Why Jumanji: The Next Level Pulled Danny Glover's Lethal Weapon Callback

Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart in Jumanji: The Next Level
(Image credit: (Sony))

When Hollywood puts together a dynamic duo such as Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, there’s no pulling them apart. The towering action star and the 5’3 fast-talking comedian make for an incredible combination. As they return to play avatars in Jumanji: The Next Level, audiences will get to witness the pair channeling a couple of legends. Johnson’s Smoulder Bravestone takes on Danny DeVito’s grandfather character and Hart’s Franklin “Mouse” Finbar as Danny Glover’s.

It’s a hilarious set up and The Rock and Kevin Hart must have had a blast on set! And turns out, Hart couldn’t help doing an impression of Danny Glover’s famous role of Roger Murtaugh in the classic movie Lethal Weapon. As director Jake Kasdan recently said on a recent episode of CinemaBlend’s podcast, ReelBlend:

Yeah, absolutely, it happened in a few places! It was hard to get it in there, but that is something that was [in the movie] until the very end. … The one that was almost in there was in a ‘fighting with D.J.’ moment. It was one of those scenes. He’d be arguing with D.J. D.J.’s being obnoxious, and he’d say, ‘I’m getting too old for this shit.’

Well this sounds hilarious! In a few moments between Kevin Hart and D.J (Dwayne Johnson), the comedian brought back an iconic Lethal Weapon line that would certainly have had fans of the buddy cop movie busting up laughing. These moments were in many edits of the movie, but ultimately were cut from the theatrical release. Here’s why, per what the producers of Jumanji: The Next Level told CinemaBlend:

Matt Tolmach: It just felt like it wasn’t ours.Hiram Garcia: And also, that’s, again, it's gauging,… it’s audience stuff. It's like, if the audience didn't bang on it, as much as we love it again, it's a little bit dated right now, and people weren’t landing on it.

Makes sense! Jumanji: The Next Level is already a sequel to a reboot of another franchise. To also pull from Danny Glover’s Murtaugh may have felt like a step too far. The producers wanted to allow The Next Level to carve out its own laughs without having to relying on other franchises. As Hiram Garcia also touches upon, much of the audience who will be going out to see the new Jumanji may not have been introduced to the R-rated 1987 action flick just yet.

It is a bummer for Lethal Weapon fans to hear! It would have been hilarious to hear Kevin Hart say with his Danny Glover impression. Even so, it’s exciting to have Glover and Danny DeVito playing roles in the film, along with the return of Jack Black and Karen Gillan’s game avatars. Jumanji: The Next Level also stars Nick Jonas once again, with the addition of Crazy Rich Asians’ Awkwafina as a character named Ming.

The sequel opens just one week prior to Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker on December 13 -- the same stakes as when Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle went up against The Last Jedi back in 2017 and made $960 million globally!

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.