After the surprise success of 2017’s Jumanji reboot (which reimagined the cursed board game classic as a story about four friends trapped in a videogame) a sequel was soon greenlit, and now we’re starting to find out all sorts of things about Jumanji: The Next Level.
As Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan step back into their khakis and enter the game, we’ve gathered everything you need to know about the Jumanji sequel below.
The sequel is slated to be released in UK cinemas on Wednesday 11th December, meaning it arrives just a week before the undisputed biggest release of the festive season – Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Is there a trailer for Jumanji: The Next Level?
Yes – two! Released in July, the first trailer shows off the new story of the movie as our heroes are sucked back into the videogame to find their friend Spencer.
Trapped in different avatars and with some pensioners in tow, the gang must traverse exciting new locations and levels in order to complete the game again – assuming they don’t just hit Game Over…
A second – and final – trailer was released in October. As well as giving us a closer look at some of the dramatic new terrains and the back and forth between the two pensioner characters, we also get some answers about what has happened to missing characters Spencer and Bethany.
Who’s in the cast of the Jumanji sequel?
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Karen Gillan, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Nick Jonas reprise their roles as the in-game “avatars” controlled by real-life people (alongside Rhys Darby’s non-playable character Nigel), while original movie heroes Alex Wolff, Ser’Darius Blain, Morgan Turner, Madison Iseman and Colin Hanks are also back for the sequel.
Newcomers for The Next Level include Danny DeVito as Eddie Gilpin, the grandfather of Wolff’s character Spencer, who along with his best friend Milo Walker (Danny Glover) gets sucked into the game alongside the teenagers. Awkwafina also joins the cast in an as-yet unknown role in the game.
What happened in the first Jumanji movie?
Well, it depends what you mean by “first”. In the original 1995 Jumanji (which starred the late Robin Williams) a board game came to life and captured a young boy called Alan for decades in its world, only releasing him when two new players tried the game and unleashed jungle-based hazards with every turn.
In the 2017 reboot/sequel, four kids in detention called Spencer, Fridge, Martha and Bethany (played by Wolff, Blain, Turner and Iseman) were pulled into an updated, 1990s-esque videogame version of Jumanji (the game having reinvented itself), becoming stereotypical game characters and forced to battle the evil Van Pelt (Bobby Cannavale) until they eventually won their way out of the game.
What’s the story of Jumanji: The Next Level??
Based on the trailer it looks like the four kids have drifted apart again, causing Spencer to try and repair the Jumanji game (which they destroyed at the end of the first film) to somehow reconnect the group.
Instead, Spencer disappears and his friends are pulled back into the game – but it now appears to be malfunctioning, casting Spencer’s grandfather (DeVito) in Spencer’s former character of Dr Bravestone (Johnson) and fellow pensioner Milo (Danny Glover) as diminutive zoologist Mouse Finbar. Cue plenty of Devito and Glover impressions from Johnson and Hart….
Fridge, meanwhile, is placed in the body of Jack Black’s Shelly Oberon, and Bethany and Spencer are nowhere to be found as a new, more challenging Jumanji quest begins.
The official synopsis reads:
In Jumanji: The Next Level, the gang is back but the game has changed. As they return to Jumanji to rescue one of their own, they discover that nothing is as they expect. The players will have to brave parts unknown and unexplored, from the arid deserts to the snowy mountains, in order to escape the world’s most dangerous game.