Social media lit up with excited chatter after Sony Pictures boss Tom Rothman confirmed at CinemaCon back in April that Smolder Bravestone was set to return for Jumanji 3 in December 2019.
The news from Sony that the game wasn’t over for Bravestone and the rest of the gang came only four months after Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle hit theaters.
Although the news came sooner than expected, it did not come entirely as a surprise to fans who had been anticipating the return of the game avatars for more hair-raising jungle adventure after the Jake Kadsan-directed sequel to Joe Johnston’s original 1995 Jumanji earned rave reviews and then went on to become a monster blockbuster at the domestic and worldwide box office over the 2017 holiday season.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle raked in nearly $1 billion at the box office on a budget of only about $100 million, and ended up as Sony’s highest domestic grossing movie of all time, beating Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man (2002).
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It’s official: Last night you made JUMANJI, Sony’s biggest movie ever. EVER. Previous record held by SpiderMan. My #1 goal is always giving the audience what they want and always sending ya home happy. Working on the sequel now, so bye bye @kevinhart4real’s character. 😂🖕🏾 Love y’all 🤟🏾 and THANK YOU. #JUMANJI #SonysBiggestMovieEver #Grateful
The phenomenal breakout success of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle explains why Sony simply couldn’t wait to bring back the team of Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, and Jack Black, alongside director Jake Kasdan, and writers Jeff Pinker and Scott Rosenberg, for another shot at a winter holiday season mega-hit.
Although Jumanji 3 is still in the early stages of development, fans are already marking their calendars in anticipation. And ahead of the premiere, we bring you everything you need to know about Jumanji 3.
Jumanji 3 release date
Rothman had announced at the CinemaCon in April 2018 that Jumanji 3 was being targeted for a Christmas 2019 release, meaning that Sony was planning yet again to put Jumanji up against Star Wars.
Lucasfilms and J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode IX, the latest and final installment in the ongoing Stars Wars sequel trilogy, is currently set to open in theaters in the U.S. on December 20, 2019.
Dwayne Johnson caused excitement when he announced the release date for Jumanji 3 through a teaser posted to his Instagram on Wednesday, June 27, 2018. He confirmed earlier reports that Sony had greenlit Jumaji 3, and revealed that the film was set to hit theaters on December 13, 2019, nearly two weeks before Christmas.
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Officially planting our JUMANJI flag. On DECEMBER 13th, 2019 – the game is not over. I hold JUMANJI very close to my heart and I’m beyond grateful you made our movie into the global juggernaut ($1BILLION+) it became. Can’t wait for you to see what our new adventure & new characters have in store as Christmas comes early. And once again, I get to slap @kevinhart4real’s lip’s into next week. The world is happy. #FearTheDrums #TheGameIsNotOver #JUMANJI DECEMBER 13th, 2019
Jumanji production details
Johnson’s Instagram teaser also declared that “The Game Is Not Over,” and that fans can look forward to The Rock, Karen Gillan, Jack Black, and Kevin Hart, reprising their respective roles in Jumanji 3.
Johnson also expressed gratitude to fans for their support.
“I hold Jumanji very close to my heart and I’m beyond grateful you made our movie into the global juggernaut it became,” he wrote. “Can’t wait for you to see what our new adventure and new characters have in store as Christmas comes early.”
“And once again, I get to slap @kevinhart4real’s lip’s into next week. The world is happy,” he added.
The jab at Hart wasn’t enough for Johnson. He went back again to ribbing Hart in a post to Twitter later in October, comparing his Jumanji co-star to his little daughter.
My lil’ Jasmine Lia luvs watchin me clang & bang in the #IronParadise. Warms my cold black heart 🖤 as she sits in awe..
“Wow daddy you’re so strong” while I hammer away 🔨 💪🏾
Ironically, my baby son @kevinhart4real does the exact same thing too when watching his daddy. #HWITR pic.twitter.com/4nnqy7XWBI
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) October 12, 2018
Kevin Hart responded quickly to the taunt.
If I was in there I would of taken a 15lb weight & knocked your big ass out with it & then I would've taken a shit in the middle of that awful iron paradise of yours https://t.co/FCG8R2tDPI
— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) October 12, 2018
Johnson and Hart have a history of ribbing each other on social media, and Johnson is known to have pranked Hart multiple times on the set of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Johnson once published a video of one of his pranks targeting Hart during filming.
