I’m still shocked that Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is the second-highest grossing movie in Sony’s history, coming in only behind the James Bond hit Skyfall at the worldwide box office. But audiences ate it up, and the studio has a sequel slated for release this winter with many of the previous film’s cast members coming back for more. Now we can add one additional name to the list of Jumanji 3‘s returning players: Nick Jonas, who played Jefferson “Seaplane” McDonough, the avatar of a kid from 1996 who became trapped in the game – much like Robin Williams’ character Alan Parrish in the original movie.
The Hollywood Reporter says Jonas will be returning for the still-untitled Jumanji 3, though it’s still unclear what the plot will be or exactly how actors like Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan will factor into the story. In Welcome to the Jungle, those stars played the video game avatars for characters played by Alex Wolff, Ser’Darius Blain, Madison Iseman, and Morgan Turner (all of whom are also returning for this new sequel). Jonas was the avatar for a kid named Alex Vreeke, who unknowingly became trapped in the game for two decades and camped out at Alan Parrish’s jungle treehouse.
(Warning: spoilers for Welcome to the Jungle ahead.)
The second film ends with the teenagers escaping the game and encountering a grown-up version of Alex (now played by Colin Hanks), who explains that the game “spit him out right where [he] started,” back in 1996. He now has a wife and two children, and his daughter is named Bethany, after the once-narcissistic girl who selflessly saved Alex’s life inside the game.
Because secrecy around the new sequel is so strong, we can only speculate about how these characters may be involved. Will the teenagers get sucked into another game? Does that mean Colin Hanks is joining the teenagers? If not, that means Nick Jonas’s Jefferson “Seaplane” McDonough is going to be the avatar for an entirely different character.
My guess is that, in order to shake things up, all of the characters end up with different avatars this time around. That would give the big-name actors an opportunity to bring some new shades to their characters and not just repeat the same type of performance as the previous film. It’s also possible that the game avatars make the jump into the real world this time, bringing back a similar dynamic as the original 1995 Jumanji. We’ll find out when director Jake Kasdan‘s Jumanji 3 arrives on December 13, 2019.
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