where the wardrobe dressed three men up in dresses. Two of the men walked off in disgust, but one smiled and laughed.