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New ‘Jumanji’ Movie Features a Magical Video Game Instead of a Magical Board Game


The only people who still regularly play board games are adults: 30-somethings who drink craft beer, elderly people who get bored and raid the nursing home activity closet, my mom’s overly-competitive boyfriend. Some kids play them, sure — but it’s usually begrudgingly during forced “family night,” or if they come from one of those homes without TVs and where the only magazines are Highlights. There’s a reason why you can play Monopoly and Scrabble on your iPhone now, which is why it’s not surprising that the new Jumanji movie doesn’t center around a tangible board game, but a video game.

During last night’s presentation at CinemaCon, Sony unveiled new footage from Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle — by the way, that’s the official title now (really, we’re going with that? OK). According to THR, unlike the 1995 film and the Chris Van Allsburg book on which it’s based, this Jumanji centers on a group of kids who are transported into the jungle-centric world of a video game. Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart and Jack Black play avatars chosen by the kids; once they enter the virtual world, the kids are those characters.

That would most certainly explain why Gillan, the lone female, is dressed in such revealing and impractical clothing. She is a video game character, and one who was probably designed by a team of like 80 dudes. Previously, Gillan responded to criticisms of her character’s costume by promising that the film’s plot would have a totally logical explanation for the skimpy outfit. The video game element does just that.

A video game that sucks unwitting teenagers into its world sounds more like a ’90s film than the original Jumanji movie. That’s a clever (and pretty funny) twist on the classic story, and one that makes the new version inherently more appealing.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was directed by Jake Kasdan and hits theaters on December 22.

Get Your First Look at the New ‘Jumanji’ Cast

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