You're in the jungle baby! And it is pretty cool. More than twenty years later, we are finally getting a sequel to Jumanji and, in a world full of reboots that nobody asked for, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle actually looks pretty awesome so far. Sadly, it won't be able to feature the late Robin Williams, but Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is doing his best to help fill that void and, based on this first sneak peak, it looks like he just may be able to pull it off.
Sony Pictures dropped the first trailer for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle today, as promised, following a couple of brief trailer teases earlier in the week. This movie is going to be able to capitalize on some nostalgia, no doubt, but it is also going to benefit from modern special effects, which is very clear here. Director Joe Johnston did the best he could in 1995 on the original Jumanji and, thanks to his use of practical effects, it still holds up pretty well, but this looks like a pretty big improvement, at least in that department. Did you see that hippo? The jury is still out on the movie overall, but this is a good start.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is not actually a reboot, Instead, this serves as a sequel to the original, but taking place in an entirely new setting with new characters. The sequel sees four high school kids who discover an old video game console, as opposed to a board game (though that does show up in the trailer) and are drawn into the game's jungle setting, transforming into the adult avatars they chose. They soon discover that Jumanji is a dangerous game that you must literally survive. It quickly becomes clear that they need to beat the game and return to the real world. If they can't, they will be stuck there forever.
Dwayne Johnson is going to have some help in trying to honor the memory of Robin Williams, who played Alan in the original Jumanji, as Sony has assembled a pretty impressive cast for the sequel. The Rock's Central Intelligence co-star Kevin Hart is along for the ride, along with Karen Gillan (Doctor Who, Guardians of the Galaxy) and Jack Black (Goosebumps), who round out the group of four who wind up trapped in the game. Jake Kasdan (Bad Teacher, Walk Hard) is directing the movie and, even though he isn't a big name talent, he has a lot of star power in front of the camera, which should go a long way.
Jumanji 2 is hitting theaters on December 20, meaning it is coming out just five days after Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Can Dwayne Johnson's popularity at the box office overcome that? We'll have to wait and see, but this looks like it could be a pleasant surprise and a sleeper hit for Sony. Be sure to check out the first trailer for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle for yourself below.