The Jumanji reboot continues to add to its cast, as Dwayne Johnson took to Instagram to announce that Jack Black has joined the project. Johnson also confirmed the inclusion of his Central Intelligence co-star Kevin Hart.
IT'S OFFICIAL: An ol' friend is ready to play in the world of #JUMANJI… JACK (mf'n) BLACK. Been a big fan of his work over the years. A brilliant actor who I'm confident will turn in a performance of a lifetime for JUMANJI. (when we reveal his character you'll understand;). In our reimagining of the story of JUMANJI, Jack brings that rare balance of cool with funny and edge with childlike joy. The "Jumanji Breakfast Club" is coming together.. myself, Jack (mf'n) Black and Kevin Hart. Two big roles left. One bad ass girl. One semi-sorta bad ass dude. Who will they be… this is gonna be fun. #JUMANJI #WelcomesJackBlack #JustPressStart #TheGameThatPlaysYou
And the #JUMANJI magic begins. Excellent meeting with our director Jake Kasdan, producer Matt Tolmach, and our @SevenBucksProd team to work on our new re-imagining of this amazing story. I felt like in order to craft something cool we should begin where it all started. Award winning writer Chris Van Allsburg's source material of JUMANJI. Chris also wrote THE POLAR EXPRESS (later adapted by Robert Zemeckis and Tom Hanks) and has a very special & magical way of storytelling. I'm feelin' good and confident stepping into these shoes as a producer as well as actor to bring you something great that you and your entire fam can enjoy. An important thing that I want to be honest and bring up is Robin Williams. The love and respect I have for this man is boundless. You have my word, we will honor his name and the character of "Alan Parrish" will stand alone and be forever immortalized in the world of JUMANJI in an earnest and cool way. I have an idea of what to do and I think his family will be proud. I also think Robin is somewhere lookin' down and laughing, remembering the first time we met backstage and I (for the first time ever) was a star struck bumbling idiot that couldn't even get my words out. Idiot. He literally calmed me down w/ that smile and laugh. But that's for another fun story down the road. We got a great team assembled already over at our home base of SONY and now we build from here. Here's another fun part… in the original movie there were three big roles. In our new story there's now FIVE. Been so damn cool to see all my actor buddies push their projects aside so hopefully they can come play in our world. Should have cool casting announcements this week. Will keep you posted. #TheMagicBegins #JustPressStart #JUMANJI
As noted here, Johnson also shared that the remake/reboot will honor the original and will feature some kind of recognition of Robin Williams’ character, Alan Parrish: “You have my word, we will honor his name and the character of ‘Alan Parrish’ will stand alone and be forever immortalized in the world of Jumanji in an earnest and cool way. I have an idea of what to do and I think his family will be proud.”
The Williams movie, which co-starred a very young Kirsten Dunst, was released in 1995. Directed by Joe Johnston (Captain America: The First Avenger), it told the story of two kids who play a magic game, releasing a man who had been trapped inside for decades (Williams) along with wild animals and dangers of all sorts. The only way to set everything back to rights is to finish the game.
The reboot (or sequel?) will be directed by Jake Kasdan, with Matt Tolmach producing. Both films are based on the children’s book by Caldecott Medal recipient Chris van Allsburg, who also wrote The Polar Express and Zathura, both of which were adapted for film as well.