Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle resurrects the house that Robin Williams' built with a modern sheen yet underlying affection. Can we expect more from the now-video game? For now, that depends on box office, but the film definitely leaves the door open with a post-credits tease.
Jumanji 2 ends with the kids sucked into the game managing to complete their task by overcoming their previous weaknesses (how else) and reuniting with their much older companion (played as an adult by Colin Hanks) before they decide to get rid of the game. This is similar to what Alan Parrish did in the original, but instead of tossing it in a river, they smash it to bits, seemingly ending the curse of Jumanji - which has impacted at least five sets of people now.
But it may be back after all. If you stick around all the way until the end of the credits, you'll be treated to not a scene per se, but the drumming that's become synonymous with the game. Has it survived?
Now, this could be just a cheeky easter egg for loyal audiences from director Jake Kasdan - and there's no end-credits score on the soundtrack to verify it's intended to be diegetic - but the obvious implication is that the game is still around, with this cluing us in that a third film is still possible.
This is similar to how Andy Muschietti handled the future-teasing with IT. The recent box office smash was actually Chapter One of Two, but very little in the movie directly set that up, with that mostly saved for a subtitle card and an audio clip of floating children and Pennywise laughing at the end of the production names. Here, obviously, it was known a second film was all but certain, but the principle was the same (although you can bet Warner Bros. now wish they had left some set up given the film's massive success).
As for why Jumanji didn't go any further, it's presumably because nothing is officially planned and Sony don't want to overegg this proto-franchise just yet; Welcome to the Jungle is noticeably standalone, which makes for a better singular experience and avoids the pitfalls of overt setup. It's also possible this was a last minute addition to the movie, with no time to shoot even a quick gag moment.
The bigger question, though, is how the game survived. It looked pretty smashed up at the end of the story proper - no drums were playing - which gave a strong sense of finality. That said, we're dealing with something that's able to transform from board into video game (even Monopoly couldn't do that well) so there's obviously some greater power here. We just have to wait and see if The Rock's worked his magic with prospective audiences.
- Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) release date: Dec 20, 2017