A remake of the 1995 family-friendly fantasy adventure Jumanji has been in the works for quite a while now, but the project is now reportedly gaining some momentum with the addition of a new writer and consultant — so much so that the studio is targeting a Christmas 2016 release date for the film.
High Fidelity and Con Air writer Scott Rosenberg has been recruited to rewrite the screenplay for the film, according to Deadline. Rosenberg is joined by Bad Robot’s Jeff Pinkner, who’s been added to the project in a consultant role.
This isn’t the first collaboration for the pair, who previously teamed up to co-create the CBS series Zoo, in which the world’s animal population suddenly rises up to take the planet and eliminate the human race. The series is based on the novel of the same name by James Patterson.
The original Jumanji was inspired by Chris Van Allsburg’s 1985 children’s book about a magical, jungle-themed board game that comes to life when a pair of suburban siblings begin playing it. As they progress through the game, they’re forced to survive all manner of fantastic threats from jungle creatures, killer plants, and natural disasters. They also encounter a man — played by the recently deceased Robin Williams — who’s been trapped in the game since he first attempted to play it as a 12-year-old boy in 1969.
Along with Williams, the 1995 film starred Bonnie Hunt, Kirsten Dunst, Bradley Pierce, Jonathan Hyde, Bebe Neuwirth, David Alan Grier, and Patricia Clarkson. It was released on December 15 and was directed by Joe Johnson (The Rocketeer, Captain America: The First Avenger), and despite mediocre reviews went on to earn $262.8 million that year.
The December 25, 2016, release date for the Jumanji remake is expected to have the film competing with Tim Burton’s adaptation of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, based on another popular children’s book.
Currently, there’s no director attached to the remake of Jumanji, but things will need to move along quickly if the film is going to hit theaters by next Christmas.