Two decades ago, TriStar and director Joe Johnston rolled the dice on a Jumanji film, a big-screen adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg’s 1981 children’s book of the same name, and even today, it’s widely considered to be one of the very best and endearing films of its generation. Fast forward to the here and now, and Sony is primed to blow the dust off its long-dormant reboot.
Truth be told, yesterday’s release date rollout was the first tangible hint that the reboot was still on the cards, with the studio slating its modern retelling for a release on December 25, 2016.
Originally hired in 2012, it’s understood that screenwriter Zack Helm is still attached to write Jumanji, though in the time that has lapsed since, it wouldn’t be too surprising if the script was doctored before Sony eventually shepherds the project in front of the cameras. Before that, though, the company will need to secure a director, not to mention a handful of leading stars.
Last we heard of the reboot, executives wanted to “reimagine Jumanji and update it for the present,” which will likely involve a hefty amount of VFX work. From the sprawling jungle plants to the stampeding wildlife, Joe Johnston’s beloved original included a metric ton of complicated shots, and if Sony’s overhaul retains the same scope, it’ll need a relatively long lead time for post-production in order to bring the visual effects to life. With less than 18 months until the tentative release date, there are only two options: fast-track development and toss the casting net far and wide or, on the other hand, settle for a delay.
Of course, this is merely conjecture at this point; we’re holding out hope that Sony has a firm plan etched in place for its revisionist take on Chris Van Allsburg’s timeless story. So long as it doesn’t tread on the toes of Johnson’s film.
Van Pelt? Elephants? Liquid floors? The only firm detail we have on Sony’s new take on Jumanji is that it’s been pegged for a release on December 25, 2016.