Jack Black reveals that this year’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle will feature a touching tribute to the late great Robin Williams. Sony’s upcoming addition to the live-action Jumanji franchise has drawn more than its fair share of criticism from longstanding fans of the property, but that comes with the territory – given the beloved nature of the 1990s movie adaptation, which many believe still holds up to this day. However, many of the complaints from fans are in regards to the unfortunate passing of Robin Williams in 2014, who left an indelible mark on the Jumanji franchise when he starred as the lead character in the 1995 film.
And yet, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle has still managed to drum up a fair amount of awareness for itself over the past several months, even in the face of all that skepticism from both fans and industry insiders alike. That shift in the tide is also thanks to the film’s surprisingly positive CinemaCon presentation back in March, which revealed that the film will follow a group of characters sucked into the world of a video game, rather than a board game.
Beyond that, the Jumanji reboot/sequel will take the time to honor Robin Williams at some point throughout its runtime. While speaking with THR, one of the film’s lead stars, Jack Black, revealed how Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle will reference and honor Robin Williams’ Alan Parrish from the first film:
“We’re exploring this jungle and trying to conquer the game; it’s life or death. But while we’re there, we find clues left behind by [Williams’ character Alan Parrish]. He built up a full-blown jungle house, similar to a Swiss Family Robinson situation. It’s like he’s there helping us without actually being there. [In the original] you never got to see the inside world. But this one takes place primarily inside the jungle of Jumanji. That’s the coolest part of the film — we’re able to transport the audience to that secret and wondrous land, with the danger and the beauty.”
Now, it’s impossible to know as of right now, how much Welcome to the Jungle will actually reference and hint at the role Williams’ Parrish has already played in the world of Jumanji. Still, this connection will likely come as a welcome surprise to dedicated fans of the property, especially those who consider Williams to be the main highlight of the 1995 adaptation. In fact, his presence in that first film is one of the biggest hurdles that Welcome to the Jungle has always faced from the very beginning of development and production.
Fortunately, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle has managed to stack the odds in its favor, with a cast led by the always likable, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who will be appearing in the film alongside Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Jack Black, Nick Jonas, and more. It’s a charismatic ensemble, filled to the brim with some genuine movie stars, all of whom are talented enough to bring their own distinguishable voices and personalities to the film itself. So right now, all that’s left to be seen is if Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle can manage to actually, truly capture the same heart and camp that gave the property such a long-lasting presence in pop culture in the first place.