Beloved classic Jumanji, starring Robin Williams, spawned an incredibly successful series when it was rebooted 22-years later with Hollywood heavyweights Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kevin Hart.
The fourth part of the franchise is in the early stages of development, and producers have big plans for Jumanji 4. Fans of the 1995 original are hoping that Kirsten Dunst will return to reprise her role as Judy Shepherd.
What Role Did Kirsten Dunst Play in the First Jumanji?
Dunst was 12 years old when she filmed the fantasy adventure alongside the late, great Robin Williams. Williams played the traumatized jungle-man Alan Parrish, who had been trapped inside a supernatural board game called Jumanji since 1969.
Parrish was released from the game when the orphaned Shepherd children Judy and Peter (Dunst and Bradley Pierce) discover and play it in their new home 26 years later.
The trio locate Parrish’s original game-mate Sarah Whittle (Bonnie Hunt), who was labeled “crazy” after witnessing the then-young boy’s disappearance. They convince her to help them finish the game before the dangerous creatures it contains manage to kill them.
Would Kirsten Dunst Even Consider Coming Back As Judy Shepherd In Jumanji 4?
In a 2017 interview with Entertainment Tonight, the Spider-Man actress revealed that she would be interested in at least making a cameo appearance back in a future Jumanji film.
“That’d be fun,” she said. “I would definitely do something in that if they wanted me to.”
“I honestly didn’t even know they were making a Jumanji movie,” Dunst joked. “I’m offended I haven’t been reached out to be in it!”
The actress ultimately did not appear in the film, which saw the board game adapted into a video game that turns four detention-bound teens’ lives upside down when they find themselves trapped inside as adult avatars that must complete a quest.
The movie stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillian, and Nick Jonas as game characters who, in order to get back into the real world, must band together to defeat evil archeologist Professor Russell Van Pelt.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle went on to be a box office smash that raked in $962.1 million worldwide and became 2017’s fifth highest grossing hit.
How Could Kristen Dunst’s Character Come Back To The Jumanji Franchise?
2019’s Jumanji: The Next Level brought back the reboot’s original characters, when the same group of teenagers go back into the game to save their friend after he gets sucked back in.
The cast added Danny DeVito and Danny Glover as former diner owners feuding over the sale of their restaurant. They end up in the game alongside the teens. The characters learn that they must defeat nefarious warlord Jurgen the Brutal (Rory McCann) and restore Jumanji’s stolen magic to save the game.
Once back in the real world, DeVito’s character visits his former diner to ask for a managerial job, and the new owner is revealed to be Judy’s aunt, Nora Shepherd, a role reprised by Bebe Neuwirth.
In the original, the Shepherd children and Aunt Nora move into the Parrish family’s abandoned mansion more than a quarter-of-a-century after Alan’s disappearance. The film concludes with Alan and Sarah going back in time as their child selves and throwing the game into a river.
In a flash forward, Williams and Hunt’s characters are married and have invited the Shepherds to their home for a Christmas party after hiring the father to work at the family shoe factory.
Judy and Peter don’t remember Alan or Sarah, but the adult players manage to make sure that the children’s parents don’t get into the car crash that took their lives in the original timeline.
Jumanji 4 Might Be Set In The Real World
In addition to Aunt Nora’s cameo, which indicates the possibility that Judy and Peter Shepherd could still have ties to the area, Jumanji: The Next Level hinted that the game could spill into the real world in the upcoming sequel.
In a mid-credits scene, a flock of ostriches that appeared inside the game are seen running down a busy street, indicating that Jumanji’s creatures and all the game’s avatars have the potential to cross over into the same New Hampshire town that was destroyed in the original.
Jumanji 4’s plot is still under wraps and no actor negotiations have taken place, as the film likely won’t be in theaters until at least 2024. But the last installment gives fans of the original hope that Kirsten Dunst could star alongside The Rock and Kevin Hart.