Two decades have passed since the first game of Jumanji was played, and now the game’s back on in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
The new film picks up twenty years after Robin Williams faced the jungle’s menace in the original. However, this time, there aren’t any board games in sight. Instead, our four heroes are high schoolers who get sucked into a video game, and dropped into the bodies of avatars. Nerdy Spencer becomes the heroic Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), football played Fridge is jammed into the diminutive Moose Finbar (Kevin Hart), mild-mannered Martha becomes badass Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan), and self-centred ‘it’-girl Bethany finds herself in the body of the brilliant Professor Shelly Oberon (Jack Black).
And if you’re thinking that this is a radical departure from the original plot – it’s intentional.
Kevin Hart explained to Entertainment Weekly, “We didn’t want to do a remake. We’re doing more of a continuation, and we just wanted to make sure that we do that film proud.”
The result of this is an action-comedy that sees the heroes explore the jungle in which Williams’ character was trapped for so long. As Karen Gillan puts it: “We’re finally getting to see what it’s like in Jumanji.”
As for Williams’ Alan Parrish, he doesn’t appear in Welcome to the Jungle, but this new film does pay tribute to the character’s legacy.
“Robin Williams is not only a talent like no other, but he’s somebody whose career is remembered on a pedestal,” Hart says. “The movie Jumanji was an amazing movie because of him. So to continue this world, we wanted to do it right, and we needed it to be as big as possible so the fans could feel like we’ve done good. We didn’t take the shortcuts.”
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle hits theatres on December 20th.