Jumanji was a surprise phenomenon in the ’90s. Based on a children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg, the premise involves two siblings who discover a magical jungle-themed board game that comes to life as they play. The film adaptation starred Robin Williams at the height of his ’90s prime and ended up being the tenth highest-grossing movie of 1995. A little over twenty years later, we’ll be seeing a new version of the story on the big screen.
Deadline reports that Jake Kasdan (director of the criminally unappreciated comedy classic Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story) will be directing this remake and the film will be hitting theaters this Christmas. Little is known at this moment about how much the new film’s plot will resemble the original’s, but I’m sure you can expect even crazier CGI animal shenanigans to abound.
Jumanji is certainly a touchstone for a certain generation; the movie was popular enough to inspire a cartoon spinoff and an actual board game adaptation. I recommend fans of Jumanji check out the spiritual sequel, Zathura (also based on a book by Van Allsburg), which is a much tighter take on the concept.
Will audiences be enticed to see a new version of this admittedly fantastic idea? We’ll find out this December when Kasdan’s new version hits the multiplex.