According to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle star Karen Gillan, fans of the 1995 Jumanji film starring Robin Williams have nothing to worry about, when it comes to the film. Welcome to the Jungle is a followup to the '90s film that changes some details from its predecessor, while still keeping the central premise of a magical jungle adventure game. This time, the story revolves around a video game rather than a board game, and the kids playing it are transformed into the video game characters played by Gillan, Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black.
The original film starred Williams as Alan Parrish, a man who is trapped inside the Jumanji board game. Kirsten Dunst and Bradley Pierce were the children who played the game and tried to help him escape in the present-day, alongside Bonnie Hunt as Sarah Whittle, an old friend of Alan's. Jumanji is a film loved by many who grew up in the '90s, especially with the fond memories it brings of the late Williams.
Gillan counts herself as one of those fans of the original film. When Screen Rant visited the Welcome to the Jungle set, she spoke about her love for Jumanji:
Honestly, it's in my top three films of all time. Of all time! I feel like in your top three you have to have a couple of films that you really respect, and then one that's just that special childhood nostalgia film. That's what Jumanji is for me. I just loved Robin Williams so much in it, and I loved Kirsten Dunst in it, she was so cool! I loved the whole concept, it was really fun. I was a kid [so] I thought it was just totally magical.
Gillan is clearly getting to live her dream by starring in Welcome to the Jungle and it's great to see an actor so passionate about the source material for a new film. She also praised the new Jumanji film, saying:
I feel like, honestly, I'm judging it harder than most people will. Because I love the original so much, and it passes the test with me. Definitely. I was very protective over it as well... I feel like it's just a great continuation and it's going to live up to everything the first film set for it. And hopefully take it even further.
This should be reassuring for fans worried about Welcome to the Jungle, especially since it won't feature Williams. The loss of such a talented actor still looms large and many are unwilling to see the remakes of beloved '90s films without him. However, Welcome to the Jungle will also pay homage to Williams' character, showing the world he inhabited in the original film - which audiences never got to see. It's a nice way to keep the spirit of the beloved actor alive in this franchise.
- Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) release date: Dec 20, 2017