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28th Mar 2017

The plot of the new Jumanji film is incredibly different to the original

Purists won't be happy

Paul Moore

Purists won’t be happy.

Much like The Goonies*, Batteries Not Included and Short Circuit, certain film fans will always have a special place in their heart for Joe Johnston’s inventive actioner Jumanji.

22 years since its release, the Robin Williams-led adventure is still one of those films that you’ll happily watch on a lazy Sunday afternoon, so it’s fair to say that there’s a certain degree of reverence for the original and expectation surrounding the remake.

CinemaCon took place over the weekend and Jake Kasdan, the director of the remake, was in attendance alongside some of his cast like The Rock, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan.

The new film will be called Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, but rather than enter the magical world via a board game, the main characters will be entering the jungle through a video game.

In another development, the teenagers at the film’s center will also be taking on the computer game characters that they see in the jungle world.

Basically, this means that the teenage characters will be embodied by the avatars of Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan.

Fans of the original will know that the main characters (played by Robin Williams, Bonnie Hunt, Bradley Pierce and a young Kirsten Dunst) were actually put in jeopardy, so this is a departure.

Speaking with Deadline, director Jake Kasdan said : “Jumanji is the kind of movie that I think people shouldn’t out-and-out remake. To me, a big part of its power is in the unique elements of its original execution. Within that, I think there’s this central idea and mythology that’s mysterious, but powerful, and commands a powerful part of the imagination,” he said.

“I was a fan of the original movie, and I felt like this [Jumanji update] really honored it, and included a lot of the stuff that I loved about the original movie, but did it in a really new way. It really holds up. You go back and watch it — it’s a very unusual and original kid’s movie. It’s unusually scary and magical, in a way that’s different from a lot of other magical kid’s movies,” Kasdan adds.

Ok, Jumanji enthusiasts. What do you think of this change? Good or bad idea?

*Actually, Jumanji isn’t even close to being as good as The Goonies. Nothing is.*