We heard as far back as a year ago that Jumanji 2—sub in Welcome to the Jungle for 2 now, though—would honor Robin Williams in a significant way. And now that we know the aforementioned jungle is the selfsame place Williams' Alan Parrish was trapped for decades, Jack Black has stepped up to offer more details.
“We’re exploring this jungle and trying to conquer the game; it’s life or death,” the actor playing Professor Shelly Oberon tells The Hollywood Reporter. He goes on:
“But while we’re there, we find clues left behind by [Alan]. He built up a full-blown jungle house, similar to a Swiss Family Robinson situation. It’s like he’s there helping us without actually being there.”
So this thing is genuinely a sequel, with bits that could certainly tickle folks who grew up with the 1995 original. Johnson previously said the Alan Parrish tribute "will stand alone and be forever immortalized in the world of Jumanji in an earnest and cool way," and that when it came to Williams, who committed suicide in 2014, "the love and respect I have for this man is boundless."
Kind of worryingly, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle does remain centered on a video game in a school basement. The body-transforming plot, which finds a bookworm boy walking in Dwayne Johnson's body and a popular girl becoming Jack Black, does sound fun though.
“Jumanji is the kind of movie that I think people shouldn’t out-and-out remake," director Jake Kasdan (Freaks and Geeks, Walk Hard) has acknowledged. Producer Matt Tolmach said the film tackles “the walls between our reality and entertainment are becoming virtually transparent or invisible."
Next, watch a New York Comic Con rookie and veteran try to make their way through the convention together: