EXCLUSIVE: Nick Jonas is in talks to join Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Jack Black in the Jake Kasdan-directed reimagining of Jumanji that Sony Pictures has set for a July 28, 2017 release. Matt Tolmach is producing. While Jonas is best known for his singing voice as a solo artist who started as one of the Jonas Brothers, he showed real chops in the frat hazing drama Goat, which premiered at Sundance in January and which Paramount releases September 23. He also stars in the MMA series Kingdom. Busy with music commitments, closing Jonas’ deal is predicated on scheduling. But a studio franchise seems a smart next step in a career worth watching.
Kasdan will direct a script by Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner, latter of whom last worked for the studio on The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Their script is based on draft by original writers, Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, and the whole thing is based on the Caldecott Medal-winning adventure book by Chris Van Allsburg. William Teitler is also producing and the exec producers are Kasdan, Van Allsburg, Johnson, David Householter, Ted Field, Mike Weber and Dany Garcia. Shooting starts next month in Honolulu.
The original Jumanji starred Robin Williams and was released in 1995. The film grossed more than $260 million globally. The second installment, Zathura, flopped, but Sony has been trying for a while for a foothold to relaunch the fantastical world depicted in Van Allsburg’s book. That effort goes back to when Tolmach was production president at the studio.
Tolmach is separately producing Rock That Body, starring Scarlett Johansson, Jillian Bell and Kate McKinnon.