Jumanji

Jumanji

While the research process for writing a Jumanji script is probably hellish and monkey-filled, Zach Helm (Stranger Than Fiction) is brave enough to take on the task. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the writer — who also wrote and directed Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium — has been hired by producers Matt Tolmach and Bill Teitler to give them a screenplay. This is a great move. Matt Tolmach Productions doesn’t have many winners underneath its belt (two forgettable crime comedies from the 1990s and, now, The Amazing Spider-Man), so it’s unclear what kind of movie they’re trying to create here or what they might really be capable of even under the careful watch of Columbia/Sony. Helm’s slant seems to be laughing at human foibles, danger and a dash of whimsy, so he seems like a solid choice to give this kind of family flick the right head start. When the project was first announced, the producers claimed it would be updated for our time, meaning it might look even more like Zathura than Jumanji (1995). Or that everyone will be on cell phones in the jungle. And planking. And trying to create “the new planking.” Still, I can’t wait for all the former cast cameos (or for Kirsten Dunst to take over Bonnie Hunt’s role wholesale).

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly column about movies and other interesting things currently being written by someone who is far more enthralled with Olympic gymnastics. He also watches beach volleyball, because why not? We begin this evening’s somewhat slim edition of News After Dark with the first look at Toby Jones as Alfred Hitchcock and Sienna Miller as Tippi Hedren in The Girl, HBO’s look at the storied relationship between the director and his one-time muse.

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Jumanji

The great thing about Sony wanting to reboot Jumanji is that they can get the same actors involved. Robin Williams and Bonnie Hunt still have the chops, and Kirsten Dunst is definitely still available, pigtails optional. Bradley Pierce is the wildcard, as he’s only done some scattered voice work in the past few years, but they could even get Joe Johnston to direct again. Isn’t that funny? They’re trying to reboot a movie where all the players, for the most part, are still in the acting and directing spotlight. Of course, a version from Michael Haneke would be cooler. Regardless, Sony is now firmly in the rebooting business. Men In Black is seeking even more installments, there’s Total Recall, Spider-Man is going to be exhausted by the time they get all their worth out of him, and now they’re even digging into the minor 90s hits to figure out what to do.

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captainamericawwii

Joe Johnston worked on Raiders of the Lost Ark, directed The Rocketeer, and I have no idea if he’s connected at all to Saving Private Ryan, but it looks like he’ll be bringing that signature style to Captain America.

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