Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, a continuation of the 1995 film starring Robin Williams, has officially hit theaters.
In the movie, the characters Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), Moose Finbar (Kevin Hart), Professor Shelly Oberon (Jack Black), and Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillian) find themselves transported into a video game — a modern take on 1995 storyline, which featured a board game.
Johnson, also known for voicing the demigod Maui in Disney's Moana, grew up in Hawaii and has strong ties to Polynesian culture. On Instagram, Johnson spoke about why it was so important to him for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle to be filmed in Hawaii:
And on a personal note, it's such a cool thing for me to bring the production of this movie to Hawaii. The positive ripple effect it has on local businesses and families in terms of creating jobs and additional income makes me very happy. I grew up on the island thru [sic] hard times and good times, so it means a lot to this local boy.
A majority of the film's exteriors were shot on Oahu, with a large number of scenes at Kualoa Ranch. The location is known as the “backlot of Hawaii” and with good reason. You may recognize the famous Kualoa Mountains from Jurassic Park, 50 First Dates and the Lost television series, just to name a few.
The waterfall-jumping scene featured in the trailer was filmed in Papaikou, just north of Hilo on the Big Island. The same waterfall is used for the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Championships.
As a thank you to the men and women who serve, an early screening of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle — complete with the cast in attendance — was held on Oahu at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam for military members and their families.
And Hawaii hasn’t seen the last of The Rock: Disney’s The Jungle Cruise is set to begin filming in Hawaii in spring 2018.