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Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Promises Jumanji Will Honor Robin Williams

And the #JUMANJI magic begins. Excellent meeting with our director Jake Kasdan, producer Matt Tolmach, and our @SevenBucksProd team to work on our new re-imagining of this amazing story. I felt like in order to craft something cool we should begin where it all started. Award winning writer Chris Van Allsburg’s source material of JUMANJI. Chris also wrote THE POLAR EXPRESS (later adapted by Robert Zemeckis and Tom Hanks) and has a very special & magical way of storytelling. I’m feelin’ good and confident stepping into these shoes as a producer as well as actor to bring you something great that you and your entire fam can enjoy. An important thing that I want to be honest and bring up is Robin Williams. The love and respect I have for this man is boundless. You have my word, we will honor his name and the character of “Alan Parrish” will stand alone and be forever immortalized in the world of JUMANJI in an earnest and cool way. I have an idea of what to do and I think his family will be proud. I also think Robin is somewhere lookin’ down and laughing, remembering the first time we met backstage and I (for the first time ever) was a star struck bumbling idiot that couldn’t even get my words out. Idiot. He literally calmed me down w/ that smile and laugh. But that’s for another fun story down the road. We got a great team assembled already over at our home base of SONY and now we build from here. Here’s another fun part… in the original movie there were three big roles. In our new story there’s now FIVE. Been so damn cool to see all my actor buddies push their projects aside so hopefully they can come play in our world. Should have cool casting announcements this week. Will keep you posted. #TheMagicBegins #JustPressStart #JUMANJI

A photo posted by therock (@therock) on

When Dwyane “The Rock” Johnson announced that he would be producing and acting in a remake of Jumanji, the project was met with mixed response. On one hand, more Jumanji and more of the Rock! One the other hand, there’s always protectiveness over beloved and nostalgic storieseven more so when we think about a Jumanji without Robin Williams. Sony first announced their intentions to remake the film two years ago, and was immediately criticized for doing so “too soon.” It’s not surprising that the remake hits a bit of a sore spot as it’s early announcement felt like a insult or cheapening of the original to fans.

Johnson took to Instagram to share a bit about the new film, and addresses this, saying:

An important thing that I want to be honest and bring up is Robin Williams. The love and respect I have for this man is boundless. You have my word, we will honor his name and the character of “Alan Parrish” will stand alone and be forever immortalized in the world of JUMANJI in an earnest and cool way.

He also referenced the first time he met Williams, and gave us a few more details the movie scheduled for a July 2017 release. For instance, he and director Jake Kasdan are working closely with the source material, Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner are writing the script, and there will be five big roles that should be announced this week. Earlier news announced Kevin Hart was in talks and scheduling to appear in the film, but there’s no confirmation on that yet.

I’m really curious to see how this remake goes, and I appreciate that it’s taking a different direction than the original. The book didn’t have the adult characters, so I wonder if the “big roles” will be children actors and characters from the Jumanji game? Johnson mentions his “actor buddies,” so we can probably look forward to some other celebrities joining in on the magic.

What do you think about Johnson’s promise to make Robin Williams proud?

(via The Hollywood Reporter)

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