Jumanji Reimagining In Production For Sony

After spinning a hit out of The Amazing Spider-Man, producer Matt Tolmach has been set by Sony Pictures to produce its reimagining of Joe Johnston’s 1995 pic Jumanji along with original producer William Teitler.

Original exec producer Ted Field will return to executive produce with his Radar Pictures exec Mike Weber.

The plt followed two kids who play an old magic boardgame and release a man (Robin Williams) as well as many dangers that can be stopped only by finishing the game. The new film will likely tweak the premise and refashion the story for present day.

Despite most remembering the film version, the story of Jumanji is actually based on a short story of the same name written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg. The children’s book was released in 1981. The biggest notable difference between the plots of the short story and the film is the ending. In the movie, after everything is undone, the children’s parents are having a christmas party that is attended by the man they met playing the game (as he is no longer inside the game). While in the story, the children simply see two young boys carrying the Jumanji game preparing to start a new game for themselves.

Jumanji initially grossed $263 million worldwide, and the source material of a children’s book lends itself to the sort of visual spectacle Sony has come to expect of its tentpole franchises.

The decision to update the “Jumanji” property reflects the studio’s mandate to increase the focus on films for family audiences, as Sony has found great success with its “Smurfs” franchise and the animated pic “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” which has a sequel on the horizon.

Tolmach is also developing Oren Uziel’s Black List script “The Kitchen Sink” with director Robbie Pickering, as well as an untitled royal wedding comedy from “500 Days of Summer” scribes Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter.

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