Dwayne Johnson smolders in the new character posters for Jumanji: The Next Level. After Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle's nearly billion-dollar run two years ago, expectations are high headed into its sequel's release next month. So far, though, The Next Level appears to be up to the challenge, between bringing its predecessor's main cast/crew back and adding fresh ingredients like brand-new settings and Awkwafina as a costar. Of course, the biggest and most bonkers twist involves Johnson's Jumanji avatar, Dr. Smolder Bravestone, who's played by none other than Danny DeVito into the film.
As explained by the trailers, DeVito's character, Eddie Gilpin, accidentally finds his way into the world of Jumanji after his grandson Spencer (Alex Wolff) repairs the game's cartridge and heads back in himself. Also along the ride is Eddie's friend Milo Walker (Danny Glover), who ends up playing as Kevin Hart's avatar, Franklin Finbar. It's something to keep in mind while perusing over the movie's newly-unveiled character posters, which show Dr. Bravestone using his special "smolder" skill.
Johnson, Hart, and Awkwafina are joined in these one-sheets by Karen Gillan (back as Ruby Roundhouse), Jack Black (Professor Sheldon Oberon), Nick Jonas (Jefferson McDonough), and... a horse. For those who missed it last week, The Next Level's final trailer revealed that Bethany (Madison Iseman) ends up playing the horse in The Next Level after she and other teenagers from Welcome to the Jungle head back into the game in order to rescue Spencer (who's re-entered Jumanji for as-yet unknown reasons). You can check those posters out below.
Like the rest of the sequel's marketing, these posters highlight Awkwafina's The Next Level character without explaining who (or what) she is. The Ocean's Eight and Crazy Rich Asians star clearly plays a key role in the film, as evidenced by her prominence in the trailers and promotional images. It's possible she's even connected to the reason why Spencer rebuilds the Jumanji game (after it was smashed at the end of Welcome to the Jungle) and returns to that world in the first place. The trailers have already given away most of the film's zanier twists, so it's nice to see Sony is holding back on a few secrets (including this one) for audiences to discover when they actually see The Next Level.
With its release date coming up in six weeks, it remains to be seen how The Next Level performs at the box office. The Rock is still a popular draw, so that alone (in combination with its four-quadrant appeal) will ensure the movie plays well enough over the upcoming winter holidays. Interestingly, there are a lot of parallels between this year's December slate and 2017's, when Star Wars: The Last Jedi ruled the box office, but with Welcome to the Jungle and The Greatest Showman following not too far behind. This year, The Rise of Skywalker looks to follow in The Last Jedi's footsteps, with The Next Level and Cats fighting it out for second and third place. Will Johnson win the battle over musicals once again in 2019, and maybe even challenge a galaxy far, far away?
Source: Sony Pictures
- Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) release date: Dec 13, 2019