Jumanji Restores Dominance Over Natural World, Box Office

Once again, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle sits on the top of the food chain… and the weekend box office. According to Box Office Mojo reports, Sony’s $90 million sequel to a 1995 children’s movie starring Robin Williams earned $11 million last weekend. This is yet another success for this action-adventure comedy that came out in December, stayed toe to toe with Star Wars: The Last Jedi for several weeks, took its place on the top of the weekend box office in January and remained there for four weeks.

After briefly dethroning Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Maze Runner: The Death Cure slipped to the second place of the last weekend’s box office by earning $10.2 million. In the third place, with $9.2 million, is the horror movie Winchester, featuring Helen Mirren. Fourth place belongs to The Greatest Showman – yet another title that, even after seven weeks in cinemas, is still among the top five most successful movies of the weekend. Finally, in the fifth place is the western Hostiles with $5.5 million.

Jumanji Sequel in the Works

The spectacular success of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle will most probably lead to a sequel, reports Deadline. Sony is in talks with the movie’s screenwriters Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg to pen a sequel to their unexpectedly huge hit. Pinkner and Rosenberg are working on a script for Venom, a standalone Spider-Man spinoff we already reported about. While it is way too early to know the release date for Jumanji‘s sequel’s sequel, it is expected that the movie’s cast will reprise their roles.

Based on a 1995 children’s movie that was, in turn, based on a 1981 children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle earned around $850 million worldwide over the last seven weeks. The success of the film was greatly helped by the general drought of blockbuster films in January (usually a dumping ground for bad movies), the audience’s familiarity with the franchise as well by the film’s stellar cast that includes Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, and Karen Gillan.

David Leitch in Talks to Direct Fast and Furious Spin-off

If previous two news items prominently featuring Dwayne Johnson aren’t enough for you, here’s another one: AVClub reports that the director David Leitch is now in talks with the executives at Universal about making a standalone film set in the Fast and Furious universe that would focus on the characters played by Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. Currently, not much else is known about this as-yet-untitled film, except for its release date – July 26, 2019.

After working for years as a stuntman on everything from Orgazmo and The Matrix Revolutions to Fight Club and V for Vendetta, in 2014 Leicht made his first feature film – a spectacular action flick John Wick starring Keanu Reeves. The success of John Wick led to a 2017 sequel and brought David Leitch to Hollywood’s attention. Since directing John Wick, Leicht made several other action-heavy movies including the last year’s Atomic Blonde (featuring Charlize Theron and James McAvoy) as well as the upcoming Deadpool 2.

New Showrunner for American Gods

Jesse Alexander is the new showrunner of the Starz show American Gods, writes The Hollywood Reporter. Alexander helped co-produce popular TV shows such as Alias, Heroes and Lost and served as a staff writer on Star Trek: Discovery. Alexander also worked alongside Bryan Fuller on the TV show Hannibal as one of its consulting and executive producers.

Original developers of American Gods Bryan Fuller and Michael Green left the production last November because of repeated clashes with the studio about the show’s rapidly rising production costs as well as due to creative differences with the artistic vision of Neil Gaiman, writer upon whose 2001 novel the show is based on. While Fuller and Green did pen six full scripts for the second season of American Gods, they will most probably be scrapped, leaving Alexander to begin anew. This isn’t the first show to have Bryan Fuller walk out of: just this week, Fuller bailed out of Apple’s Amazing Stories reboot while in 2016, he stepped down as a showrunner for Star Trek: Discovery.