One of the biggest non-superhero movie success stories in recent memory is Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. The sequel/reboot of the nostalgic property was a record-breaking success for a number of reasons. One of those reasons was the chemistry of the cast, including Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. Their characters, Spencer and Fridge, had some hilarious interactions in the movie as they found their roles switched from the real world. But their onscreen relationship may not even be as funny as their offscreen one. On the set of the film, Dwayne Johnson was constantly pranking his co-star by playing on his fear of insects, as Kevin Hart explained:
He was pretty out of control when we were in Hawaii shooting because he knows I don't like insects. He would plant fake spiders and snakes around me to scare me. I didn't like that at all. Hopefully we green screen all of Jumanji 2.
The best pranks are the simplest one: simple, yet effective. That is a lot to be afraid of. When you have entomophobia, arachnophobia and ophidiophobia, and you let people know, well, that's just a recipe for people to mess with you. This is made all the funnier by the fact that we all know Kevin Hart as a boisterous and animated guy, which inevitably made it irresistible for Dwayne Johnson to prank him to see his reaction. We've seen Kevin Hart's genuine distress at being near a fake spider, and I'm sure this was a constant prank on the Jumanji set that never got old.
I can definitely see how shooting a movie on location in a jungle is probably not great if you're afraid of all of these things, but on the other hand, what better way to conquer those fears? Although it must be difficult to do that when a pranking co-star constantly fries your nerves. That's tough. What do you do when The Rock pranks you? Just say 'Thank you, sir,' I suspect. It doesn't sound like Kevin Hart has gotten over his fears either. Speaking with People, Kevin Hart is hoping that the sequel film, which has been confirmed, isn't quite so authentic, and instead goes the Jungle Book route by filming it all on green screen. That would certainly make more sense for a video game world, I suppose. Or maybe a sequel will go to space, where there are far fewer spiders, as Jack Black has suggested.
The dynamic between Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart is hilarious and entertaining onscreen and off, and I'm curious what the Jumanji sequel will do to amplify this while also doing something different from the last film. Confirming that Kevin Hart is in for more laughs at his expense, The Rock has already joked that as a producer, he would be killing off Kevin Hart's character in the next film. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle earned $959.8 million worldwide, and just like last year, it looks like the sequel could square off with Star Wars once again next December.