Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle director says sequel will move farther away from the 1995 original

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Aug 8, 2018, 12:25 PM EDT

When Sony announced that it was making a sequel/reboot to 1995's Jumanji, many folks were a tad skeptical (and rightfully so) that it could even stand next to the Robin Williams classic from director Joe Johnston.

However, a creative spin on the supernatural board game concept, with a surprising amount of commitment to its premise, allowed Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle to stand on its own as a fun and unique adventure film that still paid homage to the original. Armed with positive reviews, the movie remained at the top of the box office for several months, raking in more than $962 million.

As a result, you just know the studio had to greenlight a sequel with the original cast (Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Jack Black, and Kevin Hart) and director (Jake Kasdan) returning for a second helping of jungle madness. According to Kasdan himself, the follow-up will slowly move farther away from the 1995 movie and build out the mythology set up in Welcome to the Jungle

“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,” Kasdan told /Film. “We love the idea of keeping all of this together and connected in some way or another.”

As such, the sequel will most likely adhere to the video game concept.

“I believe it’ll be sort of a continuation of that idea, yeah,” he said. 

However, it would be very cool to see a reference to another Chris Van Allsburg book, Zathura, which utilized the same board game concept, but in space. It became a feature film in 2006 from director Jon Favreau — his third movie and the one that preceded the first Iron Man two years later. Sadly, Kasdan has no current plans to create a shared universe of otherworldly board games.

“I love Zathura, but we haven’t really treated it as being quite related, directly related,” he explained. 

Right now, Jumanji 2 (as it's called on IMDB) is slated for a Dec. 19, 2019 release date.