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Happy Halloween @kevinhart4real! 😂 You can see the big fake furry spider 🕷I have in my right hand that I throw on Kevin before our take. You gotta understand that when we're asked to lay down in these jungles – when you look closely on the ground – it's literally moving with all kinds of bugs, spiders and centipedes. It's Kev's worst nightmare and some of the funniest shit I've seen when he thinks something is crawling on him. Non stop laughs with my guy on this movie. We always make it fun. 👊🏾💯 #OnSet #Jumanji #OnLocation #Hawaii #CasuallyLayingOnCentipedes
Hart recently admitted to People that Johnson constantly pranked him while they filmed Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle in Honolulu, Hawaii, planting fake spiders, insects and snakes near him because he knew that Hart has a fear of creepy-crawly things.
But the two are known to be great friends. Pranking and ribbing only happens to be their way of expressing their friendship.
Hart told People that although he was looking forward to the opportunity to work with Johnson again, one thing he would like to change about Jumanji 3 was the jungle filming location which gave Johnson ample opportunities to prank him.
“He (Johnson) was pretty out of control when we were in Hawaii shooting because he knows I don’t like insects,” Hart said. “He would plant fake spiders and snakes around me to scare me. I didn’t like that at all.”
“[But] we do great work together. That chemistry isn’t forced, it’s real,” he continued. “When you have an opportunity to continue and keep it going you step up to the plate.”
Considering that Rothman had confirmed at CinemaCon that Jumanji 3 was set for another Christmas 2019 release opposite Star Wars, Sony execs apparently later change their minds about pitting Jumanji against Star Wars.
The current December 13 release date gives Jumanji 3 a week to make a killing at the box office before Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters on December 20, 2019. But the date pits Jumanji 3 directly against a yet untitled Blumhouse release also set to premiere on December 20, and widely rumored to be a Friday the 13th reboot.
Sony’s live-action Masters of the Universe reboot is still set for December 18, but it is widely conjectured that the studios will likely change the date to head off a box office clash with Jumanji.
The film release schedule for December 2019 will remain tight even if Sony decides to move Masters of the Universe away from its current release date. Jumanji and Star Wars: Episode IX will likely give impressive box office performances once again. And even if Jumanji is unable to go toe-to-toe with Star Wars as it did in 2017, it could still give the J. J. Abrams’ production a run for their money.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle proved to be a runaway hit in 2017, raking in a whopping $961 million at the box office worldwide. The film premiered in the U.S. on Dec 20, 2017, 11 days after Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi premiered at L.A.’s Shrine Auditorium on December 9, 2017.
Jumanji hit the number one spot within two weeks. It retained the top position for three consecutive weeks, breaking Titanic’s box office record to become Sony’s biggest domestic film ever.
The movie also received rave reviews, with a 76 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 211 critical reviews, and a “generally favorable” Metascore of 58 based on 44 critical reviews on Metacritic.
Jake Kasdan is returning to direct the film, with co-writers Jeff Pinker and Scott Rosenberg working on the screenplay. The creative team will be challenged to top their previous success.
Filming of the movie was planned to begin in early 2019. Kasdan, who also directed Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, revealed in a July interview with Collider that he hoped that Jumanji 3 would go into production early in 2019.
The producers had initially planned to start filming Jumanji 3 in the fall of 2018, but Kasdan said that would no longer be possible because they were still writing the script in July.
Movieweb later reported in October that Sony had confirmed that Jumanji 3 will begin filming on January 21, 2019, in Atlanta, Georgia, and that filming will also take place in Hawaii.
Filming is expected to last about three months and wrap up at the end of April 2019.
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That's an official wrap on #JUMANJI! (just wait to the end of this to hear what @jackblack felt he had to announce;). As I'm saying in this vid, I can't express my gratitude enough for our incredibly hard working and brilliant production crew – the backbone and spirit of our business. THANK YOU and look forward to seeing you all down the road. We made a great movie that honors and evolves the cool and dangerous #Jumanji mythology – one that that I think the world's gonna dig. And finally, like so many of us, Robin Williams was a hero of mine and one of the main reasons why I signed on and wanted to make and produce this film. Pay homage to the legend of "Alan Parrish" (name of Robin's character in the original). Thank you to the William's family for their support. I truly believe we made something you guys will be proud of. Until then that's a DJ wrap. And to quote ol' Luke the Drifter, Hank Williams himself… If the good Lord's willin' and the creek don't rise, I'll see you down the road. #Jumanji #OfficialWrap #AndJackBlackWithTheTurtleHeadAction #NiceOneBuddy 😂👊🏾
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle had also filmed in Honolulu, Hawaii and Atlanta, Georgia.
The original Jumanji, starring Robin Williams as Alan Parrish, and Bonnie Hunt as Sarah Whittle, had premiered on December 15, 1995. Sony first announced plans to remake the original Jumaji (1995) in 2012.
