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This shouldn’t have to be said, but this feature will be loaded with spoilers for the new movie Jumanji: The Next Level. We literally will be discussing the movie’s ending, so stop reading now if you do not want to be spoiled.
All of the Jumanji movies, up to this point, have been standalone adventures. This includes the Robin Williams original, as well as the sci-fi spinoff Zathura (which was disconnected, but basically “Jumanji in Space”). That has changed with the ending of Jumanji: The Next Level. The game is being altered, and that will have a major impact on the movies to come.
When Sony decided to bring the Jumanji property off of the shelf for a reimagining in 2017, the remake/reboot wasn’t thought of as being a franchise launcher. For those who might not recall, the Jumanji video game that pulled the four main characters – played by Alex Wolff, Morgan Turner, Ser’Darius Blain and Madison Iseman – into the virtual world of Jumanji was destroyed.
However, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle ended up being a HUGE crowdpleaser, so a sequel was ordered up. Now the producers are discussing “multiple Jumanji universes” (that’s apparently a real thing). And the final scenes of the new movie Jumanji: The Next Level end up being a direct set up for another movie. That’s not speculation. Director Jake Kasdan told us this.
So, let’s talk about the final scenes of Jumanji: The Next Level, and then share some comments from the director about how this might set up the future of the Jumanji series.
What Happens At The End Of Jumanji: The Next Level?
By the end of Jumanji: The Next Level, our main characters have made it out of the game a second time. Only one character decided to stay. Milo (Danny Glover) had admitted to his close friend, Eddie (Danny DeVito), that he was dealing with an illness, so he chose to stay in the game… in the form of a flying horse.
Everyone leaves the game and returns to their normal lives. Spencer (Alex Wolff) learns to trust in the bond of friendships forged with Martha (Morgan Turner), Bethany (Madison Iseman) and Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain). The group finally meets for the meal that they were supposed to have at the start of the movie, in the diner now called Nora’s.
As for Grandpa Eddie (Danny DeVito), he also ventures back to Nora’s – which used to be his restaurant – and strikes up a conversation with the new owner. As they chat, Eddie learns that they need help at the shop, so his forced retirement has come to an end. It’s a win, win for everyone involved!
Back at Spencer and Eddie’s house, Spencer’s mom is heading into the basement with the furnace repairman (Lamorne Morris). The tech recognizes the gaming system on Spencer’s workbench, and admits to being a bit of a gamer, himself. Though Spencer’s mom warns him against touching it, because it looks broken, Morris’ character presses a button on the console.
The camera cuts back to the front of Nora’s café. We see one ostrich from the game run past. However, as we learned in Jumanji: The Next Level, ostrich travel on herds. Immediately after, an army of massive ostrich run past the restaurant as Spencer, Bethany, Fridge and Martha come out onto the street, trying to figure out what is going on. We smash back to the credits, as this adventure draws to a close.
What Does This Mean?
The immediate speculation is the obvious one, that the game is now part of the real world in which our human heroes operate, so they will not be able to escape the dangers of Jumanji by defeating a level and going back home. The presence of the ostrich in the world of Spencer, Martha, Bethany and Fridge means that whatever the furnace repairman did, he unleashed chaos into our normal universe.
Is it more complicated than that? Not at the moment, according to Jumanji: The Next Level director and co-writer Jake Kasdan. When we asked him point blank if the final shots embedded into his end credits were meant to imply that in the next movie, the game essentially will be OUT of the game, he told us:
I think that’s a perfect way to put it. That’s what we’re implying about where we might want to go with this story. I like that idea. I don’t know if there’ll be another one. We’ll have to see what happens with this one And I didn’t want to end this in a way that was dependent on another movie to be satisfying. But that said, you come back to make the second one, you sort of have to at least acknowledge the possibility that… it’s foolish not to plan for the possibility that there could be another.
Releasing the animals into the world is a slight departure from some of the talk that we got from Jumanji: The Next Level producers Matt Tolmach and Hiram Garcia during the same press junket. You see, during a press conference with the cast, Dwayne Johnson repeatedly mentioned the phrase “multiple Jumanji universes.” He seemed to be teasing that as a direction of where we could possibly go with Jumanji 4.
So, we posed that question to the producers, and Hiram Garcia admitted to us that they have been thinking about the concept, explaining:
The first Jumanji, the very first one with Robin Williams, is so beloved. It was beloved to us and what was important to us when we went and made Welcome to the Jungle was [that] we didn’t want to remake Jumanji. That was never the goal. Because you want to let such a beloved film like that, that means so much to so many people, stand on its own. And we wanted to build upon it. We wanted to expand that universe. So that’s why we always acknowledge the movie. That world existed. What happened there, you know, you feel elements of it, even in this movie. And so for us, the idea of expanding the Jumanji universe, and the idea of there [being] different versions of the game, there’s different ways the game can challenge you. And the bigger we can make the universe, the more opportunities and challenges we can give to our heroes. You’ve met some of the avatars, you meet new avatars in this movie, and when you start to get into that space where now we’re creating a Jumanji universe and every time you beat one version of the game, there’s a new one.
This sort of poses two possible paths for a Jumanji 4. There could be a traditional sequel that picks up right where this one leaves off, and then focuses on the teenage characters who we never get to see on an adventure. Because of the avatars in the Jumanji reboot, the bulk of the action defaults to The Rock, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Jack Black (with Awkwafina joining the crew this time around). But I’m unsure how they’d figure out how to bring the avatars out into our world, so Bravestone and his cohorts might have a hard time appearing in Jumanji 4, if it stays set in our universe.
At the same time, Garcia’s comments about the possibility of exploring multiple Jumanji universes means that there could be a spinoff movie that relies on the classic avatars we now know very well, thanks to the two recent Jumanji movies. And because they are avatars, you have creative freedom to introduce virtually anyone you want to the cast, because it doesn’t make to make logical sense. It’s a video game. Awkwafina can play Danny DeVito, and the audience doesn’t bat an eye.
SHOULD Sony do this? That’s a different question. Too much of a good thing is always a risk, which leads us to our final point.
Will There Be A Jumanji 4?
Both Jake Kasdan and his producers took the safe route when we discussed the possibility of more movies in this series. They left it up to the audience to essentially tell them if they want more movies in this saga. And the way that they will do that will be at the box office.
It’s worth noting that the flat-out success of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle inspired the team to reunite quickly and come up with a second adventure for this cast of characters. So if Jumanji: The Next Level does really well, the ending scene of this movie gives them a clear-cut springboard on which to build. Also, they have that concept of “multiple Jumanji universes” in their back pocket, so it feels like groundwork is being laid for more movies in this series.
If I were to gamble, because Jumanji: The Next Level ends on a blatant tease for what could happen next, I’d say Jumanji 4 is all but certain. The new movie would have to really tank for Sony not to continue making movies in a given franchise. Studios loves brands, and sequels help pay the bills.
So, let’s see how this movie does, and then prepare for announcements on the future of Jumanji, which could include spinoffs and may include Jumanji 4.
What are your thoughts on the ending of Jumanji: The Next Level? Did you think it was an intriguing set up for the next chapter? Or did the ending take things too far? Hit the comments section and share your opinions on Jumanji: The Next Level and its game-changing ending.