Subscribe To One Cool Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle Stunt Wasn't Actually CGI Updates
The following contains spoilers for the end of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle took much of its inspiration from video games, which meant a lot of what we saw had to be created digitally. However, one remarkable stunt was actually entirely real. The movie follows our four heroes as they attempt to replace a magic jewel atop a massive mountain shaped like a cat. Dwayne Johnson ends up driving a motorcycle off the mountain, before he jumps off the motorcycle and flips his way on to the top of the statue. According to a new bonus feature for the movie, somebody actually did exactly that without the help of CGI.
To be fair, it wasn't an entirely unaided stunt. The statue, while quite large, wasn't as big as it appears in the film, and it was done in front of a green screen with wires attached to Dwayne Johnson's stuntman as he made his epic leap. However, as second unit director Jack Gill reveals in one of the bonus features in the forthcoming Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Blu-Ray, everything you see in the sequence was done in reality, and in a single shot...
The only CGI that was added to the sequence, other than the green screen, was the removing of cables on the stuntperson. Beyond that, the shot was done in reality on a soundstage. It's certainly an involved stunt that required the actual construction of the panther statue to leap off of among other things. It shows that the cast and crew were dedicated to making the action in the film as real as possible.
Today it feels like most movies default to CGI when there's a need to create something that is difficult to put on screen. However, in the case of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, it's clear that the goal was to use CGI only to embellish and polish effects, rather than to create them. They were used to create the wild animals that roamed the world of Jumanji, but even the sequence where Jack Black was eaten by a hippo involved Black, or a stuntman, being hung by wires in the position of being eaten, so the CGI could be created around him. Sometimes what you see in the movies is more real than you might think, even in a film like Jumanji.