Robin Williams had an impressive and varied movie career before his untimely death in 2014. He played everything from a lovable clown doctor to an intense, humorless serial killer. While the serial killer role (in Christopher Nolan’s Insomnia remake) was definitely not for children, one role in particular was: his role as feral wild man Alan Parrish in 1995’s Jumanji.
Like all things that enjoyed even a modicum of popularity in the 1990s, Jumanji is getting a remake. Directed by Bad Teacher‘s Jake Kasdan, the movie was first announced back in 2012 but has suffered a number of setbacks after a script rewrite and then a delay in its release date from Sony. Now there is some good news for the movie, however: a pair of possible big-name costars.
According to Variety, those costars are Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, who have already worked together on the upcoming Central Intelligence and co-hosted the recent 2016 MTV Movie Awards to promote that movie. While nothing is finalized, Variety‘s sources say the pair are in “early talks” to star in the movie despite both having heavy workloads with other upcoming projects.
Whether or not the pair land the movie could largely depend on how Central Intelligence fares in theaters. If that movie ends up being a flop, that would naturally make the pair less desirable for leading another movie together. If it does well, or at least if there’s positive buzz around the pair’s performance, then that would be a much bigger incentive for Sony to sign them on for Jumanji.
It’s a shame that Williams himself isn’t around to participate in the remake, because his performance in the original movie was what gave it much of its charm. Hart could be a good choice as a substitute for Williams’ manic energy, but it’s unknown if he would play the same role or if the movie would even follow the same storyline. It could be that the studio is going in an entirely different direction with it, especially if it has required rewrites to get the script to where they want it to be. Time will tell how Sony updates the story of a jungle-themed board game come to life for a new generation.
Jumanji will open in U.S. theaters on July 28th, 2017.