In 2015, Sony revealed that the remake was planned for release in 2016. But the studio was forced to put the project on hold following a backlash when fans expressed the view that 2016 was too soon after Robin Williams’ death.
The plans for the remake took off again in 2016 when Sony announced that Dwayne Johnson had signed on to star in the remake.
Jumanji 2: Welcome to the Jungle finally went into production in September 2016. Most of the filming took place in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Part of Jumanji 3 will also be filmed in Hawaii.
It remains to be seen whether Johnson’s recent busy schedule, which has included filming his latest Fast & Furious spin-off Hobbs & Shaw with co-star Jason Statham, will interfere with the filming schedule for Jumanji 3.
However, Johnson certainly understands the need to strike while the iron is hot and would therefore likely rearrange his schedule to give the filming of Jumanji priority. So it is likely that Sony and Johnson will stick to the schedule imposed by the choice of December 13, 2019, as the release date.
Jumanji 3 cast
Rothman had confirmed in April that Dwayne Johnson would reprise his role as Smolder Bravestone in Jumanji 3, but he gave no word at the time about Johnson’s co-stars, including Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan. He also gave no hint whether the teenage gamers would return for Jumanji 3.
However, Johnson confirmed in June 2018 that Gillan was set to reprise her role as Ruby Roundhouse, Black as Sheldon Oberon, and Hart as Franklin Finbar.
Dwayne’s Instagram teaser did not reveal any additional information about the cast for Jumanji 3 besides stating that it will also include new characters that did not appear in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
Thus, any of the other Welcome to the Jungle cast members, including Alex Wolff, Morgan Turner, Marc Evan Jackson, Maribeth Monroe, Nick Jonas, Colin Hanks, Missi Pyle, Madison Iseman, Ser’Darius Blain, and Bobby Cannavale, could also return for Jumanji 3.
Based on the ending of Welcome to the Jungle, it seems that Nick Jonas might not return as Jefferson “Seaplane” McDonough. But some fans have argued that Jonas could return to record the new theme with Jack Black.
Jumanji 3 plot
Jumanji (1995) told the story of Alan Parrish (Robin Williams) who was trapped inside the world of a jungle-themed board game and was accidentally returned to the modern world by two children who found the board in the attic of their new home and played it.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) told the story of four teenagers who found a jungle-themed Jumanji video game while serving detention. They were sucked into the bodies of the gaming avatars and trapped in the jungle world of the video game.
The movie follows the teenagers’ adventures in the bodies of their avatars as they desperately tried to escape alive from the video game world and return home. Johnson, Hart, Black and Gillan, played the roles of the game avatars of the teenagers.
With the movie producers having let slip only very little information about the plot and storyline of the upcoming Jumaji 3, fans are left to speculate and guess what to expect of it.
The ending of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle gave fans a very little hint about what to expect of Jumanji 3. The teenagers destroyed the cartridge for the game after their terrifying adventure to prevent anyone else from playing it again.
Although the game cartridge was destroyed, the game could magically regenerate itself and return with a vengeance.
Fans of the original Jumanji were delighted by the upgrade of the ancient board game in the 1995 movie to a video game in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017). Will the next jungle adventure take place through a game on a smartphone, a more modern gaming console or a virtual reality set?
The upgrade planned for the upcoming film– if any — remains to be seen.
Some members of the cast have suggested that Jumanji 3 could explore the origins of the original board game which is supposed to have been created around 1869.
Some fans have even suggested that the player-avatar roles could be reversed in Jumanji 3, with the avatars entering the real world to interact with the players, or the players getting trapped in the game world while the avatars take their places in the real world.
Many fans have also suggested that a possible twist might be to allow the actors to play their avatar characters with new player personalities. Gillan, for instance, has suggested that she would like to “play an old man.”
Jake Kasdan confirmed in August that Jumanji 3 will connect primarily to Welcome to the Jungle, but will still make references to the original Jumanji film.
“Our hope is to keep a long continuity through the whole thing, even though the story that we’re telling in the second movie, the movie that we’re working on right now is much more connected to the first movie that I made a year ago than it is to the original,” he said. “We love the idea of keeping all of this together and connected in some way or another.”
He also confirmed that Jumanji 3 will continue the video game plot theme.
“I believe it’ll be sort of a continuation of that idea,” he added.
Some fans have urged that Jumanji 3 should try to keep alive Alan Parrish’s original story as a tribute to Williams whose original movie launched the Jumanji franchise.
Regardless, director Kasdan has tried to reassure fans that Jumanji 3 will live up to the success of Welcome to the Jungle rather than merely ride on its coattails. But it is clear that the scale of the success of Welcome to the Jungle will prove a great challenge to match.