Jack Black says Jumanji 3 should take the franchise where it’s never gone before, namely into outer space. Sony has officially confirmed that Jumanji 3 will happen, and like Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, its release date will put it in direct competition with Star Wars. Of course, going up against the biggest franchise in the world didn’t hurt the last Jumanji when it came out last year. In fact, the Jumanji reboot actually knocked The Last Jedi out of the top spot at the box office.
Expectations were actually not high for Welcome to the Jungle when it was announced, despite the presence of huge movie star Dwayne Johnson. Most were skeptical that a movie reboot of a somewhat-forgotten ’90s one-off comedy-action film would in fact catch on with audiences. But director Jake Kasdan and his winning cast pushed all the right buttons, and Jumanji roared its way to $956 million globally, making it Sony’s biggest-grossing movie ever.
Now, Sony has the challenge of following up their biggest movie with a sequel that recaptures that unexpected magic. For his part, Welcome to the Jungle star Jack Black thinks he has the perfect idea for carrying the franchise forward. He wants Jumanji to journey into space. As Black told MTV (via Cinema Blend):
I say we take this mother into space. ‘Cause my question with Jumanji is, ‘What is this game? Who invented this game?’ It has to be some alien technology. Am I right? Or it’s some crazy jungle medicine man magic. I wanna know where it’s from. Give me some f–king origins, y’all!
In the original Jumanji, it was a board game of apparently ancient origin that sucked the characters into a real-life adventure. For Welcome to the Jungle, the board game became re-imagined as a more era-appropriate video game. But in neither case were we given any idea of where the game in question came from, or why anyone would create such a thing. In the case of the video game Jumanji, it might make sense for aliens to have created it, perhaps as a sort of test a la The Last Starfighter. In that case, to do an origin story would obviously require a journey into space as Jack Black indicates.
As much fun as taking Jumanji into space might be, the second movie in the rebooted franchise would arguably not be the best place to do it. Historically, franchises only pull out the “going into space” routine at a point where all ideas have run out and desperation has set in. Probably the most notorious example of a franchise going into space was the Bond film Moonraker, which came out in the wake of Star Wars, and decided sending Bond to a space station for a full-on laser battle would bring in the kids. Then there was the infamous Jason X, the Friday the 13th sequel that sent the hockey mask wearing serial killer into space. Among modern day franchises, there’s been some talk of sending Fast and Furious into space.
But perhaps the best argument against sending Jumanji 3 to space is the fact that it’s already going up against Star Wars, and that would be a little bit too much like trying to fight the Force on its own turf. So maybe Jack Black doesn’t have such a great idea after all.