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Jumanji remake promises to respect Robin Williams’ legacy as Jack Black is cast

on May 12, 2016, 12:53am

Because nothing in Hollywood is sacred, Sony has commissioned a reboot of Robin Williams’ 1995 fantasy adventure epic Jumanji with Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart cast in the lead roles.

Production on the film formally began this week, and with it came news of a third major cast member. Jack Black has signed on for the project, and Johnson is expecting big things. “A brilliant actor who I’m confident will turn in a performance of a lifetime for Jumanji (when we reveal his character you’ll understand),” Johnson wrote in an Instagram posting. “In our reimagining of the story of Jumanji, Jack brings that rare balance of cool with funny and edge with childlike joy.”

Two additional roles are still to be announced, including “one bad ass girl” and “one semi-sorta bad ass dude,” according to Johnson.

In a separate Instagram post, Johnson promised to respect the legacy of Williams and the original Jumanji film. “The love and respect I have for this man is boundless. You have my word, we will honor his name and the character of ‘Alan Parrish’ will stand alone and be forever immortalized in the world of Jumanji in an earnest and cool way. I have an idea of what to do and I think his family will be proud. I also think Robin is somewhere lookin’ down and laughing, remembering the first time we met backstage and I (for the first time ever) was a star struck bumbling idiot that couldn’t even get my words out. Idiot. He literally calmed me down with that smile and laugh. But that’s for another fun story down the road.”

Jake Kasdan (Bad Teacher, Walk Hard) is helming the remake, with an expected release date set for 2017.

View this post on Instagram

And the #JUMANJI magic begins. Excellent meeting with our director Jake Kasdan, producer Matt Tolmach, and our @SevenBucksProd team to work on our new re-imagining of this amazing story. I felt like in order to craft something cool we should begin where it all started. Award winning writer Chris Van Allsburg's source material of JUMANJI. Chris also wrote THE POLAR EXPRESS (later adapted by Robert Zemeckis and Tom Hanks) and has a very special & magical way of storytelling. I'm feelin' good and confident stepping into these shoes as a producer as well as actor to bring you something great that you and your entire fam can enjoy. An important thing that I want to be honest and bring up is Robin Williams. The love and respect I have for this man is boundless. You have my word, we will honor his name and the character of "Alan Parrish" will stand alone and be forever immortalized in the world of JUMANJI in an earnest and cool way. I have an idea of what to do and I think his family will be proud. I also think Robin is somewhere lookin' down and laughing, remembering the first time we met backstage and I (for the first time ever) was a star struck bumbling idiot that couldn't even get my words out. Idiot. He literally calmed me down w/ that smile and laugh. But that's for another fun story down the road. We got a great team assembled already over at our home base of SONY and now we build from here. Here's another fun part… in the original movie there were three big roles. In our new story there's now FIVE. Been so damn cool to see all my actor buddies push their projects aside so hopefully they can come play in our world. Should have cool casting announcements this week. Will keep you posted. #TheMagicBegins #JustPressStart #JUMANJI

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