With just like every project he takes on, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been constantly keeping fans updated on the progress of the upcoming Jumanji reboot. Correction, Jumanji SEQUEL not reboot, as the world’s highest paid actor for 2016 explained in an Instagram post last week.
“For the record we are NOT making a reboot, but rather a continuation of the awesome JUMANJI story.”
But exactly what does a “continuation” mean? Is it a sequel? Does it pick up from the events of the original 1995 movie starring the late, great Robin Williams as a boy who gets trapped in a magical board game until adulthood? Well, that’s still confirmed right now, but at least we’re starting to put together the pieces thanks to some new concept art and info that has come to light. And of course, this latest nugget comes from Johnson’s Instagram account again as he revealed concept art of his character, “the smoldering Dr. Bravestone”.
The character is clearly some kind of Indiana Jones inspired adventurer, and based on his ludicrous name, probably a character within the Jumanji game world itself and not from the real world. This hypothesis is backed by ComingSoon.net’s sleuthing as they noticed the “Bravestone/Spencer” tag in the top right corner of the pic. They did some digging and found audition videos of actors reading for the role of Spencer in the movie. Here are the lines they had to read:
“This is Jumanji… It’s sort of mythical among gamers, supposedly all the copies were destroyed because people would just get too into it.”
“Too into it?”
“People thought it was dangerous or something, this was a long time ago, in the ’90s during all the parental warning crap. People were paranoid.”
“What are those?”
“Avatar names, you pick a character and you’re that one for the game.”
Avatar names? Has Jumanji gone digital and this latest version is actually a video game rather than a board game, with Johnson’s Dr. Bravestone only being the on-screen avatar for whoever Spencer is? That certainly sounds more like reboot than sequel territory to me, so what’s going on here? It’s unclear as to exactly when these audition videos were done, so it is entirely possible that they were indeed going to make a reboot originally, but then changed their minds in the light of Williams’ death earlier this year. Of course that wouldn’t explain why Johnson is sharing this concept art now though.
Either way, I’m a huge fan of the original film – which was based on Chris Van Allsburg’s 1985 children’s book – as well as of Johnson, so I’m intrigued to see where this goes. This new Jumanji, whatever form it may take, is directed by Jake Kasdan (Bad Teacher, Sex Tape) off a script by Scott Rosenberg (High Fidelity, Con Air), and also stars Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Nick Jonas, and Karen Gillan.
Last Updated: September 2, 2016