Danny DeVito Joins ‘Jumanji’ Sequel Opposite Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Danny DeVito has joined the cast of the untitled sequel to Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

DeVito joins leads Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kevin Hart, along with returning cast members Jack Black and Karen Gillan. It was announced on Thursday that “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Ocean’s 8” star Awkwafina would be joining the cast.

DeVito will have a key role in the film, but his specific role is being kept under wraps, along with the storyline to the film.

Also Read: The One Thing Danny DeVito Won’t Do on ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’

Jake Kasdan is returning to direct the sequel, and he co-wrote the screenplay along with Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner. Kasdan is also producing along with Matt Tolmach and Seven Bucks.

“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” which was released in 2017, brought in $962.1 million worldwide at the box office and was an updated take on the 1995 fantasy film starring Robin Williams, in which a group of four students are transported into the world of a jungle, adventure video game and take on the form of heroic avatars.

DeVito currently stars on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and will next be seen in Disney’s live-action reboot of “Dumbo.” He’ll follow that up with a voice role for “The One and Only Ivan,” which also comes from Disney and also happens to be about an elephant.

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DeVito is represented by CAA.

Variety was first to report.

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Dwayne Johnson, Jake Kasdan to Reunite on Netflix’s ‘John Henry and The Statesmen’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Netflix has acquired the rights to an original pitch from writer Tom Wheeler currently titled “John Henry and the Statesmen,” which stars Dwayne Johnson and will be directed by Jake Kasdan.

Johnson and Kasdan previously worked together on “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.” Johnson will also serve as producer on the film alongside Kasdan and Seven Bucks Productions’ Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia and Beau Flynn of FlynnPicture Co. Melvin Mar (“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”), FPC’s Wendy Jacobson and Wheeler will executive produce.

Johnson will star as John Henry while leading an ensemble cast of the most popular figures from folklore from all around the world. There was a bidding war for the project that Netflix ultimately won the rights for.

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“Netflix is the perfect partner and platform for us to continue entertaining our global audience in a disruptive way,” said Johnson in a statement. “These diverse characters speak to a legacy of storytelling that is more relevant than ever and span across a worldwide audience regardless of age, gender, race or geography.”

“We have been committed to an international storytelling model for more than a decade. Our partnership with Netflix is giving us an incredible opportunity to reach a broad and diverse audience in the most accessible and intimate manner. We are absolutely thrilled with the opportunity,” Garcia added.

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“Dwayne is a global superstar, inarguably one of the most popular actors in the world. He and Jake are a tremendous duo with a proven track record of entertaining audiences worldwide,” Scott Stuber, head of Netflix’s film group, said. We’re delighted to be able to partner with them and collaborate with Seven Bucks Productions and FPC. This is a story with universal appeal and we can’t wait to bring these characters to families around the globe.”

Seven Bucks Productions and FlynnPictureCo. most recently collaborated on Johnson’s “Jungle Cruise,” which co-starred Emily Blunt. Johnson and Seven Bucks are currently filming Universal’s “Hobbs and Shaw,” while Kasdan is in pre-production for the “Jumanji” sequel.

Johnson, Kasdan and Wheeler are represented by WME.

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Saturn Awards To Honor Top Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Executives

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Producer Jason Blum, Berlanti Productions executive producer Sarah Schechter, director Guillermo del Toro, director/producer Jake Kasdan, and director Don Mancini will receive special awards from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Fil…

Dwayne Johnson’s ‘Jumanji’ Becomes Sony’s Highest-Grossing Film Ever

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Dwayne Johnson’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” crossed $403.7 million at the domestic box office on Tuesday night, making it Sony Pictures’ highest grossing film of all time domestically.

That means it surpassed the studio’s 2002 hit “Spider-Man.” “Jumanji,” also starring Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan, has grossed $950 million worldwide.

Domestically, “Jumanji” is also the highest-grossing film ever in the careers of Johnson, Hart and Black. Directed by Jake Kasdan, it is also the biggest Sony-owned release of all time at the global box office, as well as the second-highest grossing film ever released by the studio, just behind “Skyfall,” which is owned by MGM.

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“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” held the top spot at the box office for four weeks, including three weeks consecutively, after its release in December. It was also the first December wide release to hold the No. 1 spot on a February weekend since 1998’s “Titanic.

“Given the length of Columbia Pictures’ esteemed history, this is a cool milestone,” said Tom Rothman, chairman of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group. “It’s a great credit to Jake Kasdan, all the producers, the terrific actors, and everyone at the studio who worked so hard.  It gives us a grand target to shoot for with the next one.”

Matt Tolmach produced along with William Teitler.

