Crazy Rich Asians star Awkwafina is in talks to join Jumanji 3, the sequel to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Sony teamed up with Dwayne Johnson to make a long-awaited sequel to the Robin Williams classic, but it was more of a soft-reboot than a true sequel. The board game was transformed into a video game and the franchise became something entirely different.
Despite many not believing in the need for the movie, audiences came out in droves to see Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and propelled it to grossing almost $1 billion worldwide. Sony moved quick to get a sequel to the reboot off the ground and are hoping to release it at the end of this year. Dwayne Johnson is back to headline the cast and will once again be paired up with Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan. However, the sequel will not just keep the same cast - and they're now close to adding a rising star.
THR reports Awkwafina is in final negotiations to join the sequel to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. The details of her role have not yet been revealed, but the report did describe her role as both "key" and "significant." This is the latest project for Awkwafina to get after breaking out last year thanks to roles in Ocean's 8 and Crazy Rich Asians. If the deal closes, she will be the first new cast addition for the sequel.
With the casting process on Jumanji 3 in full swing now, the early 2019 start that director Jake Kasdan previously teased should still be in play. This could come down to how quickly Awkwafina and any additional new cast members sign on for the sequel though. There's no concrete start date for production, but with a December 2019 release date set, everything will need to come together rather quickly if Sony wants to hit that date as they've it made clear it's their intention.
In addition to filling out the cast though, Awkwafina possibly joining continues to build up the star power for the franchise. Just like her new co-stars Johnson and Hart, she has a major social media following, which could give Jumanji 3 a major online marketing push. Even though details on Awkwafina's actual role is being kept under wraps, many will surely hope that the role will be one that could lead to additional appearances if the Jumanji franchise continues beyond this sequel. But, before we worry about that, she'll have to help make Jumanji 3 another smash hit.