In 1981, a picture book published that was written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg with a title that sounded like a nonsense word - Jumanji. The simple story was of a brother and sister playing a board game that caused various disasters to occur in real life. The book won the Caldecott Medal, given to the most distinguished American picture book for children. In 1995 the book was adapted into a film starring Robin Williams, Bonnie Hunt, and Kirsten Dunst. Van Allsburg wrote a sequel called Zathura which was also adapted to film, though the movie was only loosely connected to the original book.
Now, the story of Jumanji is headed to the big screen once again, with a new film. Like Zathura, it will be set in the same world as Jumanji but it will not specifically continue the original 1995 movie's story. There has not been much confirmed information about the plot yet, though photos of several cast members - Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Nick Jonas - have revealed that the characters will find themselves in an enchanted jungle.
As reported by The Wrap, at Sony Pictures's CinemaCon 2017, new Jumanji footage was shown - revealing more details about the movie's plot, in the process. The film's full title has also now been unveiled - Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
The Jumanji CinemaCon footage has (naturally) shed more light on the film itself. It would seem that instead of a board game that alters reality, in this movie Jumanji will be a video game. A group of students in detention discover said game - a classic video game from the 1990s, no less - and decide to play it. Upon beginning the game however, the teenagers are sucked into its world and forced to play the game as adult avatars - the aforementioned Hart, Johnson, Gillan, and Black, to be exact.
Another thing shown in the footage was nice tip of the hat to the original Jumanji film. There are some stampeding rhinos in a scene that calls back a similar stampede in the 1995 movie. In addition to showing the new footage, some of the film's actors appeared in person to talk about Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Kevin Hart could not be there himself, so he showed up via satellite.
The characters being sucked into the Jumanji game instead of the game manifesting around them is a neat twist on the original story. In the 1995 movie, wild animals and plants wreaked havoc on a regular suburb. This time, the teens will be entirely out of their element by being completely submerged in the wild - though this new movie is likely to have a similar solution to stopping the game's mayhem as the original film did. Namely, the only way to put an end to the adventures in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is to finish the game.
Source: The Wrap
- Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) release date: Dec 20, 2017