Jumanji started out as an atmospheric and whimsical illustrated children's book written by Chris Van Allsburg (The Polar Express) and published in 1981. However, many (most?) people are more familiar with the 1995 film adaptation of the story: an effects-heavy, family-friendly, offering from director Joe Johnston - in the vein of his previous work on such movies as Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and The Rocketeer. Hence, the new Jumanji movie being developed by Sony Pictures for a 2017 theatrical release has nostalgia on its side (especially for children of the '90s); though, as most filmgoers should know by now, nostalgia can be a double-edged sword.
Among the main stars of the new Jumanji movie is Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson: the wrestler-turned A-lister, one-main social media marketing army and Hollywood's hardest-working leading man, all in one. At the time of writing this, The Rock has only just wrapped up filming for next year's Fast & Furious 8; and, in keeping with his established work ethic, is moving right ahead to prepare for the start of principal photography on Jumanji, in a couple weeks. He's also taking the occasion to offer further assurances that the new Jumanji will do right by Johnston's 1995 film - which starred such folk as Bonnie Hunt, Kirsten Dunst, and the late Robin Williams.
The Rock previously posted a video to commemorate his last week of filming on Fast 8 - at the same time, alluding to his previous comments about being frustrated with a "candy ass" costar on the film. Johnson didn't elaborate on his on-set Fast 8 feud (rumored to involve Vin Diesel) any more with his latest Instagram post, but instead declared he's "Proud of our entire FAST FAMILY" - before he transitioned the discussion to look forward and focus on Jumanji instead.
You can check out Johnson's latest social media update, below:
Finished strong and on to the next. That's an officially wrap on #FastAndFurious8. Thank you to our director @fgarygray for the vision and execution. Thank you UNIVERSAL for being tremendous partners as always, thank you to all my fellow co-stars for the daily effort and grind. Scott Eastwood you handsome sumbitch! Natalie Emmanuel I have a cold Budweiser ready for you and Tyrese Gibson you still have the biggest smile and forehead I've ever seen. And a huge THANK YOU to our hard working production crew - the backbone of our business. Your kind words meant a lot to me last night - thank you! In the end, we all rallied, as great teams do, kicked ass and will deliver an amazing movie to the world. Proud of our entire FAST FAMILY. And now in two weeks I'll reunite with ol' friends Kevin Hart & Jack Black and we have the honor to introduce a whole new generation to the amazing world of #JUMANJI. *(for the record we are NOT making a reboot, but rather a continuation of the awesome JUMANJI story). It's also crazy to me how much me, Kev and Jack look like triplets when we're together. . Man this is gonna be FUN. #WheelsUp #ThatsAWrap #FromFastAndFurious #StraightIntoJumanji #BigBrownBaldTattooedMan #DarkChocolateComedicRockStar #BrillaintCrazyCurvyCaucasion #TheseHashtagsAreRidiculous #INeedSleepAndCARBS #ButIWillSettleForTequila
Here is the excerpt from Johnson's post that concerns Jumanji:
... And now in two weeks I'll reunite with ol' friends Kevin Hart & Jack Black and we have the honor to introduce a whole new generation to the amazing world of #JUMANJI. *(for the record we are NOT making a reboot, but rather a continuation of the awesome JUMANJI story). It's also crazy to me how much me, Kev and Jack look like triplets when we're together... Man this is gonna be FUN.
For those who haven't been keeping up on their Jumanji news: Johnson's Central Intelligence star Kevin Hart and Jack Black are indeed co-starring with Johnson. The Rock did previously promise that the new Jumaji will "honor [Robin Williams'] name and [his] character of “Alan Parrish," but then it was believed that he meant in spirit, not necessarily in story. However, The Rock's claim the the new Jumanji is a "continuation" and not a reboot/remake suggests that he and his collaborators, including director Jake Kasdan (Bad Teacher, Sex Tape) are instead making a movie that will serve as a "soft reboot" or semi-continuation that takes place in the same universe as the 1995 Jumanji film.
Keep in mind, that doesn't mean that Jumaji (2017) will directly carry over plot points from its predecessor. The 1995 film ended with all the jungle animal madness released by the magic game that is Jumanji in the movie reversed - and only Williams and Hunt's characters having any memory of what happened - so the 2017 film has a mostly clean slate to start with, even if it is a "soft reboot". It's possible that the new Jumanji will instead reference the 1995 movie (and, in turn, Williams) in a way that recalls how 2015's Jurassic World acknowledges the events of the original Jurassic Park, while still charting its own course. With filming right around the corner, perhaps we'll soon get a Jumanji synopsis that will shed more light on the matter.
Fast 8 opens in U.S. theaters on April 17th, 2017, followed by Fast and Furious 9 on April 19th, 2019, and Fast and Furious 10 on April 2nd, 2021.
Jumanji opens in U.S. theaters on July 28th, 2017.
Source: Dwayne Johnson