Some films become legendary not only for what happens on the screen but also the drama behind the camera. In recent years, the number of stories about conflicts and bad times during filming seem to be growing. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and the rest of the Jumanji cast aren't going to have any of that, however.
With filming beginning on the reboot/sequel, Johnson shared a video to fans that shows the cast trying to start things off on the right foot. Though it doesn't show off any of the film, it does show that Johnson and the rest are committed to having a great shoot.
The video, shared to Johnson's Instagram account, shows the cast and crew standing on the set while a Hawaiian Kahu (who Johnson explains is a priest) blesses the production. As Johnson put it, the blessing was intended to bless the film "with powerful aloha spirit of laughter, enjoyment and love." The video was short, showing off only a part of the blessing ceremony, though all in attendance seemed to be taking it seriously.
Before we embark our #JUMANJI journey here in Hawaii, we gathered our entire cast (here with me are Jack Black, Kevin Hart, our director Jake Kasdan and Karen Gillian) and crew together as our Hawaiian Kahu (priest) Cordell Keka blesses our film with powerful aloha spirit of laughter, enjoyment and love. I often talk about mana (spirit) with you guys and the mana in this room/in this moment was extremely powerful - it can take your breath away and give you goosebumps like crazy. (I was low key ready to run thru a wall in this moment;). Our Kahu eloquently spoke and reminded us that even though our faces are the ones on screen, it takes an AMAZING CREW OF EVERYONE to make this movie work. And when we get tired from long work hours to always remember the joy, laughter and fun our movie will bring to families around the world. So simple, but such a great reminder to keep that perspective of bringing joy and fun to families. Very cool. Thank you Kahu Cordell Keka for this powerful blessing, thank you Hawaii - proud to be back home and THANK YOU in advance to our hard working crew. #JUMANJI #OurHawaiianBlessing #Mana #LetsShoot
Starting off the film with good vibes is likely a welcome change for Johnson, who is rumored to have been feuding with costar Vin Diesel during the filming of Fast 8. While most of the details of the feud came from rumors and sources reportedly close to the production, some of it did spill out into the public eye with Johnson making posts that derided some of his "male co-stars" for their behavior during filming. No doubt Johnson hopes to avoid a similar beef during the Jumanji shoot; those hoping for a public showdown between Johnson and Jack Black might be waiting a while.
Special events at the start of filming aren't necessarily uncommon, and given Johnson's heritage and the filming location this one seems fairly appropriate. Hopefully the spirit of "laughter and enjoyment" the blessing is supposed to impart will carry over to the film, giving it a light-hearted feel that will pair nicely with Robin Williams' original. It's been made clear that the new film hopes to build on Williams' legacy, so a fun and enjoyable adventure would be just what the Kahu ordered.
Of course, some fans are likely still worried that the new Jumanji will stray too far from what made the original great. It remains to be seen just how direct of a link the new film will have with the original, and whether any scenes or references from the first movie will be mirrored in the new film. If all goes well, though, the new film will be a great addition to the mythos of the original.
Jumanji is currently expected on July 28, 2017.
Source: Dwayne Johnson