Just a few months after Sony Pictures set their Jumanji remake for a Christmas 2016 release, the studio has finally found its director. Deadline reports that Jake Kasdan (Sex Tape) has signed on to direct, although it isn’t known when production will get under way. With the studio still sticking with its December 25, 2016 release, date, filming will most likely have to begin fairly soon.
The project has been in development for several years, with Zach Helm coming aboard to write the script back in 2012. The most current version of the script was written by Scott Rosenberg (Con Air) and Jeff Pinkner. Our report from October revealed that Jeff Pinkner, who co-created CBS’ summer TV series Zoo with Scott Rosenberg, was coming on board to consult with the script, alongside André Nemec and Josh Appelbaum (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).
The remake is said to be a high priority for the studio, described as a “re-imagination” of the original 1995 blockbuster Jumanji, which starred Robin Williams, Kirsten Dunst, Bonnie Hunt and Bebe Neuwirth. The original movie was spawned from the board game and book by writer Chris Van Allsburg (The Polar Express, Zathura). The movie earned a whopping $262.7 million worldwide at the box office, from a $65 million production budget.
Jumanji will hit theaters on Christmas Day 2016, which puts it up against Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, starring Kim Dickens, Eva Green, Samuel L. Jackson and Asa Butterfield. Matthew Tolmach and William Teitler are set to produce, although the project doesn’t have a director attached at this time. It isn’t known how much this “re-imagined” story will change from the original movie, but it seems likely that the story will still center on a board game that comes to life.
Jake Kasdan, the son of Star Wars: The Force Awakens co-writer Lawrence Kasdan, most recently directed the 2014 comedy Sex Tape. His other directorial credits include Orange County, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and Bad Teacher. Are you excited this project is finally coming back to life after years in development?