Despite middling reviews at the time, the Robin Williams-led Jumanji earned over $100 million at the box office in 1995 and TriStar pictures had a hit on their hands. More than 20 years later, in a world obsessed with movie remakes and reboots, that's apparently enough to warrant a new foray into the Jumanji universe. And so Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was born. The film stars Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, and Kevin Hart as the adult video game avatars of four high school kids played by Alex Wolff, Morgan Turner, Ser’Darius Blain, and Maidson Iseman.
The filmmakers are probably happy with this reception, considering the original is rated just 50% by the review aggregator. However, the film was very close to either being much better or much worse. In a recent interview, producer Matt Tolmach revealed there were multiple alternate endings the team considered before settling on what happens in the movie.
We played with a bunch of different endings. There’s a trap when you make movies about games. You have to make sure they have stakes. We were very intent on making it clear that you could also not get out of the game. That idea was very important to us throughout.
After the four lead characters are sucked into the Jumanji video game, one of the movie's plotlines involves Dwayne Johnson's character trying to decide whether or not he should return to the real world.
In previous versions there was more of that where [Spencer] wanted to stay in the game with [Turner’s character]. We made way more of that. It definitely could be interesting and would definitely leave it open to a sequel.
We start hearing the drums again and then everyone gets the game downloaded on their phones. Then it’s like, ‘Oh, shoot! We’re all going to be sucked in.’ That would have been a cool way to go.