Considering it was a massive hit with audiences, grossing $262 million worldwide, it’s surprising that Jumanji never got a direct sequel. Sure, we got Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and The Next Level (and beyond?) more than 20 years later, but one that picked up where the 1995 movie left off would have undoubtedly been a hit. Well, except if it turned out how it was originally pitched…As recently revealed by Jumanji author Chris Val Allsburg, the planned sequel would have used the final shot of the original movie — in which two girls come across the titular board game on the beach — as a launching point.
According to Val Allsburg, the sequel — which would have been titled Jumanji: The White House — would have initially taken place near that beach, quickly to be revealed as France’s Omaha Beach. Get ready for this part: the President of the United States of America, there visiting for an anniversary commemoration of D-Day, would have brought back the Jumanji game and “all the mayhem that the game can generate is generated in the White House and the halls of Congress…They had some crazy stuff. I think there was a gorilla that climbs the Washington Monument in an homage to King Kong.” Val Allsburg also noted that most of the movie would have been an excuse to cram in any form of CGI that had developed since 1995, pointing out there would be animals swapping body parts.
Speaking of animals and the original movie, there was a strange idea for how the Jumanji sequel could bring back Alan Parrish, played by Robin Williams. “Robin Williams would [only] have to put in four or five days establishing his human character and at the end, [we’d see] his revitalized human character…But the middle of the film would be driven by this loudmouthed toad voiced by Robin Williams.”
Thankfully, all of this was nixed, which Val Allsburg said was basically due to those behind the scenes acknowledging a sort of loophole. “One of the producers said to me, ‘The only thing that would keep them from making this is a better idea.” So yes, we have a talking toad to thank for Zathura.
What do you think of the pitch for the Jumanji sequel? Could an immediate follow-up have worked with audiences? Give us your take below!