We had no idea the trailer for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was doing to be this good.
The original 1995 movie Jumanji was based on the 1981 young adult novel by Chris Van Allsburg. It featured one of the late Robin William’s more memorable performances as the forsaken Alan Parrish, trapped in the game for decades. The new film, considered highly controversial, stars Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan. This new movie is technically a sequel, and doesn’t try to recreate the original character created by Williams. Instead, the story lines connect by having the four misanthropic adventurers be sucked into a magical video game, and survive their trials in part thanks to clues left behind by Parrish.
In an interview with the The Hollywood Reporter, Jack Black (who plays Shelly Oberon in the film) described it this way:
“We’re exploring this jungle and trying to conquer the game; it’s life or death. But while we’re there, we find clues left behind by [Williams’s character Alan Parrish]. He built up a full-blown jungle house, similar to a Swiss Family Robinson situation. It’s like he’s there helping us without actually being there.”
Karen Gillan is the last person you’d expect to be cast as an action hero, but these are the roles she seems to be attracting. She was Amy Pond in Doctor Who to Matt Smith’s Doctor, and Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy. Now she’s a scantily clad jungle adventurer.
The first trailer for the Sony holiday release also smartly tackles a complaint that lit up social media last September: Karen Gillan’s skimpy outfit. It seems that the point of it is to satirize the way video games sexualize women. Gillan’s character lays it out with the line, “Why am I wearing half a shirt and short shorts in the jungle?”
The film is written by Chris McKenna and Jeff Pinkner. McKenna wrote for Community and American Dad! and did the screenplay for The LEGO Batman Movie. Pinker wrote the screenplay for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Between the two of them, the screenplay was in good hands.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle comes out December 20 in the U.S. We can’t wait. We have to admit to being worried when we heard they were doing what we thought was a remake and thought it would be terrible, but now that we’ve seen the trailer we can’t wait for the movie.