I’d always get fascinated by the blind spots when I was young. Can I swim far enough in Pokemon to discover a whole new region? What happened in the episodes before Star Wars: A New Hope? (George Lucas answered that one unfortunately.) And what was it like inside Jumanji?
Joe Johnston’s 1995 adventure movie never revealed what lay beyond that mysterious dome. The traffic stampeded one way only – from the board game’s jungle to our reality.
The animated television series that ran between 1996-1999 offered a glimpse. On each turn, the player would be sucked into the jungle until they solved their clue. Alan Parrish (played by Robin Williams in the film) was trapped in there because he didn’t know what his clue was.
Rock ‘The Dwayne’ Johnson joined Sony Pictures’ new Jumanji project in April this year. Over the last month, he’s Instagrammed like crazy. And I think he’s revealed a large part of the film’s plot…and an enduring ‘blind spot’ from our childhoods.
Sequel, Not Remake
Last month, The Rock confirmed on Instagram (which is where he posts all his big announcements and cheat day photos) that Jumanji 2017 would be a sequel.
“For the record we are NOT making a reboot, but rather a continuation of the awesome Jumanji story.”
Luke and I talked this over on the Flickering Myth Podcast. If Jumanji 2017 was a remake, you’d expect the story to share the original’s plot. Alan Parrish gets trapped in a mysterious board game as a child. 26 years later, new kids play it and release Alan into the real world…along with the jungle creatures in the game.
But if Jumanji were a sequel, having the game spill into real life again would be somewhat redundant. Maybe this Jumanji would take place inside its dark, treacherous jungle?
Location, Location, Location
Jumanji 2017 is due to start production this month in Hawaii. This might be because the film’s characters live in a beach-set town and the jungle characters released from the game cause destruction there. That would be a poor dramatic choice, though. Having animals stampede through American suburbia has far more comedic and action potential.
Much more likely is that Jumaji 2017 will use Hawaii’s tropical rainforests as a stand-in for the jungle within the game. The Rock is no stranger to the volcanic rock. He filmed Journey 2: The Mysterious Island there in 2011 (above).
Johnson has shared the above concept art on (guess where?) his Instagram. The image shows Johnson’s character – ‘The Smouldering’ Dr. Bravestone – in full Indiana Jones cosplay. And what’s that behind him? A jungle setting.
It looks like Jumanji 2017 will be set inside the board game. The child in me will finally get to see the original movie’s blind spot – a live-action Jumanji jungle.
Jumanji is set for release on July 28th 2017, and sees Jake Kasdan (Sex Tape) directing a cast that includes Dwayne Johnson (Fast 8), Kevin Hart (Central Intelligence), Jack Black (Goosebumps), Nick Jonas (Scream Queens) and Karen Gillan (Guardians of the Galaxy).