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Exclusive: JUMANJI Story Details

Exclusive: JUMANJI Story Details


Remember the 90’s? I was a teenager when the original Jumanji came out in 1995. I saw it a drive-thru theater during a Christmas vacation in South Florida. It was the late Robin Williams’ first commercial film after Mrs. Doubtfire, so the hype surrounding it was pretty big. I barely remember the movie at all. It had to do a with a jungle adventure board game coming to life. Somehow Robin’s character had been stuck in the Jumanji world since the late 60’s. This new project is a reimagining of the original film and the book by Chris Van Allsburg on which it was based upon.

Ever wondered what would It be like to have The Rock, Jack Black and Kevin Hart controlled by bumbling teenagers? Jumanji will answer that weird proposition. This project combines every nostalgic idea together. Four very different teenagers get stuck together during detention. We have Spencer (Alex Wolff), the bullied super geek. There’s Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain), the dumb football playing jock and finally the two girls: the selfie-addicted Bethany (Madison Iseman) and the very awkward Martha (Morgan Turner). Sounds familiar?  Let’s go back in time to the offices of Sony where this project was pitched:

Writer: So, it’s THE BREAKFAST CLUB… stuck in JUMANJI!

Producer: But it’s now a Videogame! And the kids have Avatars, so they’re playing someone else in the game!

Studio exec looks at the cover of The Hollywood Reporter and sees Kevin Hart and The Rock promoting Central Intelligence.

Studio Exec: Can it be The Rock and Kevin Hart?

Producer: Of Course!

Studio Exec: We also owe Jack Black a good payday after Goosebumps.

Producer: Sure, We’ll take him!

The skinny geek becomes The Rock, the big football jock is Kevin Hart, the popular teenage girl plays Jack Black and the awkward girl becomes hottie Karen Gillan. Once in the game, they team up and learn to become friends. Each of them grows up and discover that their life is not as bad as they thought. The comedic potential is high having those popular stars being “Freaky Friday” by a bunch of teenagers. The screenplay is well-written and the story moves incredibly fast. It should be a huge hit at Christmas.

The trailer should debut this week at CinemaCon. I’m making one prediction, we’ll see The Rock calling Kevin Hart “Mini-Fridge”.

And yes, they’re setting up a sequel!


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About The Author

Jean-François Allaire

Jean-François Allaire is a true movie geek. In the past 20 years, he's written for Scr(i)pt magazine, Screenwriters Monthly and many websites (Corona's Coming Attractions, TNMC, Filmjerk and Joblo.) For the past decade, he's worked in the Canadian film industry as a distributor, screenwriting consultant and VOD expert. You can send him an email to:

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