After the huge success of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, it was inevitable that a third Jumanji movie would be produced. The second installment of the Jumanji franchise scooped around $1 billion at the box office which was more than enough to give producers the confidence that a sequel to Welcome to the Jungle would have plenty of demand.
There’s no doubt their faith is rightly placed. Jumanji is still a hugely popular film franchise among families of all ages and there’s plenty of merchandise and alternative media out there to prove it. From the animated TV series to the PlayStation 2 video game and the Pachinko game developed by Fujishoji, this fantasy adventure classic retains its global appeal. It’s even one of the most popular video slot titles with leading iGaming platforms including Casino Cruise.
Dwayne Johnson recently discussed the prospect of Jumanji 3 reaching our cinema screens in the near future and teased the release by talking tongue-in-cheek about his close pal and co-star, Kevin Hart. Johnson insisted that he would attempt to use his creative control over the film’s producers to “kill off” Hart after he scooped the Comedy Act award at the People’s Choice Awards.
Kevin Hart starred alongside Johnson in Central Intelligence and playfully took a swipe at Johnson on stage during his acceptance speech at the People’s Choice Awards. Hart joked: “I’m better than Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson; let’s just underline that. In your face, people don’t like you – they like me.”
In response to Hart’s dramatics on-stage, Johnson posted on his social media handle with a middle finger emoji: “I mean I’m happy for my son, but you gotta be s****in’ me?! I do all the heavy lifting in our comedy act and HE takes home the gold?
“Welp, seeing as I’m the producer of Jumanji, guess who’s [sic] character is gonna die in the opening scene when we start shooting in Jan. #BuhByeKev ”.
Although the histrionics between Johnson and Hart is all good-natured, the real story within this is that the sequel to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is due to begin shooting in early January 2019. Welcome to the Jungle was Sony’s highest-grossing domestic release ever on the big screen, with the previous record held by SpiderMan. That’s some achievement when you consider the Jumanji original came out more than two decades ago.
Half of the four writers credited with putting together Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle are said to be involved in its sequel. Earlier this year, reports suggested that Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg were both primed to pen the third installment of the Jumanji movie franchise. Director, Jake Kasdan is also expected to be at the helm of the sequel.
Although no concrete release date has been set, it is common knowledge that Sony is keen to pencil in a December 2019 release for the festive season. Given that they are starting to shoot in January, this could be a tight squeeze. Sony will also need to be mindful that a December 2019 release would pit them against Star Wars 9 in the box office, something which they may be keen to avoid.