The upcoming Jumanji film – which is supposedly a light sequel to the original starring the late Robin Williams – has already assembled quite an impressive cast in co-stars Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson, with reliable funnyman Jack Black also tagging along. Throw in Karen Gillan (known prominently for her role as Nebula in the Guardians of the Galaxy films) for good measure and the star power is looking stacked for the upcoming film.
Jumanji and its director Jake Kasdan have been filling in its supporting roles recently as well with actors like Alex Wolff and Rhys Darby cast. Now it looks like Jumanji has added a veteran actor to its ever-expanding cast with well-known television actor Tim Matheson.
As reported by Deadline, Matheson has joined Jumanji in what is presumably a supporting role. The Emmy-nominated actor will play Old Man Vreeke, though not much else is known about the role or how Matheson’s character will fit into the narrative.
Matheson has previously starred in Aaron Sorkin’s highly acclaimed television series The West Wing as Vice President John Hoynes, a role that snagged him two Emmy nominations. Matheson appeared on Burn Notice for several episodes and played more recently played President Ronald Reagan in Killing Reagan, a television movie that aired on the National Geographic Channel. Even with those films and TV shows on his resume, he's likely best known for his role as Eric "Otter" Stratton in the 1978 classic Animal House.
With this in mind, Matheson’s casting in Jumanji is a welcome surprise for comedy fans. He should fit right in with the main cast, even if the role ends up being a more minor one. Regardless of how much time he spends on screen, it's likely that the presence of a veteran actor will be appreciated amongst the cast.
Naturally, some fans may still be upset that the Jumanji sort-of-sequel is being made at all, despite the cast’s active social media presence to build interest. This is due in large part to a feeling that the film will dishonor the memory of Williams as well as the highly regarded original film (which is itself based on the novel by Chris Van Allsburg). Kasdan and writer Scott Rosenberg are hoping to circumvent this issue by creating entirely original characters set after the original film. Whether that ends up resonating with fans, especially the more rabid fans of the Williams version, remains to be seen.
- Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) release date: Dec 20, 2017