The Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle movie was inspired by 1990s video games, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has revealed. This news will make sense to anyone that watched the film’s two trailers, where it was made clear that the dusty old board game from the first film has been replaced by a dusty old arcade machine. This adds another layer of nostalgia to this much-loved movie mythos, updating the central conceit in a major way.
During a visit to the set of the film, Screen Rant learned a lot about the upcoming belated sequel: the new movie hopes to honor Robin Williams, and it will connect to the original, whilst also making one massive change to the status quo. Fans have also been told to expect a Star Wars Easter Egg, and not to worry about Karen Gillan’s revealing costume.
The Rock – who shared a brand new poster for the movie last month – spoke on set about the inspirations behind the movie's video game vibe. The young characters in the film will enter the arcade game and control the bodies of the adult cast (Johnson, Gillan, Jack Black and Kevin Hart), and The Rock is clearly very enthusiastic about this core dynamic of the plot:
“When I was 16 I would have loved to become whoever my favorite characters were. Especially video games. So there's this really cool dynamic that I hope we pull off. As I'm in these fight scenes, because I'm like, a turbo geek with video games... I'm actually calling out the moves before I'm doing it. Like, you know how a lot of the times playing, it's [gun noises, ducking]. If we do it right, it should be very funny."
When pushed for specific examples of video games that inspired the film, The Rock didn’t have an answer ready. But he could narrow it down to a decade:
"That's a good question. I gotta come up with a better answer than I'm going to give you. Because I think these are really just the video games 'of the nineties.' So in the spirit of the game itself, the board game of Jumanji, that was in the nineties... You'll see in the creative device that we've used within the movie, it goes from the board game now to the video game. But it still has the spirit of the nineties, so it's characters like that, that are very stereotypical characters from the nineties."
While this doesn’t help fans know exactly what games the film was inspired by, The Rock’s repetition of the words “the nineties” should be enough to muster some intrigue among his followers. The eighties seems like a more common stomping ground for nostalgia trips at the moment, so this could be an interesting change of scene.
However, there is some trepidation towards this film in some circles. After all, The Rock’s previous attempt at reviving a beloved property resulted in a poorly-received Baywatch reboot. Fans of Johnson, Jumanji and cinema in general are hoping for something better this time.