Jumanji remake adds “The Rock” to cast

By Jasmin Faisal, LIFESTYLE EDITOR
On April 24, 2016

In the age of remakes, movie hits from the 90s have become fair game, and “Jumanji” is next on Hollywood’s list. But no one could have guessed whom filmmakers had their sights on to star in the upcoming reboot.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson posted a statement on Instagram Friday confirming his role.

“We’ll produce and deliver to a whole new generation a title that I love and is one of my all time favs: There’s games you play for fun ... then there’s games that change your life,” Johnson posted.

It’s been 21 years since the iconic film “Jumanji” hit the big screen for the first time. 

Originally a children’s book written by Chris Van Allsburg, the story follows two siblings as they play what appears to be a harmless board game called “Jumanji.” 

However, things quickly get out of hand when they realize that everything happening in the game is being acted out in reality, and the only way to change everything back to normal is to finish the game. 

They eventually discover that they can’t continue without the two original players who started the game in 1969, one of whom had been trapped inside the game for 26 years.

The original all-star cast included Kirsten Dunst and Bradley Pierce as the two siblings, Bonnie Hunt as Sarah Whittle, one of the two original players, and the late Robin Williams as Alan Parrish, the player who got trapped.

According to Cinema Blend, “Jumanji” remake rumors started in 2012, and were confirmed in August when Sony released a list of its upcoming projects.

The rumors of Johnson starring in the film began when he co-hosted the 2016 MTV Movie Awards with “Central Intelligence” co-star Kevin Hart, who Variety reports may also star in the film.

This is not the only remake Johnson will be starring in. The former WWE star will also appear in the upcoming “Baywatch” reboot and video game adaptation, “Rampage.”

“To produce, create and deliver original properties to fans like HBO’s #ballers to this summer’s #CentralIntelligence is one of the best parts of my job,” Johnson wrote. 

“But to take great properties that are beloved worldwide like #BAYWATCH and #RAMPAGE and have the opportunity to reimagine their stories in dope new ways to a whole new generation is truly an honor.”

However, not everyone is as thrilled with the news of a new “Jumanji.” The original announcement was met with harsh critiques as millions of fans took to social media to express outrage over remaking the beloved classic.

“Forget about the fact that they are remaking a classic film from the ‘90s, which was also the gem of many people’s childhoods…but why on earth would you do this movie without the great Robin Williams?” wrote Jenna Mullins in an August 2015 article for E! News.

“Now that he’s no longer with us, can we all just agree to not touch his movies? He is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of actor, and we feel so sorry for anyone who is taking on a role that previously belonged to Robin Williams. So not only is the ‘Jumanji’ remake unnecessary and kind of insulting, but it’s in danger of tarnishing the onscreen legacy of one of the great comedians of our time.”

Johnson is keeping these critical fans in mind.

“I promise to deliver something cool and special,” he posted. “And not screw the whole damn thing up.”

Filming is scheduled to begin in fall, with the movie set to release in July 2017.

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