It’s back to the virtual world as Sony has released the first trailer for “Jumanji: The Next Level,” the follow-up to 2017’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.” The trailer sets up an interesting switch up from the start, toying with the players of the infamous board game-turned video game. Returning cast members include Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Nick Jonas and Alex Wolff.
Four friends return to Jumanji to rescue one of their own but discover that nothing is as they expect. The players need to brave parts unknown, from arid deserts to snowy mountains, in order to escape the world’s most dangerous game.
Jake Kasdan (“Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story”) returns to direct the sequel after the star-studded family action flick struck it big at the holiday box office. From a $90 million budget, it garnered an estimate $404 million domestically and over $962 million worldwide. The films are based off Joe Johnston’s 1995 film, “Jumanji,” where two kids discover a relic board game. Playing along only reveals major animal situations, along with releasing a man who’s been trapped in the game for decades (Robin Williams.) Two returning writers, Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg board the sequel, which is all part of adapting Chris Van Allsburg’s “Jumanji” children’s book. Allsburg also wrote and served as producer on “The Polar Express.”
The success of “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” sprouted from the comedic chemistry onscreen. It will be interesting to see how the story lets its cast toy with more gaming tropes across new “levels” of environments. The packed cast now includes Danny DeVito, Awkwafina and Danny Glover for the fun.
“Jumanji: The Next Level” is produced by Sony Pictures Entertainment, Hartbeat Productions and Seven Bucks Production. Columbia Pictures is distributing the film, which swings into theaters December 13. Like the original, it’s bound to attract many moviegoers for the Christmas season.