The statues in the jungle set are modeled after the board game pieces in the original Jumanji (1995).
If Dwayne Johnson could play any other role in the film, he'd play Jack Black's character, Bethany. Johnson said, "I know how much fun [Jack] had every day playing a 16-year-old self-obsessed girl."
Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart are known for their intensive workout routines, but it was Karen Gillan - whose character is an expert in various martial arts and "dance fighting" - who did the most extensive work with the stunt team to learn the fight choreography for her scenes.
Jack Black jokes that he was not acting in the scenes when his character was infatuated with Dwayne Johnson's character. He was in fact actually infatuated and the cameras just kept on rolling.
Tom Holland was originally cast as Seaplane McDonough, but had to drop out of the film due to scheduling conflicts with Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017). So Nick Jonas was cast in his place.
Jack Black had a lot of fun as Bethany teaching Karen Gillan's character to flirt. "I was teaching her how to flirt and how to work it, runway style. It was like a living organism kind of scene where some of it was on the page, but a lot was just happening in real time."
Ruby Roundhouse's outfit was influenced by that of Lara Croft, the protagonist of the Tomb Raider video games and movies. Martha comments on how impractical the outfit is to wear in the jungle.
Mouse Finbar wears a little badge with the picture of a slice of cake and a line going across it, a nod to the fact that his character's weakness is cake. The badge can be seen on the lower left side of his vest.
While some people believe the film is a reboot/remake of Jumanji (1995) starring Robin Williams, it is a direct sequel and takes place 21 years after the events of the first movie. This is confirmed when Ruby Roundhouse, Smoulder Bravestone, Mouse Finbar and Shelly Oberon learn from Seaplane McDonough that the treehouse he lives in was built and lived in by Alan Parish while he was trapped in Jumanji for 26 years.
Dwayne Johnson found his character of Spencer/Dr. Bravestone all too relatable. At age 16, he resembled a 46-year-old man, standing at 6'4, weighing 245 pounds, and sporting a thick mustache. Despite his bulky exterior, the young Dwayne was very much a vulnerable teen trying to find himself.
Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart credit their onscreen chemistry to their offscreen friendship.
Dwayne Johnson pitched the name 'Smolder' to Jake Kasdan via text. "What if his name was Smolder, but he had this unique ability to just Smolder. And he's like, I love it."
In researching the character of Bethany, Jack Black went to Madison Iseman, asking about her favorite music and TV shows. He watched and listened and got into that head space.
Alex's tree house was an actual tree house built around a sprawling Banyan tree and hidden in the jungle foliage.
Karen Gillan's favorite scene in the film was the dance fighting sequence. "I feel like we created something quite specific and unique. It was like this fun little dance routine and then she just takes out these two guys... I felt really strong."
To film the Albino Rhino sequence, the cast spent days harnessed into a full-size, customized helicopter mounted on a special-effects gimbal rig elevated twenty feet in the air.
Kevin Hart says his backpack was a character unto itself. "It just became the unsung hero, because everything is always directed to my backpack. That was my go-to for any improv, any comedy."
According to Jake Kasdan, the one and only person he wanted for each of the lead roles on this film is playing that part.
The cast members were asked if they were able to sing a part of Axl Rose's song "Welcome To The Jungle," and they all did. Jack Black sang lead vocals, then Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart joined him. Jack Black decided to perform Axl Rose's (unforgettable, iconic) scream.
Ser'Darius Blain (Fridge) is actually 30 years old and Nick Jonas (Alex) is 25 years old, while Alex Wolff, Morgan Turner and Madison Iseman (Spencer, Martha and Bethany) range from 18-20 years old.
The open field scene where the cast was chased by bikers was shot at Kualoa Ranch in Hawaii, where Jurassic World (2015) was filmed. When the camera is at a particular angle, you can tell exactly what scene from Jurassic World was filmed there.
While filming in Hawaii, the crew encountered its fair share of critters. There were sightings of feral pigs, but it was the creepy crawlies that kept the cast and crew on edge - including the stinging pinch of centipedes.
Alex was playing the video game Twisted Metal (1995) when he encounters the Jumanji game in 1996. Jumanji itself draws from that game with motorcycle-riding goons and a level where the players can choose different vehicles (the transportation shed).
Alex's tree house was built by production designer Owen Paterson, made up from salvaged and repurposed items found around the island.
All the Brantford High School scenes were shot at the same school Goosebumps (2015) was filmed, which also starred Jack Black. Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018) was also filmed there, reuniting Jack Black and Madison Iseman from this film.
Frequently throughout the movie, the first few notes of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" can be heard mixed into the musical cues. In the original Jumanji (1995), the monkeys are drawn to the electronics store when they see monkeys from The Wizard of Oz (1939) on a television in the window.
Karen Gillan thought Ruby's look was a lot of fun, stating "It was interesting to highlight the familiar trope, particularly from the 90s video games, of the way women were portrayed in those games."
