, a reboot of the original 1995 film starring the late Robin Williams. The first trailer for dropped this morning, and initially it looks like it might recapture some of the clever charm of its predecessor.
In the original , a young boy in 1969 finds a supernatural board game and begins to play with his neighbor, Sarah.
The game unleashes actual jungle hazards into the real world, and the only way to make it go away is to face down your fear and finish the game. Of course, this proves complicated: Alan gets sucked into the game and a panicked Sarah stops playing, leaving it to two young orphans in 1995 to finish the game he and Sarah started 26 years before.
updated the concept, turning the board game into a video game. In 1996, a disaffected teen named Alex is given the board game by his father, who found it on a beach. He’s not into old school board games, so the game transforms into a video game cartridge. Alex, like Alan before him, also gets sucked into the game for 20 years until four high school students discover the game while serving detention. It was a clever twist, with the teens taking on avatars—a source of much of the film’s humor—tackling the various levels of the game, hoping to finish before losing all their allotted three lives.
: They succeed in mastering the game and supposedly destroy it. But the trailer for opens with Spencer (Alex Wolff), one of the teens, digging out the pieces of the video game in his grandfather Eddie’s basement (played by Danny DeVito). He repairs it and once again disappears, because Spencer apparently learned nothing from . When Fridge, Martha, and Bethany (Spencer’s fellow players in the 2017 film) come to the house to visit, they find the game running and quickly realize what happened. They resolve to go back into the game to rescue their friend—except this time Eddie and his elderly pal, Milo (Danny Glover), get sucked into the game, too.
Wacky hijinks ensue, starting with who gets what avatar. Grandpa Eddie finds himself with the Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson) avatar that once represented Spencer, while Milo ends up with the Franklin “Mouse” Finbar avatar (played by Kevin Hart). It’s a fun little twist, watching the two elderly men get used to the abilities of their avatar bodies. The new trailer doesn’t reveal much plot in terms of the ultimate quest, other than showing the team must somehow “save” the game. But we do get glimpses of the kinds of scenarios and challenges they’ll be facing in this more advanced version. (I particularly like the design of the shifting rope ladders over a gaping ravine.)
Do we need another sequel? Maybe not. But had its charms, and the same might be true of especially with DeVito and Glover added to the cast and a planned holiday release, when there’s a big audience for this kind of fare.
hits theaters on December 13, 2019.
14 with 12 posters participating