As has been the case for quite some time, everything old in Hollywood is new again, including the well-remembered 1995 film Jumanji. Despite a lukewarm critical reception, Jumanji was embraced by audiences at the time, earning over $262 million worldwide on a $65 million budget. Bonnie Hunt, David Alan Grier, and a teenage Kirsten Dunst starred alongside Robin Williams in the lead role.
Since a remake of Jumanji was first announced, fan reception has been mixed, no doubt caused by concerns that this update will fail to do the original justice. Guiding the project is superstar actor — and now producer — Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who is also currently hard at work on a theatrical reboot of fellow ’90s property Baywatch. Johnson has seemingly made it his mission to quell the worries of Jumanji fans, and recently took to social media to discuss the film further.
Citing a need to “begin where it all started,” Johnson stated on his Instagram account that the upcoming project will be more of a re-imagining of the original Jumanji source material than a straight remake of the 1995 film. That said, he seems to take the original Jumanji seriously, especially the work done by Williams, who Johnson was quick to assure fans will have his legacy honored by the update.
“The love and respect I have for this man is boundless. You have my word, we will honor his name and the character of “Alan Parrish” will stand alone and be forever immortalized in the world of JUMANJI in an earnest and cool way. I have an idea of what to do and I think his family will be proud.”
Outside of honoring Williams, Johnson revealed plans to expand the main Jumanji cast from “three big roles” to five, and that some of his actor friends are pushing aside their other projects to try and become involved. The actor/producer also teased that “cool casting announcements” are coming this week. Previous rumors have suggested that Johnson’s Central Intelligence co-star Kevin Hart was likely to come aboard, so perhaps his involvement will be made official soon.
Should Jumanji be remade? That remains debatable, but Sony has certainly gone out of its way to ensure the remake’s success by handing the reins off to Johnson, currently one of the biggest box office draws in the world. Plus, the once and future Rock can presumably handle himself fine if his character ends up getting chased down by a hunter from the darkest wild.
Jumanji is scheduled to open in U.S. theaters on July 28, 2017.
Source: Dwayne Johnson