The stunt team says the Brazilian fighting style Capoeira is probably the most comparable to Ruby's special powers, and that they intended to combine several martial arts techniques to create their own moves - part dancing, part lethal fighting. The final film shows Ruby performing some of these fighting maneuvers while music plays.
Nick Jonas thought the tunnel scene was a lot of fun to shoot. "I got to show Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, and Dwayne Johnson around a bunch of tunnels to save their lives. It's the kind of stuff you dream about as an actor.
The role of Bethany posed an interesting comedic challenge for Jack Black. When asked, he stated "Damn, I've got to pump my game up."
There are several incidents in the film that references Dwayne Johnson's athletic/wrestling career: during the Bazaar scene, while fighting and calling out his actions, Bravestone dispatches one of Van Pelt's henchmen by using his wrestling finisher, the Rock Bottom (a body slam move). Fridge's football jersey reads #94. Johnson was formerly a football player at the University of Miami with his jersey reading #94. Finbar says that Bravestone is 6'5 tall and weighs 270 pounds. Those are Johnson's actual height and weight. At one point, Bravestone refers to himself in third person and the other characters comment about it. One of Johnson's WWE persona "The Rock"'s character traits is speaking about himself in third person, "Do you smell what The Rock is cookin'?" Finally, Alex was sucked into the game in the year of The Rock's first WWE match in real life.
When the trailers first came out, Ruby's outfit created some controversy. Karen Gillan admitted that the costume was too sexual, but believes that was the point. She wouldn't have done the movie and worn the costume if there was no purpose attached to it, and a different actress would've been cast as the avatar.
The 40-foot high Jaguar statue head was made from a combination of sculpted foam and concrete adorned with plaster paint to create the aged stone look.
Karen Gillan is from Scotland so she had to employ an American accent in order to play Martha/Ruby Roundhouse.
A poster for Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (2016) hangs in Spencer's room, whose score was also composed by Henry Jackman.
Colin Hanks' father Tom Hanks was considered for the role of Alan Parrish in the original Jumanji (1995).
Van Pelt is "actually made up of all the vermin and rodents, the grossest animals you can imagine - they inhabit his body."
Out of respect for the wildlife, the animal-skinned wardrobe items worn by Van Pelt's goons were made from synthetic materials.
The football player's nickname, "Fridge," is a nod to American football player William Perry, who was known as "The Refrigerator," or "The Fridge."
Shailene Woodley was originally cast as Ruby Roundhouse/Martha, but had to drop out of the film due to scheduling conflicts with Big Little Lies (2017). So Karen Gillan was cast instead.
The game Spencer is shown playing in his bedroom at the beginning of the movie is Street Fighter V (2016).
Upon looking at Jumanji (1995) with fresh eyes, producer Matt Tolmach "immediately felt there were more Jumanji stories to be told."
The original children's book "Jumanji" by Chris Van Allsburg was published in 1981.
When Jack Black was a child, he acted in a 1982 television commercial for the classic Atari 2600 and Intellivison video game Pitfall! (1982), in which he wore a pith helmet, as in this film.
The city of Atlanta, Georgia, provides the suburban locations for the Brantford scenes as well as sets for various jungle locations: the bazaar scene, the Jaguar statue, and the maze of booby-trapped tunnels.
Karen Gillan's five tips on surviving the jungle are to be fit, wear appropriate clothing, learn to start a fire, learn to fish, and learn to build tiny huts out of leaves.
Dr. Bravestone's utility belt was partly based on the belt that Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series wears.
Dwayne Johnson previously starred in The Rundown (2003), which was marketed under the title "Welcome to the Jungle" in some countries.
The costume team came up with their own video game lexicon that touched upon every type of hero, from the classic adventurer with an enviable video game arsenal of powers and weapons to the archetypal warrior princess.
There was a scene in the trailer showing Fridge running in the hallways and pushing Martha out of the way. The scene was not included in the finished product.
In the original Jumanji (1995) the game ended up being washed ashore on a beach in a French-speaking country. That game was thrown into a river in 1969, which means that 48 years had passed between these two movies. It is found by two French speaking girls but the year is not known, but it is known that Alex's dad finds it on a beach in 1996.
In the bazaar, when the group stops to eat, the vendor behind them is William Tokarsky. He is most famous for the viral short from Adult Swim, Too Many Cooks (2014).
This film is directed by Jake Kasdan, son of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) writer Lawrence Kasdan. The previous film Jumanji (1995) was directed by Joe Johnston, who worked on the visual effects for Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).
In the video game Brütal Legend (2009) there is a jungle area where the player traps beasts by encircling them with flames, using a flamethrower while riding a motorcycle. In this film, the exact same thing occurs. Jack Black stars in both.
Jack Black previously had jungle adventures in the films King Kong (2005) and Tropic Thunder (2008).
Although they do not share any screentime, this film reunites Colin Hanks, Jack Black, and Jake Kasdan who worked together on the comedy Orange County (2002). The two actors also shared scenes together in Peter Jackson's King Kong (2005).
