In an interview with the Jumanji Director Jake Kasdan and Producer Matt Tolmach I learned a lot about bringing Jumanji back to the big screen. They always knew that they were going to re-invent the game Jumanji. To keep the movie relevant it really needed to be different, but it still had to be the same in some aspects. The first aspect was that it had to go from a board game to a video game. What do kids these days do? It still had to be an adventure and it had to have nods to Robyn Williams. You’ll find those Easter Eggs in the movie as you watch it. It had to have a lot of humor and lastly it had to have heart. Jake and Matt did an excellent job putting this thing together and I love the end result. SOoooo…. here are some more pieces from the interview…
How much of the movie was green screen?
It’s almost entirely real. They filmed almost the entire movie in Hawaii. They filmed a few other locations of jungle type areas but largely it was filmed in Hawaii. There are a few parts that are of course done with a green screen but if it was at all possible they did it in the jungle.
How did you come to the project and what inspired the story line?
Director Jake Kasdan and Producer Matt Tolmach both have young children and were inspired by the story of the original movie. The two of these guys worked together to discuss the script. Then they brought on Chris McKenna who worked on the screenplay. They LOVED the ideas that Chris brought to the table. He’s funny and relevant. He had the idea of inverting the game and going into the world. It had to be taken into a completely different direction. They didn’t want to make the mistake of making a remake. It had to honor the original material without “retreading” the same material.
What are some Major Take Aways from Jumanji Welcome To the Jungle?
What would you learn about yourself if you could spend the day in someone else’s skin? It’s an emotional way for a teenager to explore who they actually are. Even in the original movie there was this moment when Robyn Williams went into the game and it was powerful. It changed him. Chris said he had to do this movie because he was this big awkward kid and he loved playing video games. He loved how he could go home and be anybody. So exploring the idea of teenagers learning from an avatar is the emotional being of this movie. While also being the humor in this movie.
Was it important to have strong females in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle?
Both of the female characters were always meant to be strong female characters. Both were expected to come out of their shells. Karen Gillan who plays Martha did a fantastic job starting out as a teenager uncomfortable with her body and moving to owning her body. She spent a little time with Morgan Turner who plays young Martha and watched her learning all of her cues. Together they put together an amazing character. Karen has amazing training and did a great job with her action scenes. She really pulled off that strong “badass” of a woman. And then there’s Jack Black and you can read all about him and his character in The Little Girl Inside Jack Black A Jumanji Interview.
What did your parents do to encourage you to end up in your fields?
Matt said that storytelling. It was through reading books and that his parents allowed him to have ideas and express himself. His family mantra was to have opinions and speak openly. He said that in Hollywood it’s huge to be able to speak up and share your ideas without fear. He gave much credit to his mom.
Jake said that growing up around movies shaped him from a very early age. His parents were always hugely encouraging without pushing him in this direction. He found this on his own but he was always encouraged to follow his path. He’s still being encouraged by his parents and they laughed a lot and loved Jumanji. He said they also always modeled that he could make movies. He was also encouraged to have friends and live a diverse life.