In news that should come as a surprise to few, but is welcome nonetheless, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle officially has a sequel in the works. The Jake Kasdan-directed quasi-reboot was released in December of last year and has been on a roll ever since, scoring five first place finishes and grossing $857 million worldwide on about a $100 million budget. Now Sony Pictures has set the last two writers to work on Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner, to pen the sequel. Hoping to recreate the magic and the unexpected success of Jumanji, the sequel film will reunite stars Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Jack Black.
Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner were the last people to work on the Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle script after writers Chris Mckenna and Erik Sommers, and clearly the final script resulted in a wildly successful movie. Rosenberg and Pinkner are also the scribes for Sony's upcoming comic book movie Venom. Clearly the studio is high on this duo at the moment, and that bodes well for both Venom and the Jumanji sequel. There is no word yet on whether or not director Jake Kasdan will return for the sequel, but it is clear that Sony is attempting to keep the core ingredients that produced such a sustained hit. According to Deadline, there is no production start date yet for the film, but it is possible that the Jumanji sequel could once again play chicken with a Star Wars saga film and release in December 2019, opposite Episode IX.
Jumanji was a huge hit for Sony Pictures, even surpassing Spider-Man: Homecoming domestically. The reboot/sequel has also proven to be the most successful, non-Fast & Furious film for Mr. Blockbuster himself, Dwayne Johnson. What's fascinating is that we are already in February and the film still hasn't finished its theatrical run. In fact it is still at the top of the box office. Inevitably once Black Panther finally arrives, Jumanji's days are numbered, but until then it continues to rack up dollars and prove how powerfully strong word of mouth is. In this studio-eat-studio world, Sony wants to create and adapt buzzier movies, and franchising Jumanji is the most obvious call to make. It is tough to say whether it was nostalgia, the star power of the film or some mélange of elements that has driven Jumanji to such success, but given the audience and critical reception, the prospect of a sequel is exciting.
Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle was a quasi-reboot of a beloved property that has a great deal of nostalgia towards the original movie, but it was really more of a spiritual successor than traditional sequel. Jumanji also stood out as its own original blockbuster film and something a bit different from what else is out there. The premise is ripe for reinvention and different tellings as well. With all of the stars set to return, it will be interesting to see if different kids inhabit Dr. Smolder Bravestone, Ruby Roundhouse and the rest of the avatars in the sequel. Having the same stars on board brings back audiences who love them, but the format allows for wildly different performances from these actors, fresh character dynamics and entirely different stories can play out while still being true to the Jumanji name.
Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle is still in theaters now. For all the biggest movies hitting this year, check out our release guide.