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EXCLUSIVE: It finally happened.
Sony’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is officially the studio’s highest-grossing film ever at the domestic box office, overtaking Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man ($403.7 million) which has owned the title for the past 16 years.
Heading into the holiday season, executives across distribution and film finance had a strong feeling that this reboot of Jumanji directed by Jake Kasdan would serve as strong counter-programming to Disney’s Star Wars: The La…

‘Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle’ Crossing $900M WW Box Office This Weekend

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EXCLUSIVE: When Saturday and Sunday grosses are factored in, Sony’s Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle will have topped $900M worldwide. The current cume through Friday is $895.37M with $371.57 domestic and $523.8M at the international box office. And the movie still has yet to debut in Japan.
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‘Jumanji’ Sequel in the Works With Director, Writers in Talks to Return

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Sony is planning a sequel to Dwayne Johnson’s “Jumanji,” with screenwriters Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner in talks to pen the script, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

Filmmaker Jake Kasdan is expected to return as the film’s director as well.

News about the sequel shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that the film just became Johnson’s biggest domestic box office hit of his career, surpassing “Furious 7.” “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” has grossed more than $350 million in North America and more than $850 million globally.

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“Jumanji” also stars Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Jack Black and Nick Jonas and focuses on four teenagers being sucked into the “Jumanji” video game, where they take on alter egos and have to beat the game to return home.

The film currently holds a score of 76 percent “fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes.

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Rosenberg and Pinkner are also writing the script for Sony’s “Venom,” which stars Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Woody Harrelson, Riz Ahmed and Jenny Slate. “Venom” will hit theaters on Oct. 5.

Kasdan is currently attached to direct “Bad Teacher 2” and is serving as an executive producer on both “Fresh Off the Boat” and “Speechless.”

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‘Jumanji’ Drumbeat Rises To $700M+ At Worldwide Box Office

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EXCLUSIVE: Sony’s Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle keeps on rocking at the global and international box office. Through Tuesday, the Jake Kasdan-helmed update on the 1995 board game adventure has grossed $701.7M worldwide. The split is $408M overseas and $293.7M domestic.
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‘Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle’ Crosses $100M At International Box Office

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The international box office is proving to be a very welcome environment for Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, Sony‘s continuation of the 1995 classic. The Dwayne Johnson-starrer’s offshore cume through Thursday has hit $107M. Directed by Jake Kasdan, it’s swinging high. The worldwide total through Thursday is $226M.
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‘Jumanji’ Roars Past ‘The Greatest Showman’ in Wednesday Box Office Opening

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” earned a solid $7.2 million on its opening day Wednesday, on track for its $45 million six-day opening.

Meanwhile, Fox’s “The Greatest Showman” grossed $2.45 million on Wednesday. It’s projected to have a six-day opening in the low-to-mid $20 million range against an $84 million budget.

Made on a budget of $90 million, “Jumanji” will try to peel off some family audiences and the 18-35 demographic with its quartet of box office drawing stars: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan. The film also has critics on its side, currently giving it an 77 percent “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film’s CinemaScore is A-.

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Directed by Jake Kasdan and based on the 1995 Robin Williams adventure film, “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” follows four teens who wind up in detention and find a mysterious video game, which is actually the Jumanji board game from the first film transformed into a video game cartridge. When they play it, they get sucked inside the game and are transformed into their game avatars. With the help of another player who fell into the game 20 years ago (Nick Jonas), the quartet must find a way to escape. The film was written by Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Scott Rosenberg, and Jeff Pinkner.

“The Greatest Showman” is directed by Michael Gracey from a script by Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon with songs written by “La La Land” lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson and Michelle Williams star. The film has been nominated for three Golden Globes, including Best Musical or Comedy, Best Original Song, and Best Actor for Jackman.

“The Greatest Showman,” a musical based on the life of famed circus founder P.T. Barnum, has received mixed reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a score of 48 percent. However, it has received a CinemaScore of A.

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“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is expected to continue its winning streak in its second weekend at the box office, looking to exceed another $100 million. So far, “The Last Jedi” has earned $261.8 million domestically, and $536.6 million globally.

Christmas weekend at the box office is going to become more crowded, as Trish Sie’s “Pitch Perfect 3,” Lawrence Sher’s “Father Figures” and Alexander Payne’s “Downsizing” are also opening in wide release.

In addition to these wide releases, Fox Searchlight’s “The Shape of Water” and Focus Features’ “Darkest Hour” will expand nationwide while other awards contenders like Fox’s “The Post,” Sony’s “All The Money In The World,” STX’s “Molly’s Game,” and Focus’ “The Phantom Thread” will also make their entrance.

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‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ Film Review: A Mainstream Moviegoing Miracle

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

You’ve heard the one about the jock (Ser’Darius Blain, “Camp X-Ray”), the brain (Alex Wolff, “My Friend Dahmer”), the loner (Morgan Turner, “Wonderstruck”), and the princess (Madison Iseman, “Still the King”) saddled with detention. But until now you didn’t know the high-concept version that involves them getting lost in the jungle, switching bodies, outrunning motorcycle ninjas or being attacked by hungry, hungry hippos.

