It’s been a little over three years since Robin Williams passed away, and it still stings. He was so talented and widely beloved, and especially for my generation, where Williams did a string of family films including Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire, Hook, and Jumanji, the loss hit particularly hard. Jumanji offered Williams a role he rarely got, which was to play the adventure hero, and he perfectly walked the line between a mild-mannered kid who had to grow up a wild man in the jungles of Jumanji.
22 years after the release of Jumanji and a new adventure is on the way with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Although it brings back none of the cast members from the first movie, it does connect to the first film, specifically to Williams’ character, Alan Parrish. While on set, Karen Gillan, who plays Ruby Roundhouse, revealed how the movies are connected [light spoilers ahead]:
“Well I’ve always wondered where Robin Williams’ character went for all of that time in the first one. It was sort of left to the imagination a little. That’s where this film comes in, we get to see exactly where he went and what it feels like and what it looks like I guess that’s the biggest difference.”
In Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, four teenagers get sucked into a Jumanji video game they discover during detention. The world they get sucked into is the same one Alan lived in for decades when he got sucked into the board game. So presumably, as these new characters traverse the world of Jumanji, they’re going to find traces of Alan Parrish’s life.
That’s a nice, subtle way of paying homage to the original without distracting from the plot, and it’s also a sweet nod to an actor we lost far too soon.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle opens December 20th.