Dwayne Johnson: Jumanji sequel pays homage to Robin Williams

Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne Johnson has said he wanted to pay “homage and respect” to Robin Williams in the Jumanji sequel.

The action hero stars opposite Kevin Hart and Jack Black in the long-awaited follow-up to the 1995 film, which starred Williams, Kirsten Dunst and Bradley Pierce.

Former wrestling star Johnson, also known as The Rock, told the Press Association: “We wanted to make sure that we were really paying homage and respect and great love and reverence to him, because we wouldn’t be here without Robin Williams.”

He added: “Robin Williams created the Jumanji magic, as Jack likes to say, and through that magic we just wanted to hold this project with kid gloves and really try to do it justice and create something that is fun, that’s fresh, that’s different but also has a spirit of Jumanji and deliver that to today’s generation.”

Set more than 20 years after the events of the first film, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle sees the trio joined by Doctor Who’s Karen Gillan as they try to escape the game in which they are trapped.

Black plays a teenage girl called Bethany, who is stuck in the avatar of his body inside the Jumanji game.

Johnson hailed Black’s performance as an Instagram-obsessed 16-year-old as “amazing” but Black said: “It might have been too amazing.

“It might be like, ‘What’s up with Jack, why is he so good at that? He’s a little too good at that’.

“Flip the switch and I’m a 16-year-old girl, no problem. She’s right beneath the surface but I don’t let her out.

“That sounds creepy, like I’ve got a 16-year-old girl in my dungeon, no! That is not what I mean at all! What I’m saying is if I ever need her, she’s there.”

Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle is released in UK cinemas on December 20

The original Jumanji is on Sony Movie Channel on Boxing Day at 1pm