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Nobody knew quite what to expect from Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. The film was a strange combination of sequel and reboot that technically followed the first Jumanji's events but otherwise had little in common with it. The film ended up being a colossal hit, making nearly $1 billion at the global box office and very quickly green lighting a sequel, which was good news for a lot of reasons, including that the next film would have the chance to use some fun ideas that didn't end up making it into the earlier film.
In the special features attached to the Blu-ray release of Jumanji: The Next Level, director Jake Kasdan reveals that one action sequence in the movie, where the video game avatars are chased by mandrills while leaping across floating platforms, was actually originally designed for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. According to Kasdan...
The bridges are a sequence that we started to develop for the first movie. So that’s an idea that had been in our heads and something we’d been talking about for quite a while.
In Jumanji: The Next Level, the characters are making their way to a castle when they find a large ravine full of hanging bridges. Once the heroes jump on the first one, the bridges begin to move, leading to a circuitous and dangerous path across the gap. To make matters worse, a troop of angry mandrills is also there making things difficult.
The scene isn't specifically necessary in either movie. It's just a fun action sequence that puts a video game like obstacle in the way of the characters. It could have easily been placed in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, perhaps in place of the rhino stampede, but apparently it was decided that it didn't quite work as well as some of the other ideas they had, and so it was left out.
Then, when it came time to put together the sequel, the bridge idea was dusted off and brought back. The feeling was that this time the sequence fit better into the story and so it was used. The bridge sequence was actually the first thing that was filmed when Jumanji: The Next Level started shooting, so clearly this time everybody was confident it would work.
If one idea was created during the first movie that wasn't used, there certainly could have been others, as well as concepts born during The Next Level that weren't used. At this point, it's unclear if another Jumanji could be on the way. The newest film didn't do quite as well at the box office as Welcome to the Jungle, but it still made plenty of money, more than enough to be considered a box office success, and so perhaps we will see more Jumanji down the road.
Jumanji: The Next Level is now available on Digital, Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K.