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Love them or hate them, remakes have become a central part of the Hollywood landscape. With that in mind, we've begun to notice that most remakes and reboots tend to fail when they attempt to completely copy their source material. You can never catch lighting in a bottle the same way twice, and as such changes have to occur. In the creation of the upcoming Jumanji remake, Kevin Hart seems to have realized this and spoke out regarding the matter. He said:
We're doing a remake of a movie that has no weak points. Jumanji was an amazing film --- rest in peace to Robin Williams. So we're not trying to recreate the movie that people may be familiar with, we're trying to modernize it, for those people who don't know what Jumanji is, in a clever, unique way. Not destroy the movie, of course, but pay homage to all parties that were involved in it and just make it special for this generation.
Kevin Hart spoke recently with EW and gave the above description for the overall direction of the upcoming Jumanji remake. The intention of the cast and crew is not to try and imitate the work done by Robin Williams more than 20 years ago. That comedic performance is untouchable in their eyes, and as such they will endeavor to try and take the Jumanji universe and do something new with it. After all, this is a movie about a magic board game; there's plenty of new material to be mined from that premise.
Simply looking at the performers joining the cast of Jumanji makes this idea abundantly clear. Although Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart have both become incredibly popular and reliable comedic actors in recent years, which they recently reaffirmed in Central Intelligence, they have wildly different comedic styles when compared to that of Robin Williams. Based solely on this major distinction, we can likely expect that the tone, style and comedic delivery of the upcoming Jumanji will take the franchise in a wildly unique direction. We don't know much about the upcoming remake's plot, but the casting has us under the assumption that the movie could rely far more on "buddy" humor than a coming of age story.
This creative decision is probably for the best. As Kevin Hart points out in his statement: Jumanji has little to no issues that a remake can improve upon. This needs to be a new Jumanji that tries something unique for a new and different generation of moviegoers. Total emulation would serve as a recipe for disaster.
We will admit it; we had our doubts about a potential Jumanji remake at first. However, knowing that the upcoming update will try something totally different from what we've seen before eases many of those concerns. We will bring you more information related to the Jumanji remake as more details become available to us. The update of the Robin Williams classic will hit theaters on July 28, 2017.