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."
The statues in the jungle set are modeled after the board game pieces in the original film.
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.
Johnson and Hart are known for their intensive workout routines, but it was 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.
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.
Tom Holland was originally cast as Seaplane McDonough, but had to drop out of the film because he was busy with Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017).
Jack had a lot of fun as Bethany teaching Karen'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.
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.
The open field scene where the cast was chased by cyclists was shot at a 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.
In the aftermath of Jumanji (1995) actor Robin Williams's suicide, many people spoke out against this film. The crew assured that this film would provide a great tribute to Williams.
Dwayne 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."
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 cast members were asked if they were able to sing a part of the song "Welcome To The Jungle," and they all did. Jack Black sang lead vocals, then Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) and Kevin Hart joined him. Jack Black decided to perform Axl Rose's (unforgettable, iconic) scream.
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."
All the Brantford High School scenes were shot at the same school Goosebumps (2015) was filmed, which also starred Jack Black.
According to Jake Kasdan, the one and only person he wanted for each of the lead roles on this film is playing that part.
Jack Black says the script in some ways reminded him of John Hughes' classic The Breakfast Club.
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.
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. That is Johnson's weight and height in real life. 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'?" 1996, The year Alex was sucked into the game, was the year 'The Rock" had his first WWE match.
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.
As a nod to the original Jumanji, production designer Owen Paterson integrated the board game animal tokens into the ancient temple designs as large vine-covered statues.
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.
Alex's tree house was an actual tree house built around a sprawling Banyan tree and hidden in the jungle foliage.
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.
The football player's nickname, "Fridge," is a nod to American football player William Perry, who was known as "The Refrigerator," or "The Fridge."
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
When Jack Black was a child, he acted in a 1982 television commercial for the classic Atari 2600 and Intellivison video game called Pitfall, in which he wore a safari hat. In this film, he wears a similar style safari hat.
Van Pelt is "actually made up of all the vermin and rodents, the grossest animals you can imagine - they inhabit his body."
Karen'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."
Alex's tree house was built by Production Designer Owen Paterson, made up from salvaged and repurposed items found around the island.
The game Spencer was shown playing in his bedroom at the beginning of the movie was Street Fighter V.
Out of respect for the wildlife, the animal-skinned wardrobe items worn by Van Pelt's goons were made from synthetic materials.
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.
The original children's book "Jumanji" by Chris Van Allsburg was published in 1981.
Dr. Bravestone's utility belt was partly based on the belt that Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series wears.
Dwayne Johnson coincidentally starred in The Rundown (2003), which was originally called "Welcome to the Jungle" and known as that in other countries.
This was the second collaboration between Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. The first was Central Intelligence (2016).
Upon looking at the 1995 feature with fresh eyes, producer Matt Tolmach "immediately felt there were more Jumanji stories to be told."
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.
James Newton Howard was originally announced as the film's composer, but had to leave due to schedule conflicts.
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.
Although they do not share any screentime, this film reunites Colin Hanks and Jack Black, who both starred in the comedy Orange County (2002). Director Jake Kasdan also helmed both films. The two actors also shared scenes together in Peter Jackson's King Kong (2005).
This was Jack Black's third adventure film set in a jungle setting. Black had starred in King Kong (2005) as the filmmaker Carl Denham, Tropic Thunder (2008), playing an actor, Jeff Portnoy, and in this film, he plays a virtual character.
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).
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 the movie It (2017).
Young Spencer (Alex Wolff) has a number of video game posters hanging in his room and behind his door, primarily from two popular Sony titles: Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (2016) and The Last Guardian (2016).
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.
A rare ex-Military Land Rover 101GS can be spotted in one scene. The other Land Rover is a also milspec Defender 110s.
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.
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.
The movie's code name was called Jaguar, and signs were present for the movie at Kualoa Ranch in Hawaii.
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 film was shot.
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 draws them towards the line between fantasy and reality.
Madison Iseman grew up as a huge fan of the original Jumanji and feels honored to continue the legacy.
Jack Black, Colin Hanks and Jake Kasdan have worked together on Orange County (2002).
Colin Hank's father Tom Hanks was considered for the role of Alan Parrish in the original Jumanji (1995).
The Jaguar sculpture was made from a combination of sculpted foam and concrete which was covered in plaster paint to give it a stone look.
The movie premiered at the 14th edition of Dubai International Film Festival 2017, with the stars Ser'Darius Blain and Madison Iseman on December 9, 2017.
Production Designer Owen Patterson's credits include Captain America: Civil War, Godzilla, The Green Hornet, Speed Racer, V for Vendetta, Gods of Egypt, Red Planet, The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, and The Matrix Revolutions.
Jack Black has appeared in three of Jake Kasdan's previous films; Orange County, Sex Tape and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.
Actor Tim Matheson, who played Old Man Vreeke, proprietor of the dilapidated "Freak House," is most celebrated for his role as Eric Stratton, member of the Delta Tau Chi fraternity who lived in the "Animal House" in the comedy film Animal House (1978).
During the scene 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.
The explorers in the film are identified by jungle animals, while the military are noted by larger game, and the bikers by flying animals.
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."
Although the virtual game of Jumanji had its fair share of over-sized animals, the cast dealt with O'ahu's own display of Mother Nature's critters including feral pigs and creepy crawly centipedes.
In the film, the animals ran the gamut from oversized 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.
Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson also shared the screen in the comedy Central Intelligence.
Visual Effects Supervisor Jerome Chen's credits also include Suicide Squad, Fury, Amazing Spider-Man, and Amazing Spider-Man 2.
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.
This is the first Jumanji film to be shot digitally and in the wider 2.39:1 widescreen aspect ratio, unlike the original film which was shot on 35mm film on the standard spherical format for the taller 1.85:1 aspect ratio.
Costume Designer Laura Jean Shannon is a frequent collaborator with Jon Favreau on such films as The Jungle Book, Chef, and Iron Man.
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).
Veteran stunt coordinators Gary M. Hymes and Oakley Lehman as well as second unit director Jack Gill are responsible for the amazing stunts in the film.
Jumanji: Welcome To the Jungle once again reunites actor Jack Black and director Jake Kasdan. Black was excited to work again with Kasdan, calling the filmmaker "a good acting scientist" with the talent to "tweak my brain to make the best acting happen."
As of March 2018, this is the second project Dwayne Johnson has done where his name is Spencer. The other being Ballers, where he portrays Spencer Strasmore
Colin Hanks also starred in Jake Kasdan's Orange County and had a cameo in Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny starring Jack Black.
Jack Black (Professor Sheldon "Shelly" Oberon/Bethany), Colin Hanks (Adult Alex Vreeke) and Marc Evan Jackson (Principal Bentley) previously appeared in two King Kong movies. Black and Hanks previously appeared in King Kong (2005) and Jackson previously appeared in Kong: Skull Island (2017).