Karen Gillan posted a photo to her official Instagram page of herself and her personal trainer, Scott Pearlman, and she thanked Pearlman for whipping her into shape for the movie.
Madison Iseman grew up as a huge fan of the original Jumanji (1995) and feels honored to continue the legacy.
James Newton Howard was originally announced as the film's composer, but had to leave due to schedule conflicts.
Despite one of Smolder Bravestone's official in-game strengths being "Fearlessness," Spencer is frequently scared by various things (such as a squirrel or "Mouse"/Fridge acting like he is going to hit him) throughout his time in Jumanji, just like he is back in the real world.
The movie's code name was called Jaguar, and signs were present for the movie at Kualoa Ranch in Hawaii.
Towards the beginning of the movie, Spencer is seen wearing a yellow raincoat and standing in front of a rundown dilapidated house, eerily reminiscent of It (2017).
A rare ex-Military Land Rover 101GS can be spotted in one scene. The other Land Rover is a also milspec Defender 110s.
Thirty-five years before this film's release, Colin Hanks' father, Tom Hanks, starred in the TV movie Mazes and Monsters (1982), where Hanks played a young man with a group of friends who play a board game which dangerously blurs the line between fantasy and reality.
Professor Oberon's bow tie in the film was made by Lisa Eaton (of bowtie.com), a woman in Kennebunk, Maine, where part of the original Jumanji (1995) was shot.
When Fridge says to Alex, "Cindy Crawford, She like fifty years old!". Cindy Crawford was in fact 50 years old during the filming of this movie.
Parts of the movie were filmed on O'ahu Hawaii, which offered a variety of jungle environments, including Waimea Valley, the North Shore, and Kualoa Ranch.
Seaplane asks if phones had changed. In 1996 cell phones were simply telephones, one of the most popular being the StarTac flip phone which had a the speaker part that would flip up.
During the Staring Contest around the basket, Dr. Bravestone exclaims: "Never Blink"! In Doctor Who: Blink (2007), The Doctor constantly advises "Do Not Blink"! Later in the series, the Doctor's companion Amy Pond is played by Karen Gillan, here playing Martha/Ruby.
Smolder Bravestone and Shelly Oberon were the only characters from the movie for which Funko released Pop! Vinyls. Ruby Roundhouse, Moose Finbar, Seaplane McDonough, Nigel Billingsly and Russell Van Pelt were left out.
The movie premiered at the 14th edition of Dubai International Film Festival 2017, with stars Ser'Darius Blain and Madison Iseman on December 9, 2017.
Jack Black has appeared in three of Jake Kasdan's previous films; Orange County (2002), Sex Tape (2014), and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007).
Martha/Ruby Roundhouse was foreshadowed in the original film. At the end of Jumanji (1995) when Alan Parish and Sarah Whittle meet Judy and Peter Shepherd again and also meet their parents. The name of Judy and Peter's mother is revealed as Martha.
In the film, the animals ran the gamut from mosquitoes, rhinos, hippos, snakes, and jaguars all cursed by the Jewel of Jumanji, so there's a menacing quality to even the most benign animal.
Two members of the cast have appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Bobby Cannavale (Van Pelt) played Jim Paxton, and Karen Gillan (Ruby Roundhouse) played Nebula.
The explorers in the film are identified by jungle animals, while the military are noted by larger game, and the bikers by flying animals.
Veteran stunt coordinators Gary Hymes and Oakley Lehman as well as second unit director Jack Gill are responsible for the amazing stunts in the film.
James Horner composed the music for the original 1995 film, with initials "J.H." For this version, the music was composed by Henry Jackman, with initials "H.J."
As of March 2018, this is the second project Dwayne Johnson has done where his name is Spencer. The other being Ballers (2015), where he portrays Spencer Strasmore.
Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart also shared the screen in Central Intelligence (2016).
This is the first Jumanji film to be rated PG-13 by the MPAA. The original Jumanji (1995) was rated PG.
Costume designer Laura Jean Shannon is a frequent collaborator with Jon Favreau on such films as The Jungle Book (2016), Chef (2014), and Iron Man (2008).
This project was completed with assistance from the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office, a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. With the participation of the Canadian Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit. Filmed on location on the Island of O'Ahu in the state of Hawai'i with the assistance of Hawai'i Production Tax Credits administered by the Hawai'i Film Office and the Department of Taxation. With the participation of the Canadian Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit.
This is the first Jumanji film to be shot digitally and in the wider 2.39:1 widescreen aspect ratio, unlike Jumanji (1995) which was shot on 35mm film on the standard spherical format for the taller 1.85:1 aspect ratio.
Karen Gillan also played a character named Ruby in All Creatures Here Below (2018).
Colin Hanks also starred in Jake Kasdan's Orange County (2002) with Jack Black, and had a cameo in the Jack Black vehicle Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny (2006).