'Stranger Than Fiction' Writer Hired to Script Columbia's New 'Jumanji'
As we heard this past summer Columbia Pictures is working on a new adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg's classic children's book Jumanji. There's no director attached to the project yet, but Sony has taken one smart step forward by landing Stranger Than Fiction writer Zach Helm to script the new take on the 1981 tale of kids who have to deal with the dangers of the jungle when the titular board game starts unleashing animals and more as they play. We're not sure if this new take will be similar to Joe Johnston's film from 1995, which departed quite a bit from the source material, or if it will be more faithful to the book.
Helm's script for Stranger Than Fiction is one of my favorites, however, his work on family films leaves something to be desired as he wrote Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium as well. The film wasn't terrible, but it was more than a bit childish to really let people of all ages enjoy. More recently, Heat Vision says Helm also did rewrite work on Ben Stiller's adaptation of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, so maybe that was enough to show studio executives that he can adapt a story for the big screen. Frankly, with the advances in technology we've had for visual effects (especially when you look at the animals in Life of Pi), I'm anxious to see what Helm does with this favorite storybook from my childhood. What do you think?