As reported back in March this year, Sony Pictures revealed at CinemaCon 2017 that their Jumanji reboot would be changing its name from simply Jumanji to Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle. Although no official explanation for the addition was offered at the time, many simply assumed that the decision was made either for marketing reasons, to differentiate the new movie from the 1995 original or to allow for liberal use of Guns N' Roses in the trailer.
Director Jake Kasdan has now shed some light on how Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle's title actually came about and the real explanation is perhaps more informal than might be expected. According to USA Today, the title was originally the result of Jack Black repeatedly singing GNR's 1987 classic "Welcome To The Jungle" on set. Kasdan claims: "Jack said to me one day, 'You know, we really should call this Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle'" and evidently, the idea stuck with the director.
That adding the title of a famous rock song to the film's title should come from the mind of Jack Black perhaps isn't too much of a surprise. The actor is also widely known as one half of acoustic comedy rock duo Tenacious D with Kyle Gass and the act has performed alongside the likes of Dave Grohl, Ronnie James Dio and Meat Loaf. With such close ties to the world of rock music, it's only natural that the Welcome To The Jungle addition should be Black's brainchild.
Whatever the origin of the new title, the Jumanji reboot certainly seems to be provding a vastly different experience compared to its predecessor or indeed the original book by Chris Van Allsburg. The emphasis appears to be heavily on action and the shift to a digital world is a significant step away from the tone of the classic Jumanji tale. As a result, fans of the 1995 movie may not be flocking to see this new interpretation but equally, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle has the potential to capture a whole new generation of fans unfamiliar with the franchise's history.
Source: USA Today
- Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) release date: Dec 20, 2017