‘Jumanji’ Sequel Team Raced to Overcome Creative Obstacles

  • Variety
‘Jumanji’ Sequel Team Raced to Overcome Creative Obstacles
Producer Matt Tolmach wasn’t surprised that Sony Motion Picture Group chairman Tom Rothman wanted a sequel to “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.” After all, the film didn’t just open big two years ago this month; its box office take actually increased 38.4% in its second weekend of release — a rare feat for a studio tentpole movie.

But Rothman wanted the sequel, “Jumanji: The Next Level,” for Christmas 2019. That gave Tolmach and Co. a short window to reassemble the movie’s busy stars — including Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Nick Jonas — and come up with a storyline that justified the film’s existence.

“We didn’t want to make the sequel because that’s what you do,” says Tolmach. The plot had to be “in keeping with the spirit of the first movie, but at the same time turn it on its ear completely.”

It’s not the
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