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Stranger than fiction: Jumanji to be rewritten by Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium scribe Zach Helm

12.07.2012

Jumanji game box header

Riddle me this, Batman. If someone makes an original movie based on an old board game and it flops (BATTLESHIP), and everybody lets their board game-based projects fall into development hell, do you:

A) Learn your lesson and try to stay away from boardgames.

B) Shrug it off, saay "eh, it happened to somebody else," and move ahead with a remake an original movie based on a now-old book about a board game.

if you guessed "B", then you're right on the money (as it were) - Zach Helm (STRANGER THAN FICTION, MR. MAGORIUM'S WONDER EMPORIUM) has been commissioned to take a crack at adapting anew the 1981 book JUMANJI by Chris Van Alsburg.  Brought to the big screen once before by the directorial touch of Joe Johnston (CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER), the movie starred Robin Williams and Kirsten Dunst and "told of a board game come to life as two kids discover the supernatural game and release a man trapped in there decades earlier. They also unleash jungle forces and must team up with the man to quell the game’s powerful magic."  The idea is of course that the project will receive, in the words of studio executives, "an update for the present."

Helm also directed MR. MAGORIUM'S WONDER EMPORIUM, but there's no word yet on whether he'd take on any directorial duties for the new version of JUMANJI. Would you mind if he did, or is there a director out there that you believe could better balance the humor, spectacle, and scare-factor of a story like JUMANJI? And perhaps more importantly, just how sacrosanct is JUMANJI in your eyes?

Extra Tidbit: Am I crazy to remember the JUMANJI board game as actually being a fair bit of fun? Or was it just that I was about ten years old?

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