‘Jumanji’ Almost Had a Much Darker Alternate Ending
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is one of the many holiday movies that opened this weekend, and it’s already done pretty well for itself at the box office. Jumanji itself has a pretty terrifying concept — you have to play to survive, and if you lose you’re trapped in the game forever — and the new movie almost had that happen to one of the characters.
Apparently (and spoilers from here on out), at the end of the movie, there was a version that had Spencer, who adopts Dwayne Johnson’s avatar in the video game, and Martha, who’s played by Karen Gillan, stay in the game while the rest of them escaped. Gillan told The Hollywood Reporter:
In previous versions there was more of that where [Spencer] wanted to stay in the game with Martha. We made way more of that. It definitely could be interesting and would definitely leave it open to a sequel.
Jack Black added that of course, “Dwayne the Rock Johnson was the one who wanted to stay because he had the best avatar! He had Dwayne's body with all of his strengths!”
There was plenty of discussion about how a darker ending would have left the movie open to a sequel. Nick Jonas told THR that, “There is that conversation of what could have happened,” and producer Matt Tolmach told the publication, “We played with a bunch of different endings. There’s a trap when you make movies about games. You have to make sure they have stakes. We were very intent on making it clear that you could also not get out of the game. That idea was very important to us throughout.”
There was also apparently a version of the ending where the video game suddenly becomes an app and appears on all of their phones. Ser’Darius Blain, whose character adopts Kevin Hart’s video game avatar, said, “There were a few different ideas. Originally when Alex [Wolff] and Morgan [Turner] kiss, we start hearing the drums again and then everyone gets the game downloaded on their phones. Then it’s like, ‘Oh, shoot! We’re all going to be sucked in.’ That would have been a cool way to go.” That also would have been a good opportunity for Jack Black’s theme song.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is now playing.