According to a recent article from The Hollywood Reporter, Columbia Pictures has called upon Zach Helm to pen an upcoming Jumanji remake. Details about the remake were released this past summer, much to the anticipation of.. well, no one.
Helm is the writer responsible for Stranger Than Fiction and Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, the latter of which he directed. His writing is family-friendly, fantastical and perfectly suited for a film like Jumanji.
Based on the children’s story by Chris Van Allsburg, Jumanji follows a family’s discovery of a magical, jungle-themed board game whose perils come to life whenever it is played. This includes monsoons in the living room, stampedes down Fifth Ave., monkeys stealing your car, and lions jumping out of your closet. Quite disturbing when you think about the possibilities (especially for a children’s book!).
Of course, Jumanji has already been adapted into a film. The 1995 version, directed by Joe Johnston, stars Robin Williams, Kirsten Dunst and Bonnie Hunt. While by no means perfect, it still holds a special place in the hearts of those lucky enough to grow up in the 90s. Chris Van Allsburg’s quasi-sequel Zathura was also made into a film by Jon Favreau in 2005.
Zach Helm is reportedly charged to “try and reimagine Jumanji and update it for the present.” This undoubtedly begs the question as to whether or not we really need another version. Besides the obvious rehashed profit, what else can an updated version offer? Has the original already faded into the realm of obscurity?
The Jumanji remake has yet to select a director or begin casting. While I have my doubts about a remake, it’s likely Zach Helm and Co. will be able to produce something quite pleasantly satisfying. I guess I’m just sick of remakes (there’s plenty to go around these days). What do you think?