'Jumanji' takes things to 'The Next Level,' according to Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart

ByAndrea Lans OTRC logo
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart on 'Jumanji: The Next Level'
Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and the rest of the "Jumanji" cast caught up with On The Red Carpet about how the new movie takes the franchise to "The Next Level" at the film's premiere in Hollywood.

LOS ANGELES -- The stars of "Jumanji: The Next Level" rolled up to the film's premiere in style. After exiting via a slew of dune buggies, the cast caught up with On The Red Carpet about how the new movie will take "Jumanji" fans on a whole new adventure.

"I think that we did a good job in the first one of setting the tone," said Kevin Hart (Mouse Finbar/Fridge). "For us to come back we have to go bigger, we have to be better."

The 2017 reboot "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" was released 22 years after the original, but pleasantly surprised critics and garnered over $962 million at the box office.

"The first movie fortunately did so well around the world," Dwayne Johnson stated. "So the challenge was to come up with something creatively that was fresh." From enhanced special effects, to more intense stunts, and even new characters, the filmmakers intended to break boundaries with the new movie.

"Based on the script alone, there are so many things where they totally went to the next level with," said Madison Iseman (Young Bethany).

In addition to the new and improved special effects, Johnson said that the introduction of new characters was "a key element" in making the film more exciting.

When Ser'Darius Blain (Young Fridge) found out that Danny DeVito, Danny Glover and Awkwafina were joining the cast, he knew the film would be a hit. The actor was excited to work with legends DeVito and Glover in particular. He described DeVito as being "sharp as a tack," as the actor always improvised something new and exciting on set.

"They treat people like they're the only person on the planet," Blain said of the legendary actors. "It was really awesome to get to see what makes these guys have so much longevity."

Blain also pointed out that the new movie incorporates entirely new themes: "This story [talks] about taking care of people when they get older."

DeVito takes on the role of Spencer's cranky grandfather Eddie, whose alter-ego is played by Dwayne Johnson. DeVito's cameo in the film's trailer is reminiscent of Ed Asner's character Carl in 2009 Pixar film "Up." DeVito and his geriatric friend, played by Glover, enter the game and must work together with the college-aged characters to save their friends.

In addition to new characters, the kids have changed quite a bit since the last movie. Morgan Turner gave insight on Martha's journey in the new film. She's gotten a makeover and has adopted new hobbies, but Martha is still "forced back into the game to learn a few more lessons from Ruby Roundhouse."

While the first reboot initially took place in a high school setting, the kids are older now and thus face more mature problems.

Turner highlighted a major theme for her character: "No matter what changes on the outside, you're always gonna be yourself on the inside and you have to stay true to that." Turner said that everyone could benefit from that message, especially with the veil of glamour social media culture provides.

Iseman revealed that her character "has a new perspective and love for adventure" in this film. "She sort of takes on a new role, which you'll see," Iseman teased. That role, as revealed in the trailer, is Bethany's new avatar in the game: a horse.

While the cast revealed many things to look forward to in "The Next Level," Johnson hinted that there are still "other surprises in the film."

"Jumanji: The Next Level" hits theaters December 13.