Tag Archives: night at the museum

“Jumanji” Reboot Gets “Zoo” Writers

Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkum swing into action to rewrite the jungle caper. But how will this Jumanji differ from the 1995 original?

Christmas time is something of a Holy Grail for family adventure movies. Night at the Museum has sat atop that mountain for a good few sequels now, but the now that snowy spot is vacant. There was word earlier in the year that a reboot of Jumanji was set to take over, aiming for a Christmas Day 2016 release with Stranger than Fiction writer Zack Helm writing a script. But since that little rumour nothing has emerged about the project – until now.

According to Screen Rant, the news is that the reboot of the 1995 Robin Williams classic has nabbed itself a couple of writers. The first is Scott Rosenberg, whose most recent writing credit is on the Syfy series Zoo. Also from the Zoo writing staff is Jeff Pinkum, who will be a consultant on the script.

Their plan is to re-adapt the original novel by Chris van Allsburg, instead of rebooting the first film. If this is the case, there will be a good few changes to the plot this time around. For one, the novel focuses exclusively on the children Peter and Judy, who play a boardgame that contains a dangerous jungle realm. In the 1995 film, Williams and Bonnie Hunt play adults who had some bad experiences with the game years before, but in the novel they dint exist. This would probably be a good move, since fans of the original would be averse to seeing the late Williams replaced.

Rosenberg will be doing a rewrite on the script originally written by Helm, with Pinker’s assistance. It’s quite possible that Helm’s draft was too jovial, given his previous work in projects like Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. Granted, Zoo isn’t the most serious show in the world, but it does try to put more emphasis of adventure and danger. So perhaps now we’ll be seeing a more savage take on the jungle adventure. The same could be said of Jon Favreau‘s The Jungle Book reboot, so that project could serve as a litmus test for how Jumanji will fare at the box office.

Watch this space for all the latest Jumanji movie news.

There seems to be a glitch as director leaves “Minecraft” adaptation

Minecraft? A sprawling, non-stop game with no particular plot or goal system being turned into a movie? No, I don’t see why there should be a problem with that. Oh, wait, I see what you mean: every part of that is a problem. Say what you will, at least a game of battleships has a beginning and end, the quality of the film Battleship not withstanding.

Anyway, we’re two months into Minecraft mania now and there’s been a bump in the road, in the shape of an absentee director. The Wall Street Journal (seriously? WSJ? Ok, whatever) has reported that director Shawn Levy, who signed onto the project two months ago has now parted ways, and the word is it’s more or less permanent. If you’re wondering what Levy’s worked on in the past, you can thank him for Real Steel, Date Night and every Night At The Museum movie. His reasons for leaving? Glad you asked: Levy explains himself in an interview. Here’s what he said:

What happened simply is, Warners asked me to develop kind of how might this ever be a story for a movie, because it’s not a narrative game. We came up with an approach that felt good to us and I discussed it with Mojang, the game makers who make Minecraft, and they were like, that doesn’t sound like what we want if we’re gonna see a movie get made. We don’t know what we want, but that doesn’t feel right. 

So in a nutshell, Levy had an idea for how the movie should play out and the makers of Minecraft shot it down, with seemingly no notes or improvements or anything constructive. It’s hard to think of a more frustrating response to an original idea than “it’s good, but it’s not right. I don’t know what is right, but I know it’s not that”. It’s hard to fight with that logic, but to his credit Levy was pretty respectful about the whole thing: “…You know what it’s not my game, they know what they’re doing. And the truth is there is a long history of trying to make great movies out of games, and they’re rarely done well. I think Mojang is still figuring out what they want.”

Wow, what a stand-up guy. The next project he’s connected with will be the luckiest project in the whole world. It looks like there’s no clear direction when it comes to a Minecraft movie. But unless you hated The Lego Movie, I think you’ll agree that a lack of a straight line in an adaptation can lead to some pretty awesome stuff on screen.

Sorry to see you go Levy, and to whomever replaces you, God speed. You’ll need it.

The speed I mean.

I’ll shut up now.