Jumanji without Robin Williams is like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without jelly ––you just can’t really imagine it working.
But for the cast of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the sequel to the original film released in 1995, Williams’ character Alan Parrish will live on in the latest installment despite his death in 2014.
Jack Black told The Hollywood Reporter the film will feature a tribute to Williams. “We’re exploring this jungle and trying to conquer the game; it’s life or death,” he said. “But while we’re there, we find clues left behind by [Williams’ character Alan Parrish]. He built up a full-blown jungle house, similar to a Swiss Family Robinson situation. It’s like he’s there helping us without actually being there.”
If you’re still wary about the idea of another Hollywood reboot (and rightfully so), let your mind find some ease. Black went on to clarify the difference between Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and the original Jumanji film.
“[In the original] you never got to see the inside world,” Black said. “But this one takes place primarily inside the jungle of Jumanji. That’s the coolest part of the film — we’re able to transport the audience to that secret and wondrous land, with the danger and the beauty.”
Nobody can ever replace Williams’ legacy. However, only time will tell if the new cast, which includes Black, Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Nick Jonas and Karen Gillan, can stand on its own.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is set to hit theaters on Dec. 22, 2017.