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Jumanji is being relaunched for a new era, and because the new movie, Welcome to the Jungle, will be a sequel to the 1995 family classic rather than be a complete reboot as previously believed, that means that Robin Williams' spirit hangs more heavily over this production. Williams, who passed away in August 2014, played Alan Parrish in the original Jumanji movie, and we've since learned that Alan will be referenced in Welcome to the Jungle. With less than two months to go until the movie's release, a new video has been released showing lead actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson expressing his admiration for Williams and what he did in Jumanji.
In case you haven't seen any of the Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle previews that have been released this year, the latest video for the sequel from Sony does a good job of laying out the premise of this story, which takes place 20 years after the first Jumanji. But at the beginning of the clip, Dwayne Johnson talks about the "tremendous amount of love and reference" he has for the original movie, as well as what Robin Williams meant to him and his family. Hence why when it was important for the creative team made sure that for Welcome to the Jungle, the "spirit of the original movie flowed through as a continuation of the Jumanji story." On top of all this, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle's being released only days before Christmas is fitting in Johnson's opinion, as he says that the sequel "encapsulates what holiday spirit really means."
Even with Robin Williams no longer with us, Alan Parrish will still play a key (albeit indirect) role in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. When the main protagonists land in the Jumanji game, they will follow clues left behind by Alan during the many years he was trapped within that strange world. The original Jumanji movie ended with time being changed and Alan never ending up trapped within the game, but evidently those temporal alterations didn't extend to the game's world. We'll also learn in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle that during Alan's time in that jungle environment, he discovered that there are a number of other Jumanji worlds, which is presumably the way this franchise will expand should another sequel be ordered.
While the original Jumanji movie revolved around a board game that both sucked players into the game itself and unleashed craziness in the real world, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle will follow a quartet of high school students being sucked into that same jungle world through a video game this time around, and during the adventure, they'll be represented by heroic adult avatars. Dwayne Johnson's costars include Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Jack Black, while Nick Jonas and Bobby Cannavale play a key supporting character and the main antagonist, respectively.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle hits in theaters on December 20. To find out what other blockbusters are left to be released this year, scan through our 2017 premiere guide.