Board games are sort of perfect for the current Hollywood franchise model. Board games are both recognizably familiar and new every single time you play. They end, but they can always be restarted by clearing the board and resetting the points to zero. The characters are nothing more than literal place holders. No wonder Hollywood’s been trying to turn Monopoly and Candy Land and Clue into movies (or new versions of old movies) for years!

A lot of those actual board game adaptations are stalled in development, but we are getting a new Jumanji, a remake of the 1995 film of the same name, which is based on a children’s book about a board game rather than a real game. The first version, directed by Joe Johnston (who later went on to make the first Captain America) starred the late Robin Williams in the story of a game that can magically come to life. The new version is directed by Jake Kasdan, and it will be his biggest production by far in a career spent making awesome overlooked comedies like The TV Set and Walk Hard and TV shows like Freaks and GeeksUndeclared, and Fresh Off the Boat.

2manji (my preferred unofficial title) is actually a sequel to the original movie, though as of now none of the original cast is confirmed for the movie. Instead, the new film features Jack Black, Nick Jonas, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart, and Dwayne Johnson as “The Smoldering Dr. Bravestone.” Four of the five (sorry Jonas bro!) are featured in this first look at the cast, which was shared by Hart on Instagram:

My favorite of the bunch if Jack Black (who was really good recently in the similar-looking Goosebumps); with that big gut and little glasses he screams pompous know-it-all. Just his expression makes me smile. And Johnson looks like the Rock. He’s even got his eyebrow raised as if to say know your roll (of the dice, because this is about a board game) and shut your mouth. Jumanji opens in theaters on July 28, 2017.


Sign Up For The WOBM Newsletter