As premises for a combination sequel-reboot to 1995’s adventure “Jumanji” go, it’s the sort of thing could fail very badly. Happy news, then: “Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle” is the Christmas tentpole release that aims to please and succeeds, a funny family entertainment product that subverts more expectations than it was obligated to contractually.

Picking up in 1996 where the original left off, the attention-starved, drums-blazing board game remains half-buried in sand on a beach. After transforming itself into a video-game cartridge, it chooses another teenage victim to whisk off to a place outside of time and space. (This malicious software holds its players hostage with no concern for how long they’re gone, and that hapless player will show up again later in what amounts to a casting spoiler.)

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Eventually the outdated cartridge lands in a high school storage room for the new Breakfast Clubbers to find and play. Avatars chosen, the kids disintegrate into the game’s treacherous jungle, their bodies switch to those of Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black, and they’re given clues to find their way out.

Their mission is barely important, of course, involving Getting The Thing and Taking It To The Place and Breaking The Curse. You don’t care. Neither does the film. A fresh curse could be broken every 15 minutes and the game would keep banging its own drum for future players and, if Sony has its way, sequels. What’s on this movie’s mind is pretty simple: near-death scrapes, actual deaths and rebirths (this game has arbitrary rules regarding what it means to die), and taking a lot of goofy jabs at the camp qualities of both contemporary video games and old-fashioned adventure movie tropes.

Of equal importance here is the turning upside down of teenage stereotypes, as Johnson manifests adolescent nerdiness in the warrior body of a former pro wrestler, Gillan physically critiques her gaming-cliché halter top with an irritated scoff and lots of awkward charm, and Black, hilariously, holds steady as a hair-flipping cheerleader who discovers how weird it is to suddenly be in possession of a very specific male accessory. Hart just seems to shriek a lot, but that’s the cultural contribution we’ve all decided to pay him to do, so it’s fine. This “Jumanji” is more committed to the bit than to the game.

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The effect of this, for better or worse, is a removal of the heart of sorrow and loss, the longing to go home, that informed the original film’s story. It’s a tradeoff that will matter to some, perhaps, but this update is having none of the original’s melancholy tone; there are jokes to be made at the 1996 player’s expense, helicopters that need to be flown sideways and bad guys that need be taken out with something called “dance fighting.”

Director Jake Kasdan (“Bad Teacher”) and screenwriting quartet Chris McKenna, Jeff Pinkner, Scott Rosenberg, and Erik Sommers, working from the original book by Chris Van Allsburg, know the task at hand is to make a family action-adventure vehicle for some big screen names, one that bangs and clangs cheerfully until the end. The multiplexes are littered with failed attempts at this very thing, a task so much harder than it looks, which means that the fact that it comes together with as much charm as it does is something of a mainstream moviegoing miracle.

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It’s a child-friendly nod to the visual and emotional aesthetics of Edgar Wright’s nervy “Scott Pilgrim vs the World,” one where the cranky teenage characters endure the literal externalizing of their strengths and weaknesses, something no high school sophomore wants broadcast to passersby. They run headlong into glitchy game characters, parent-like obstacles that repeatedly spout the same greetings and admonitions on an endless loop. They let their outsize feelings get in the way of their own progress. In other words, just like all nascent adults, they play to lose.

But this isn’t the place for any deeper consideration of adolescent self-sabotage or an investigation of what it means for the dangerous outside world to eat you up and spit you out; a happy ending must be delivered, one that swaps true feeling for a jokey “Wizard of Oz” reference. That’s OK. Sometimes there’s a place for a comforting game where, no matter how badly you play, you don’t wind up doomed.



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‘Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle’ Sets Exclusive Early Screening for Amazon Prime Members

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

12 days before the film’s scheduled wide release, Amazon Prime members are getting a multi-city, one day-only exclusive early screening of “Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle.”

The early showings will take place Dec. 8 at 7:00 p.m. local time in more than 1,000 Regal, AMC, ArcLight Cinemas, and National Amusements theaters nationwide. Prime members will be able to purchase up to 10 tickets, beginning today at www.amazon.com/Jumanji.

The Prime-exclusive early screening is the first of its kind for the streaming service. At a limited number of theaters participating in the event, Prime members will receive a ‘blue carpet’ experience, in which they’ll have the opportunity to receive devices using Amazon’s Prime Now delivery service, a Jumanji themed photo booth, gift bags, Whole Foods gift cards, and other giveaways and promotions to be announced.

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A sequel to the 1995 film “Jumanji” that updates the original board game concept, “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” sees four teenagers sucked into a video game world they must play through to the end in order to survive. Directed by Jake Kasdan and written by Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers and Scott Rosenberg & Jeff Pinkner, Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan star.

“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” hits theaters Dec. 20.

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