Production on the film formally began this week, and with it came news of a third major cast member. Jack Black has signed on for the project, and Johnson is expecting big things. “A brilliant actor who I’m confident will turn in a performance of a lifetime for Jumanji (when we reveal his character you’ll understand),” Johnson wrote in an Instagram posting. “In our reimagining of the story of Jumanji, Jack brings that rare balance of cool with funny and edge with childlike joy.”
Two additional roles are still to be announced, including “one bad ass girl” and “one semi-sorta bad ass dude,” according to Johnson.
In a separate Instagram post, Johnson promised to respect the legacy of Williams and the original Jumanji film. “The love and respect I have for this man is boundless. You have my word, we will honor his name and the character of ‘Alan Parrish’ will stand alone and be forever immortalized in the world of Jumanji in an earnest and cool way. I have an idea of what to do and I think his family will be proud. I also think Robin is somewhere lookin’ down and laughing, remembering the first time we met backstage and I (for the first time ever) was a star struck bumbling idiot that couldn’t even get my words out. Idiot. He literally calmed me down with that smile and laugh. But that’s for another fun story down the road.”
Jake Kasdan (Bad Teacher, Walk Hard) is helming the remake, with an expected release date set for 2017.