It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Danny DeVito will join Dwayne Johnson and company in the sequel to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Jumanji 3. Crazy Rich Asians actress Awkwafina also recently joined the cast of the action-comedy follow-up, which is due to begin filming in early 2019.
Now a movie and TV legend, DeVito first became a star thanks to his Emmy-winning role as Louie De Palma on the classic sitcom Taxi. The diminutive actor, known for his high energy and gruff delivery, developed into one of the most unlikely leading men in Hollywood in the 1980s through roles in movies like Ruthless People, Twins and Other People's Money. DeVito scored one of his most memorable roles of all-time when he played the Penguin in Tim Burton's 1992 superhero sequel Batman Returns.
As reported by Variety, DeVito will now return to the world of franchise action by taking on a role opposite Dwayne Johnson in the next installment in the Jumanji series. Details of DeVito's character are being kept under wraps. The actor of course has experience teaming up with major action stars, having worked alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in the comedies Twins and Junior. DeVito joins a Jumanji ensemble that includes Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan. The film is a follow-up to 2017's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which was a surprise smash for Sony with grosses of $962 million worldwide. The film was itself a loose sequel to the 1995 Jumanji starring Robin Williams.
Indeed, DeVito himself could have starred in the original Jumanji, as the film arrived in the middle of his peak period as both an actor and director. After becoming a major comedic star, DeVito crossed over into the world of directing with Throw Momma From the Train, which he followed up with the black comedy The War of the Roses and the beloved dark children's film Matilda. In recent years, DeVito has settled into a leading role as Frank on the long-running sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. DeVito is also set to work with Burton again in the live action Dumbo, and there's still talk of him re-teaming with Schwarzenegger for the comedy sequel Triplets.
Over the decades, DeVito has certainly established himself as one of the most distinctive and popular comedic actors around. Sony's follow-up to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle had already put together an interesting ensemble with Awkwafina joining Johnson, Hart, Black and Gillan, but now that cast is even spicier with DeVito lending his madcap talents to the mix. Sony is hoping to hit big with their next Jumanji movie, which is set to go up against Star Wars IX in the 2019 holiday window. The last time a Jumanji film took on the biggest brand in the galaxy, the underdog knocked the champion from the #1 spot at the box office.