For ’90s kids, it didn’t get much better than Jumanji. The Robin Williams vehicle, based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg (The Polar Express) captured the spirit of youth in ways few other films at the time managed. The joy, the wonder, the fear: Jumanji awoke the imaginations of its generation, appealing directly to everything they loved about movies and storytelling. Like all great movies, its appeal has expanded into new generations, with grown-up ’90s kids passing the joys of the film onto their own children. With its seemingly undying appeal, it’s no wonder that Sony would want to dip their toes in that water another time.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (Fast 8) has been tapped to star in what’s been billed as a continuation of the original classic. This soft reboot approach goes a long way towards diffusing much of the remake fatigue that’s so entrenched in modern movies and filmmaking, especially with the promise of nods to the original, including mentioning William’s classic character Alan by name. Though it’s as-yet unknown how, exactly, the new movie will play into the original story, eyebrows have been raised by Jumanji’s star studded cast, which already includes the likes of Johnson’s Central Intelligence co-star Kevin Hart, Jack Black (Goosebumps), and Nick Jonas (Scream Queens).

In an Instagram post made earlier today, Johnson revealed that, after a long search, Jumanji has cast Karen Gillan (Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Who) as the female lead. Johnson’s post praised the actress for both her talent and commitment – citing her shaved head in Guardians – as part of the reason for her casting, in addition to expressing excitement over working with her when production begins next month in Hawaii.

Between myself, @kevinhart4real Jack Black and @NickJonas we've searched far and wide to find the one person to complete our #JUMANJI family. This isn't just any role, but in many ways the most important role of the movie. We had to find a girl. But not just any girl. A girl who has "Chutzpah". Guts, nerve and talent to stand her ground and hold her own against Nick's cool rockstar ways, Jack's relentless energy and genius, Kevin's masterful timing and skills and the big, brown, bald tattooed guy who just simply stands there and oooooozes smoldering, captivating, sizzling, can't take your eyes off this brilliant manly man.. never mind I got drunk on the ol' DJ kool aid again. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm proud to announce a girl who's playing the most important role in our movie - the talented, beautiful and down for a Scottish fight at any time, Ms @KarenGillanOfficial. And yes, this is the girl who is so bad ass she shaved her freaking head for Guardians of the Galaxy. We start production next month in Hawaii and as many of you already know, this isn't a remake or reboot, but a continuation of the awesome JUMANJI story we love. Jake "The Snake" Kasdan directing, Matt "OG" Tolmach producing. Yup, I give everyone nicknames. The adventure and fun continues... #JUMANJI #KarenGillan #RESPECT #GingerTough

A photo posted by therock (@therock) on

Gillan quickly became a fan favorite on Doctor Who opposite Matt Smith (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), and has begun making inroads in the movie world, beginning with 2013’s Oculus. She’s certainly proven her ability to go heads up against Johnson, who’s quickly becoming one of the most recognizable action stars working in Hollywood today.

As with the rest of Jumanji, Gillan’s role is being kept under wraps. Fans will remember that the original Jumanji ended with the wild animals unleashed by the titular board game being sucked back into the world and the game itself being tossed safely underwater… but Jumanji has a way of drawing in new players.

It’s always a good thing to see Gillan involved with a project, and her casting elevates the esteem of the movie in all the right ways. We’ll keep you posted on any additional updates.

Jumanji is currently expected on July 28, 2017.

Source: Dwayne Johnson

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