‘Jumanji’ deserves to live on and I think it will: Jack Black


By Sugandha Rawal 

New Delhi, Dec 14 : Jack Black saw “Jumanji” for the first time when he was offered a role in its sequel “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”, and ‘flipped out’ over the late Robin Williams’ performance. The actor is thrilled to be a part of Williams’ legacy, and says “Jumanji” deserves to live on.

“I have to confess that I never saw the film. I watched the film when I got offered the role in this film. I was like ‘oh geez, I better watch Jumanji’. I checked it out with my boys. And we all flipped out. It was so great. Robin was awesome. The movie just kicks butt, and I was excited to be part of that legacy,” Black told IANS in an India exclusive interview.

The world of Chris Van Allsburg’s book “Jumanji”, narrating the story of a young Alan Parrish getting trapped in a board game, found its way to the silver screen in 1995. Robin Williams was its main lead.

From getting lost in the transit, tackling monkeys and battling other odds, the movie revolved around how Parrish gets stuck in the board game and comes back as an adult, and how he has to finish the game with his friend to escape the fate he called upon himself by rolling the dice.

Come 2018, and the story will be back on the big screen with a modern twist. In “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”, a group of high school students gets lost in the jungle after laying their hands on a video game console featuring a version of the game Jumanji.

The makers might have glossed up the story with a digital touch, but the essence of the tale as well as the magical elements are intact.

“People who love ‘Jumanji’ are going to be really pleased that we are able to take that story to another level, and… down to another generation of kids. Hopefully, this one is going to resonate just as much as the first one did. I think it deserves to live on and I think it will,” Black said in a recorded response from Barcelona.

The movie also stars Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Bobby Cannavale, Nick Jonas, Alex Wolff, Madison Iseman, Ser’Darius Blain and Morgan Turner. Sony Pictures Entertainment is releasing the film, helmed by Jake Kasdan, in India on December 29.

Talking about the sequel, Black, known for comedic roles, said: “Our ‘Jumanji’ is an action-adventure, comedy thriller ride, like the original, it is action packed.

“It is different because this time around, we go into the jungle. The original was never able to do that for whatever reason, they chose to leave that to the imagination. But this time, you get to see what Alan Parrish actually experienced, what he had to go through to survive as a child in the jungle.”

Having entered Hollywood back in 1984, Black has made a place for himself with projects like “School of Rock”, the “Kung Fu Panda” franchise, “Shallow Hal”, “King Kong”, “The Holiday”, “Tropic Thunder” and “Gulliver’s Travels”.

At the moment, he is very excited about the “Jumanji” sequel.

“The idea of a board game coming to life is just sort of a brilliant little conceit. It is a great way to this action adventure journey. I don’t think that has run out.”