The first teaser trailer for Jumanji 3 has been revealed, and it contains a surprising, game-changing twist for the sequel: Danny DeVito is The Rock! Yes, the crux of the story of Jumanji: The Next Level is that it takes two new players into the game, played by DeVito and Danny Glover, who are transformed into Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart respectively.
It is, as you'd expect, utterly ridiculous, and yet also completely brilliant. The trailer begins much like you'd expect from the upcoming Jumanji movie, with the setup of the game's whereabouts and establishing the scene for the players to be sucked back in. Spencer has repaired Jumanji, unbeknownst to his friends, and is taken back inside it. Building on the somewhat unexpected success of 2017's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, it was anticipated that Jumanji 3 would keep a similar status quo among its core characters since the four main cast members - Karen Gillan and Jack Black alongside Johnson and Hart - are all returning. It was known DeVito would appear, but not quite in what capacity.
We're introduced to DeVito as Eddie, the grandfather of Spencer (who turned into The Rock's Dr. Smolder Bravestone in the previous movie). Alongside him is Glover as Eddie's friend, Milo Walker. The kids go to the basement, get sucked back into Jumanji, and all seems as you'd think, until Bravestone begins to talk, and it's revealed that Danny DeVito's character is now The Rock's, while Glover's has become Hart's Franklin "Mouse" Finbar. And from there, insanity (and hilarity) ensues.
Johnson and Hart have seemingly been given free rein to impersonate DeVito and Glover as much as possible, which leads to a pair of impressions you never knew you needed but don't want to forget. Although the Jumanji 3 twist is the kind of half-idea you could imagine being thrown out into a pitch meeting as nothing more than a joke, it somehow really works here.
While Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was better than most expected, there was very much a danger that the sequel would simply deliver more of the same. Adding The Rock/DeVito and Hart/Glover into the mix is seemingly a masterstroke, designed to ensure Jumanji: The Next Level doesn't feel stale. It's certainly not a criticism you could level at the Jumanji 3 trailer, at any rate. It mixes up the dynamics of the group - alongside Black now being the avatar of Fridge (Ser'Darius Blain) this time around, rather than Bethany (Madison Iseman) - and gives it a whole new element, since the two older characters have absolutely no idea what's going on.
Best of all, though, is that this is all clearly done with a knowing wink. That's become a hallmark of Johnson's action movies, and is something he's keeping here. The Jumanji 3 trailer only gets more bonkers once the twist is revealed, with the glorious sight of RockVito & Co. being chased by an army of monkeys, but it's in the twist itself that the genius lies. It guarantees people are going to be talking about Jumanji 3 for starters, it lives up to the promise of The Next Level title and, well, The Rock is Danny DeVito, and Danny DeVito is The Rock.
- Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) release date: Dec 13, 2019