A new take on Chris Van Allsburg's adventure book "Jumanji" is officially in the works at Columbia Pictures. The Hollywood Reporter shares that the studio is developing the remake project and has hired Zach Helm as the screenwriter. Helm himself is critically known for his work in "Stranger Than Fiction".
The project still hasn't found its director, but Matt Tolmach and Bill Teitler have all signed on as the producers. Ted Field and Mike Wevber, meanwhile, will serve as executive producers. It is unclear when the project is expected to start.
THR reports that this new reimagining will mix "light comedy and family adventure." Though the plot will be "an update for the present," the basic premise is still about a board game that comes to life as two kids discover it and release a man trapped in the game for decades. With the supernatural power of the game, the two kids also unleash jungle forces and must team up with the man to quell the game's powerful magic.
The story was first adapted into the big screen in 1995 by Joe Johnston. It starred Kirsten Dunst and Bradley Pierce as the two kids who discovered the game, and Robin Williams as the man who's trapped in it. In 2005, Jon Favreau directed some kind of its sequel called "Zathura" which starred Kristen Stewart and Josh Hutcherson.
As for Zach Helm, his most recent screenwriting gig was Ben Stiller's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty".