The new Jumanji reboot is a star-studded ensemble, featuring performers like Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, and Nick Jonas. But think about the original 1995 screen adaptation of the Chris Van Allsburg book, and one name comes to mind: Robin Williams, the beloved star who died in 2014.
Williams’s Alan Parrish, who disappeared into the titular board game for decades in that film, is mentioned in the footage the new cast unveiled at CinemaCon Monday night — which also explains that, this time around, four teenagers enter the game through a Nintendo console. And according to the cast, the tributes don’t stop there.
“We definitely reference his character, Alan Parrish, in a couple places in the movie, and it would be criminal to ignore that,” Gillan told Yahoo Movies (watch above). “I’m one of the biggest Robin Williams fans ever.”
While Gillan counts Jumanji among her all-time favorites, Black admitted he hadn’t seen the original film when the script for the new version came his way. “So I checked it out to see what we were going to be carrying the legacy of, and I loved it,” he said. “It was really one of my favorite Robin Williams performances. Even though it’s like a ‘kids’ movie, he really kicks ass in it.”
Jumanji opens Dec. 22.
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