We’ve known for a while now that Jumanji is getting a remake. But like many proposed remakes/adaptations of nostalgia-heavy shows, movies, and games, I just assumed it was going to peter out eventually, languishing in development hell for a few years before passing out of the public consciousness entirely. But it looks like that might not be the case, as the Jumanji remake now has a writer: Stranger than Fiction scribe Zach Helm.
Did… did I just start looking forward to the Jumanji remake? I think I did.
In addition to writing Stranger than Fiction, the excellent 2006 movie starring Will Ferrell as a man who suddenly starts hearing a voice in his head narrating his every move, Helm also wrote and directed the kid’s movie Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. Magorium was slammed by critics (and, indeed, the general public) but in my own personal opinion it’s one of the most underrated movies from the past decade. It makes me cry, and I don’t care who knows it.
So, basically, I think Helm is a great choice. And before you think “But how can you remake Jumanji? Robin Williams! Bonnie Hunt! David Alan Grier and Bebe Neuwirth! Don’t mess with perfection!,” know that the original book Jumanji didn’t have any of that. It was just two kids, Peter and Judy, playing a board game that comes to life. All the actual plot stuff was unique to the movie. I think it’s entirely possible that Helm will come up with his own plot, thereby rendering your childhood memories of Robin Williams saying “What year is it?!” entirely safe.