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Twenty years have come and gone; now the deadly game’s back on.
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If that all sounds like a pretty radical departure from the original film’s plot, that’s intentional.
“We didn’t want to do a remake,” Hart says. “We’re doing more of a continuation, and we just wanted to make sure that we do that film proud.”
The result is a zippy action-comedy that explores the jungle where Williams’ character, Alan Parrish, was trapped for so long. As Gillan puts it: “We’re finally getting to see what it’s like in Jumanji.”
As for Alan Parrish himself, he doesn’t appear in the flesh in Welcome to the Jungle, but the new film does pay tribute to the character’s legacy.
“Robin Williams is not only a talent like no other, but he’s somebody whose career is remembered on a pedestal,” Hart says. “The movie Jumanji was an amazing movie because of him. So to continue this world, we wanted to do it right, and we needed it to be as big as possible so the fans could feel like we’ve done good. We didn’t take the shortcuts.”
Jake Kasdan (Bad Teacher) directed Welcome to the Jungle, with Hawaii standing in for Jumanji’s treacherous wilderness. Even though the cast didn’t confront any truly dangerous beasts on set, they did encounter some smaller hazards: mosquitoes, spiders, and centipedes.
Adds Gillan with a chuckle, “It got to the point where Dwayne was just tickling him with little pieces of grass until he would run away.”
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle will hit theaters Dec. 20.