Warning: This article contains plot details about Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Read at your own risk.
In Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the phrase “game over” takes on a whole new meaning for the movie’s teenage protagonists, who find themselves trapped in a video game come to life and in danger of never returning to the real world.
For the filmmakers and cast, the question of how to bring the story to a satisfying conclusion — while also leaving the door open to further adventures — had its own high stakes as well, and several different endings were considered before settling on the final one.
“We played with a bunch of different endings,” producer Matt Tolmach said in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter. “There’s a trap when you make movies about games. You have to make sure they have stakes. We were very intent on making it clear that you could also not get out of the game. That idea was very important to us throughout.”
Welcome to the Jungle stars Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black as the video game avatars of four high schoolers, played by Alex Wolff, Morgan Turner, Ser’Darius Blain, and Maidson Iseman.
One plot line involves Wolff’s character, Spencer, mulling whether or not to remain in the digital jungle, and Gillan told THR, “In previous versions there was more of that where [Spencer] wanted to stay in the game with [Turner’s character]. We made way more of that.” She added, “It definitely could be interesting and would definitely leave it open to a sequel.”
Blain added that another possible ending involved a new iteration of the Jumanji game as a mobile app. “We start hearing the drums again and then everyone gets the game downloaded on their phones,” he said. “Then it’s like, ‘Oh, shoot! We’re all going to be sucked in.’ That would have been a cool way to go.”
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is in theaters now.