Dwayne Johnson will soon be playing a game for those who wish to find a way to leave their world behind in Sony’s upcoming reboot of Jumanji. And with shooting on the film is expected to begin this fall, Johnson took to Instagram to clarify a few details about the reboot — and pay tribute to original Jumanji star Robin Williams.
Calling the reboot “a new re-imagining of this amazing story,” Johnson wrote that the new family-friendly film will draw more from Chris Van Allsburg’s original children’s book than the 1995 hit movie, which starred Bradley Pierce, Kirsten Dunst, and Bonnie Hunt. Still, Johnson promised that the new Jumanji will recognize the late Williams in some way.
“The love and respect I have for this man is boundless,” Johnson wrote. “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.”
WANT MORE EW? Subscribe now to keep up with the latest in movies, television and music.
Johnson also shared the story of the first time he met Williams — and was so intimidated he could barely speak.
“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,” he added. “Idiot. He literally calmed me down w/ that smile and laugh.”
So far, The Rock is the only official cast member to sign on, but last month, EW confirmed that Kevin Hart was also in very early talks to join the cast. In his Instagram post, Johnson added that instead of the original film’s three main roles, the reboot has five, and additional casting info should be announced this week.
Bad Teacher director Jake Kasdan is helming the project, and Johnson is also serving as producer, alongside Matt Tolmach. The new Jumanji is slated to hit theaters on July 28, 2017.
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