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Kevin Hart in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

In the world of Jumanji, one thing is certain: when you play the game, chaos and pandemonium will ensue. 2017’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle saw the classic board game from the 1995 original being turned into a video game, with four teenagers being drawn in and turned into game avatars. That formula will be repeated for Jumanji 3 later this year, but returning star Kevin Hart says the threequel will raise the stakes even higher, resulting in a riskier adventure for the protagonists. In his words:

Back in the world of Jumanji, but the beautiful thing about the way we set it is through the video game atmosphere. In this particular case, we go back into the game and we’re in a new level. And the way we got back into the game is the way we didn’t want to get back into the game. The same people are there. Our same band is back together with this adventure on a much more risky adventure. The stakes have been elevated and raised. For a fan base, you want to give them the same family action adventure they fell in love with. So we just wanted to make sure we delivered. Jake Kasdan, our director and writer, he does just that.

As Kevin Hart alluded to, a good sequel retains the elements that made its predecessor(s) popular, while also giving audiences plenty of new material to chew on. We already knew Jumanji 3 would be delving back into the video game world, and while Hart can’t divulge any specific plot details just yet, evidently what the teenagers went through in Welcome to the Jungle will pale in comparison to what’s in store for them this time around.

Kevin Hart’s comment about a “new level” to Collider is particularly interesting, as it means that the main characters won’t have to deal with the same challenges they faced last time. Still, with rampaging animals, mercenaries on their tail and an assortment of other obstacles and problems, it’s not like the events of Welcome to the Jungle were a cakewalk. Fingers crossed we get a Jumanji 3 trailer soon so that we can learn what dangers lurk around the corner.

One thing that isn’t changing in Jumanji 3 is the avatars within the video game, as along with Kevin Hart reprising Moose Finbar, Dwayne Johnson’s Dr. Smolder Bravestone, Jack Black’s Professor Shelly Oberon, Karen Gillan’s Ruby Roundhouse and even Nick Jonas’ Seaplane McDonough will all be back, as will Rhys Darby’s Nigel Billingsley, the NPC who guided them in Welcome to the Jungle. As mentioned earlier, the same teenagers will also be playing the game again: Alex Wolff’s Spencer Gilpin, Madison Iseman’s Bethany Waler, Ser’Darius Blain’s Fridge Johnson and Morgan Turner’s Martha Haply.

As for new faces, Awkwafina, Danny DeVito, Danny Glover and Dania Ramirez have all joined Jumanji 3’s cast, although their characters haven’t been identified yet. Filming on the threequel began in January in both Atlanta, Georgia and Hawaii, and is expected to finish at the end of the month.

Welcome to the Jungle was definitely one of the surprise cinematic successes of 2017, receiving many positive reviews taking in over $962 million worldwide during its theatrical run. We’ll have to wait and see if Jumanji 3 comes close to reaching that same level of critical and commercial reception, but going off of Kevin Hart’s comments, director and writer Jake Kasdan has done his best to deliver a fresh story that will ideally put a lot of butts in seats again.

Jumanji 3 heads into theaters on December 13, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for continuing coverage. In the meantime, look through our 2019 release schedule to learn what other movies are coming out later this year.