Is there anything Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson can’t do?
When the new Jumanji film was announced in summer 2015, many movie fans and enthusiasts of the original 1995 film starring the late Robin Williams shrugged their shoulders and wondered: “Why is this movie being remade?”
But once it was announced that Johnson was coming on board to produce and star in the project, which centers on a magical board game that brings the jungle to life, the chatter quickly started to turn positive.
Johnson has had quite the run lately when it comes to the big screen—Furious 7, San Andreas, and Central Intelligence all were box-office hits, and he has highly-anticipated projects like Fast 8 and Baywatch to come—and now he’s assuring fans that he will faithfully restore Jumanji as the late Williams would have loved it.
"As a producer on this movie and someone who loves the original, you have my word we'll honor the legend of 'Alan Parrish' and properly introduce a whole new generation to the fun and crazy JUMANJI universe that so many of us loved and grew up on," he wrote in an Instagram post.
Yo.. Lots of positive chatter now on something I should've clarified months ago when we announced we were making JUMANJI. This new movie will NOT be a remake or reboot of the original. It will be a CONTINUATION of the awesome JUMANJI adventure 20 years later. As a producer on this movie and someone who loves the original, you have my word we'll honor the legend of "Alan Parrish" and properly introduce a whole new generation to the fun and crazy JUMANJI universe that so many of us loved and grew up on. Our director Jake Kasdan and lead producer Matt Tohlmach are focused and ready go. They also have no f*cking idea what they've gotten themselves into by hiring Me, Kevin Hart and Jack Black aka "The Cray Cray Triplets" as the stars of this movie. Shooting begins in 4 weeks. And on a personal note, it's such a cool thing for me to bring the production of this movie to Hawaii. The positive ripple effect it has on local businesses and families in terms of creating jobs and additional income makes me very happy. I grew up on the island thru hard times and good times, so it means a lot to this local boy. Hell, I used to steal a Snickers candy bar every day from 7-11 when I walked to the gym as my pre workout meal when I was 14yrs cause I was too broke to buy one. When I return to Hawaii, I will go back to that 7-11 (on Kapiolani Blvd) and finally buy that Snickers bar after all these years. Then I'll proceed to my psychiatric therapy session cause clearly I'm still messed up over that broke time in my life. #JUMANJI #HAWAII #SonyPictures #SnickersForTheWholeCrew
After completing his work on Fast 8, Johnson hopped on a plane to Hawaii to start production on the new film. Before filming started, Johnson was joined by castmates Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, and director Jake Kasdan as they were blessed with some of the "aloha spirit" in a Hawaiian ritual to kick off production:
Before we embark our #JUMANJI journey here in Hawaii, we gathered our entire cast (here with me are Jack Black, Kevin Hart, our director Jake Kasdan and Karen Gillian) and crew together as our Hawaiian Kahu (priest) Cordell Keka blesses our film with powerful aloha spirit of laughter, enjoyment and love. I often talk about mana (spirit) with you guys and the mana in this room/in this moment was extremely powerful - it can take your breath away and give you goosebumps like crazy. (I was low key ready to run thru a wall in this moment;). Our Kahu eloquently spoke and reminded us that even though our faces are the ones on screen, it takes an AMAZING CREW OF EVERYONE to make this movie work. And when we get tired from long work hours to always remember the joy, laughter and fun our movie will bring to families around the world. So simple, but such a great reminder to keep that perspective of bringing joy and fun to families. Very cool. Thank you Kahu Cordell Keka for this powerful blessing, thank you Hawaii - proud to be back home and THANK YOU in advance to our hard working crew. #JUMANJI #OurHawaiianBlessing #Mana #LetsShoot
Here are five reasons why we're betting new Jumanji movie will be awesome, badass, and anything but your usual summer fare at theaters:
Well, it stars The Rock
Okay, so he does have a penchant for starring in summer movies, but Dwayne Johnson has shown that he can handle the action/comedy genre as well as anyone in Hollywood—proven by his roles in The Other Guys and Central Intelligence—and this project is likely to tackle both. Johnson has taken to Instagram multiple times since the news hit about the film to express his enthusiasm for the project and the direction that it will take. His commitment to making a fun and entertaining movie should be more than enough to drum up excitement for the project. Will Johnson have to chase down jungle animals that escape the board game? Will he have to one-on-one wrestle with a tiger? The possibilities are endless—sign us up for that. (But mostly out of hopes that he'll wrestle a tiger.)
Kevin Hart is the co-star
Hart and Johnson showed off their comedic chemistry in Central Intelligence—"a little Hart and a big Johnson" was the tagline of the decade—and now the dynamic duo will star together again. Hart, the Men's Fitness cover star and ultra-fit funnyman has risen to the top crop of comedians in the world over the past few years, and he's been keeping himself in prime shape, too. The original film was as much of a comedy as it was a family adventure, and having Hart as the co-star suggests comedy will be front and center.
Nick Jonas is (probably) in the movie
Jonas has the talent to dance, sing, and act. And while he may not do all three of those things in Jumanji, his potential addition to the cast is exciting. Jonas starred on the FOX series Scream Queens in 2015 and he’s been getting rave reviews for his role in the upcoming film Goat. We've shown you how Jonas works out and trains in the gym to keep himself in top shape—and he’ll be another fit and strong member of the cast alongside Johnson and Hart.
The film will be a sequel—not a reboot or remake
Johnson took to Instagram to confirm to fans that the new film will be a “continuation” of the original movie, set 20 years after the events of the story. The actor wrote that he wants to honor Williams’ original role as he “properly” introduces a “new generation” to the Jumanji film universe. This is welcome news for fans of the original movie and for others who have become disillusioned with the Hollywood machine remaking beloved projects into new films that don’t have any connection to the original. Johnson is clearly pushing things in a different direction and wants to make sure the new project connects to the original in a meaningful way.
Jack Black rounds out the cast
Johnson is calling the trio of Black, Hart, and himself “The Cray Cray Triplets” and that should be a pretty good indication of where this movie is going. Black brings some physical comedy to the mix and adds a “wild card” element to the project, which should be pure gold for viewers. There hasn’t been any info released on what characters the trio will portray, but chances are they will get into some major shenanigans once the board game unleashes the jungle on them.
Jumanji opens in theaters July 28th, 2017.