Of all the brilliant pictures Robin Williams took part in during a glittered career, the 1995 action adventure title Jumanji stood among some of his best. The late actor stole the show in his portrayal of Alan Parrish, a young boy who would be sucked into a mysterious board game for 26 years, only to return to his home town and bring a string of creatures and characters along with him.
Since the trailer for the 2017 feature Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was released, there was a sense that this would be a reboot of sorts and standalone from that movie. Yet Dwayne Johnson and Karen Gillian have told Collider that is not necessarily the case with an acknowledgment of the original set to take place.
From Robin to Rock as Stars Pay Homage
Guardians of the Galaxy's own Gillian gave a rundown of what this action comedy will look like, explaining that this film ventures specifically where the 1995 edition only hinted at.
"Well I’ve always wondered where Robin Williams’ character went for all of that time in the first one," she remarked. "It was sort of left to the imagination a little. That’s where this film comes in, we get to see exactly where he went and what it feels like and what it looks like I guess that’s the biggest difference."
For Johnson, he understood that he could not divulge too much in the interview. What he would do is give a sense of the importance of the Williams picture and said that this movie will doff the cap to that installment.
"Yeah, sure," he replied. "So, that was the number one thing that I just wanted to have open dialogue with (Director) Jake (Kasdan) and (Producer) Matt Tolmach, our producers, and the studio. What is the way that we can pay homage to the original movie, not only to the original movie, but to Robin Williams in a way that felt good and that made people feel good, but yet, as you said, not get bogged down in it? So, I think we came up with some really nice ways to pay homage and yeah, I think the family is going to be very, very happy with it. Yeah. And without giving too much away, there - the... Now, I’m biting my tongue right now."
DJ: There Is a Greater Pressure on Jumanji Than Previous Projects
While Johnson is a man who is used to being the central focus of a picture, he is just as likely to fit as one of many stars in an ensemble. Bringing aboard Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Gillian, the former WWE man admitted there is a heavier burden of expectation for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle than other all-star romps given the history and familiarity with Williams' performance.
"I think it was creating a movie that can compete with the other movies that come out, where it’s suppose to come out in the summer. And also, if it’s going to be an ensemble cast like this, and I’ve had the opportunity to work with some really good ensemble casts, great ones in Fast and the Furious, G.I. Joe, Baywatch, now. There is a certain dynamic that the cast has to have and when you think about Jumanji and you think about it because it’s a beloved movie, and it became even more beloved in the passing of Robin. So, it’s a great trigger that happens with people that I’ve found is that people are excited about it and hopeful and there’s a tremendous amount of trust. Like, okay. I get that sense. We trust you."
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is released across the US on December 22.