Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle… Again?
The charm of Dwayne Johnson has struck again. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is getting a sequel. Granted, it wasn’t just him that made the blockbuster an unexpected smash-hit. Jack Black proved his acting range by embodying the personality of a social media-obsessed teenage white girl. And Kevin Hart got to make short jokes, while Karen Gillan got to kick lots of ass. We’ve listed five awesome things about that film here.
Out of the gate the movie didn’t have the strongest opening, coming in at second place. But due to probable word-of-mouth, curiosity, and a need to escape the current craziness of the world (we’re all gonna be just fine…) it has grossed over $400 million domestically.
Now the question is, how do you write a sequel to movie that A) no one really asked for and many didn’t want, and B) was probably counting a lot on surprise for its humour. Here are some suggestions.
1. The Cast: Keep the Old and Add On
Like any movie that surprises people on how good it actually is (2012’s 21 Jump Street), casting is crucial. And while it’s probably a no-brainer, it’s crucial that Johnson and company come back. There is no reason they shouldn’t just start throwing money at the main cast. We need that smoulder back.
With any new version of a game comes new characters, and not just the computer simulated ones like the one New Zealand actor and comedian Rhys Darby played. Having new playable characters would allow new cast members to be added to the group, which would allow the teens to bring some of their friends into the group. This would be a great moment to up the diversity factor.
2. Attack of the Glitch!
They could go back into the game as the characters they were before, but a glitch in the game could make things go randomly awry. Video games are known to have glitches, especially when they’re first released. This could lead to someone’s arm getting stuck in a wall for no reason with no way other than to die and re-enter the game. Or maybe it could cause two people to inhabit the same character.
3. New Jumanji Game, New Console
When you look at the graphics on the screen you can tell it’s a pretty old video game. Now that this was so successful you could level up in different ways. First off, since they beat that game it would only be logical for the next movie to revolve around a sequel of sorts to the original game. Because not only would a new game come with a brand new adventure, it would also enable the characters to evolve, and that exploration of the characters’ abilities and weaknesses was responsible for many of the movie’s most memorable moments.
You could also upgrade the gaming console. It wasn’t very clear what system they were using (which I’m sure had nothing to with licensing issues), so there is a little bit of freedom there. But many consoles are also experimenting with many of the same new technological advances.
Maybe they could introduce online play of some sort. However, it would be hard to keep a PG rating with that feature, as you could not possibly represent the ‘thrill’ of online gameplay without the voices of pesky children using language that suggests their parents should try and spend just a tad bit more time with them.
4. Explore Deeper Issues
The teens we’re introduced to all have their issues they’re dealing with. And once they get inside the game their insecurities are slowly revealed as they have to work together. But the movie didn’t sacrifice the fun factor for it. They were just little moments that showed how much they were each going through no matter what kind of front they were putting on.
The sequel will likely take place a couple of years in the future, which will show these characters in different stages of their life. So they could explore their struggles such as expectations others have of them and just trying to find their place in the world. A diverse cast could also help explore issues such as sexual identity, gender identity, and more.
It Starts With the Trailer
Let’s be honest, people are going to see the Jumanji sequel on opening weekend as long as the trailers don’t look horrible. And as long as they don’t rehash any old jokes from the first movie they should be fine.
Still, looking into the areas above would certainly add to the story and make for an exciting movie-going experience.