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Jumanji and 5 other body-swap comedies that left us in a spin


This Christmas Dwayne Johnson leads an A-list ensemble in Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle. Affectionately updated from board game to video game it tips a hat to the late, great Robin Williams – and that's not the only twist.

Whereas the popular 1995 family movie saw Williams' character escape from his board game prison, this new movie actually takes us inside the world of Jumanji itself, introducing to the avatars of four teenage gameplayers.

These come in the form of Hollywood stars Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan. Yes, we have a body swap situation going on – if you ever wanted to see Black playing the bookish avatar of a moody teenage girl, now's your chance.

Taking their cue we wanted to look back at the movies that saw famous A-listers switch with each other...

Heaven Can Wait (1978)

Warren Beatty, Julie Christie and James Mason fill out the ensemble cast of this charming, multi-award-winning comedy about a Los Angeles sports star who is whisked away to heaven too early, and returned to Earth in the body of a millionaire.

All Of Me (1984)

All Of Me finds a terminally ill Lily Tomlin accidentally inhabiting one half of Steve Martin’s down at heel lawyer. Directed by Carl Reiner and tightly scripted it also features Martin’s ex-wife Victoria Tennant as an underhanded and conniving would-be temptress.

Big (1988)

Big is filled with such innocence, charm and physical subtlety that it remains the body swap comedy others aspire towards. Years later the film still belongs to Tom Hanks and his beautifully layered performance, effortlessly conveying the wide-eyed essence of a 13-year-old boy trapped within his much older self.

Freaky Friday (2003)

Originally made 1976 and starring a very young Jodie Foster, this moral fable of body swap mayhem turned Lindsay Lohan into a bona fide star.

The movie features hilarious performances from both Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis as the mother and daughter who swap bodies, culminating in a rock out sequence reminding us of the latter's wonderful comic performances in A Fish Called Wanda and True Lies.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
is released on 20th December.

Martin Carr is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.