Reboots are a tricky thing to get right. Too similar to the original release and they can feel pointless, too different and you risk alienating the existing loyal fanbase. So what about Sony's upcoming remake of Jumanji? Here's what we know so far...
For those who don’t know (where have you been?), the original Jumanji was released in 1995, and boasted a cast including Robin Williams, Bonnie Hunt and Kirsten Dunst. Adapted from Chris Van Allsburg’s children’s book of the same name, the film went on to enjoy enormous box office success, with worldwide takings of more than $250 million cementing it as the 10th highest-grossing film of 1995.
There was also a “spiritual sequel” called Zathura released in 2005, starring Josh Hutcherson and Kristen Stewart based on another book by the same author, but it didn't reach the same levels of excitement as the 1995 classic. We can all agree that Robin Williams was the heart and soul of the original release, which makes it all the more special that this sequel will reportedly be paying tribute to the late actor, and his character.
With quite a while yet until the official release date, it’s not surprising that we don’t have access to too many official images. What we do have though, thanks to Dwayne Johnson’s Instagram account, is plenty of behind-the-scenes videos to keep us occupied. From these short clips, it certainly looks like the cast and crew have been having a lot of fun on set, and we’re sure this will translate onto the big screen.
It's not a reboot!
For starters, it has been made clear that this is in fact a sequel, not a remake. The official synopsis reveals the following:
In a brand new Jumanji adventure, the tables are turned as four teenagers are sucked into Jumanji’s world - pitted against rhinos, black mambas and an endless variety of jungle traps and puzzles. To survive, they’ll play as characters from the game: meek Spencer becomes a brave explorer (Dwayne Johnson); hulky jock Fridge becomes a tiny genius (Kevin Hart); It-girl Bethany becomes a bookworm professor (Jack Black); and unathletic Martha becomes an Amazonian warrior (Karen Gillan). To beat the game and return to the real world with their lives, they’ll have to start seeing things in an entirely different way.
It's filled with A-list talent
With a primary cast including Goosebumps’ Jack Black, Guardians of the Galaxy’s Karen Gillan, Ride Along’s Kevin Hart and Fast 8 star Dwayne Johnson, they can’t really go wrong. The film is directed by Jake Kasdan, whose past credits include Bad Teacher and Sex Tape, whilst the screenplay was written by Scott Rosenberg (High Fidelity), with contributions from Chris McKinna (Spider-Man: Homecoming) and Jeff Pinker (The Amazing Spider-Man 2).
And if that wasn’t enough, the musical score is by none other than James Newton Howard (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) – we already can’t wait to hear it! There are already a number of visible differences to the original, with a Hawaii setting as opposed to New Hampshire, and a video game as opposed to board, but the heart of the film remains the same.
Be sure to be on the lookout for the first Jumanji trailer dropping soon though! Dwayne recently revealed that it’ll debut at CinemaCon (which for the record, runs from March 27th to the 30th, meaning we should expect our first glimpses of the film any day now!)
Are you looking forward to Jumanji? Do you think it’ll live up to the original? Make sure to check back with us for further updates as the release draw closer, and check it out once it hits our screens on 29th December 2017.
Hannah Dixon is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.