Crazy Rich Asians and Ocean’s 8 star Awkwafina is in talks to join Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart in Sony Pictures’ Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle sequel, THR reports.
Awkwafina is in final negotiations to board the sequel set to reunite Johnson and Hart with co-stars Jack Black and Karen Gillan, and will play a character described by sources only as “key” and “significant.”
The rapper-slash-actress broke out in the Ocean’s 11 franchise revival last summer before proving her mettle again in worldwide hit Crazy Rich Asians, and will next headline independent films The Farewell and Paradise Hills as well as a self-titled Comedy Central-backed autobiographical TV series.
Jake Kasdan again directs the third Jumanji and co-writes alongside Scott Rosenberg (Venom) and Jeff Pinkner (The Amazing Spider-Man 2). Welcome to the Jungle, sequel to the 1995 comedy that starred Robin Williams, proved a mega-hit for Sony, grossing $962 million worldwide even amidst competition from Disney-Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Filming on Jumanji 3 is expected to launch this month and could again shoot in Hawaii.
Kasdan said in July the writing team were “very close to cracking” the story for the sequel, which Kasdan admitted was “a complicated little puzzle” that was developing some “exciting stuff.”
The key to his second entry in the franchise, Kasdan added, was maintaining the series’ heart and moving forward in a way that felt organic given the ending of Welcome to the Jungle.
“It’s a big part of what we’ve all loved about that story and that movie was that it was this big fantasy that has kind of like a real kind of like strong, emotional center to it, and I do think that’s a big part of what DJ responded to about it in the first place, and I know it’s a big part of what I loved about it,” Kasdan said.
“So part of the challenge of figuring out how it continues is to keep that alive in ways that feel earned and, you know, like a true continuation of the story.”
Sony Pictures has dated the untitled Jumanji 3 for December 19.