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Jumanji Alternate Ending Almost Left Some Heroes In The Jungle

This article contains spoilers for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.

The original 1995 Jumanji was responsible for giving more than a few kids nightmares, with its "win the game or be trapped indefinitely in a hellish jungle" concept being just a little too horrifying for some six-year-olds to consider. 

The movie's sequel Welcome to the Jungle, a surprise gift from Sony Pictures that turned out way better than it had any right to be, almost moved to generate a few bad dreams of its own. According to comments the movie's cast and creative team made to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie nearly ended with some of its characters still trapped inside of the game.

"We played with a bunch of different endings," said producer Matt Tolmach, discussing how tricky it is to build tension in a movie if the characters aren't really in danger. "There's a trap when you make movies about games. You have to make sure they have stakes. We were very intent on making it clear that you could also not get out of the game. That idea was very important to us throughout." 

Apparently, a number of alternate endings were considered for the Jumanji sequel before the decision was made to keep the story's conclusion both optimistic and self-contained. 

In the theatrical ending, the four kids who play Jumanji—Spencer, Bethany, Fridge, and Martha—take the game back behind the school and smash it into pieces with a bowling ball after they escape from it, seemingly closing the book on the jungle forever. But originally, the movie would've ended with the game intact, with Spencer still willingly stuck inside.

"In previous versions there was more of that where [Spencer] wanted to stay in the game with Martha," said Karen Gillian, who plays Martha's avatar Ruby Roundhouse. "We made way more of that." 

"It definitely could be interesting and would definitely leave it open to a sequel," she added.

According to co-star Jack Black, it's obvious why Spencer would've been the one who wanted to stay behind, because when you go from a string-bean teen to being built like The Rock, it's probably pretty tempting to stay in the game and never look back. 

"Dwayne the Rock Johnson was the one who wanted to stay because he had the best avatar," Black said. "He had Dwayne's body with all of his strengths!"

Ser'Darius Blain, who plays Anthony "Fridge" Johnson, adds that there was also another alternate ending considered that would've sucked everybody back into the game reality before the credits rolled.

"There were a few different ideas," Blain said. "Originally when [Spencer] and [Martha] kiss, we start hearing the drums again and then everyone gets the game downloaded on their phones. Then it's like, 'Oh, shoot! We're all going to be sucked in.' That would have been a cool way to go." 

It's honestly a surprise that, considering the franchise-or-bust state of the movie industry in the modern era, Sony didn't go with one of the endings that explicitly hooked in to a possible sequel. In wrapping the movie up in a tidy, complete manner, they granted a rare and welcome show of respect to the audience—something a lot of commentators thought the Jumanji reboot would deliver everything but. 

Still, Jack Black has it right with his assessment—if the studio wants to make a sequel, they'll figure out a way to make one. 

"Where there's a will there's a way," the actor said. "If the people love it and they want another one they'll figure out how to do it."

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is out in theaters now.