Forget about humdrum press releases and highfalutin announcement ceremonies. When you’re a big star like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, social media is the way to share big news, and that’s exactly how he broke the news that he will be involved in a forthcoming reboot of the film Jumanji. Johnson told his 49.5 million Instagram followers of his enthusiasm for the long-rumored project on Friday.
“It’s official. We’ll produce and deliver to a whole new generation a title that I love and is one of my all time favs: There’s games you play for fun… then there’s games that change your life … JUMANJI Working on edging up an already very good script with my @sevenbucksprod team.”
The Boston Globe reports that Dwayne Johnson will serve as the star and producer of the forthcoming edition of Jumanji.
As previously noted by E! Online, Sony Pictures has been mulling a Jumanji reboot since late 2015. A Christmas 2016 release was initially in the works, but the film is now slated for release on July 28, 2017.
The 1995 release of Jumanji starred Robin Williams, along with David Alan Grier and Kirsten Dunst. Williams and Dunst were nominated for a number of awards for their performances, according to the Internet Movie Database. The film grossed over $100 million at the box office.
Fans of the late Robin Williams and the original Jumanji expressed shock and dismay when Sony first raised the possibility of remaking the film last year. The news came about a year after Williams’ tragic suicide, when many longtime fans of the iconic comedian and actor were still in mourning over his passing. Robin Williams’ suicide was eventually attributed to a brain disease called Lewy body dementia, which causes hallucinations and depression, according to LiveScience.
Reaction on Dwayne Johnson’s Instagram was largely supportive, with many fans expressing optimism that The Rock will provide an entertaining spectacle that honors the memory of Robin Williams. Johnson’s initial announcement garnered 425,000 “likes.”
“…[D]oing a remake of Jumanji puts pressure on your shoulders to honor the late and amazing [Robin Williams]. I’m sure you will do this justice. Your incredible work ethic would advise you would allow nothing less,” commented one enthusiastic fan.
Dwayne Johnson dropped another bomb via Instagram on Friday when he announced that Pamela Anderson will appear in the forthcoming Baywatch movie, which will be released in May, 2017. Johnson posted a picture of himself with the 48-year-old model and actress as he shared the news, according to People.
“She introduced the world to ‘CJ Parker’ and became one of the most iconic characters of a generation – for the most successful TV show of all time,” Johnson said of Pam Anderson.
In addition to his dual roles in Jumanji, Dwayne Johnson will also star in the Baywatch film, playing the part of Mitch Buchannon. Buchannon’s character was portrayed by David Hasselhoff in the original television incarnation of Baywatch, as well as various and sundry spinoffs. Hasselhoff, now 63, will also appear in the Baywatch movie. His participation was reported by E! Online and other outlets in March.
“I was born ready!” Hasselhoff said in a video clip announcing his appearance in the film.
Dwayne Johnson is a perennial fixture in lists of the wealthiest movie stars. He earned $31.5 million in 2015, according to Forbes. In 2013, Johnson topped the Forbes list with starring roles in the big box office productions G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Fast and Furious 6. With nostalgia laden, buzzworthy projects like Jumanji and Baywatch on the Horizon, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will undoubtedly be a serious contender for the top grossing title again next year.
[Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for MTV]