Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Jumanji: The Next Level Trailer Reveals A Big, Bonkers Twist

What the Rock is cooking smells a whole lot different this time around. 

Sony Pictures Entertainment dropped the first trailer for Jumanji: The Next Level on Monday, revealing not only the sequel pic's official title but also a major twist that changes everything you think you know about the franchise. 

The follow up to 2017's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which itself was a sequel to the original Jumanji movie starring the late Robin Williams, Jumanji: The Next Level subverts audience expectations in a major way by revealing — wait for it — that Danny DeVito's character is the new user behind Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's Dr. Smolder Bravestone, a character in the Jumanji video game. 

The trailer introduces DeVito as Eddie Gilpin, the grandfather to Alex Wolff's Spencer Gilpin, who played as Dr. Bravestone in the sprawling make-believe world in Welcome to the Jungle. Unbeknownst to his friends, Spencer actually kept the parts to the Jumanji game and began working on fixing the system at his grandfather's house. His pals Martha Kaply (Morgan Turner), Bethany Walker (Madison Iseman), and Anthony "Fridge" Johnson (Ser'Darius Blain) show up to Spencer's grandfather's place — only to find that Spencer has re-entered the game. Their next step is obvious: boot up the game, which is shown glitching out on the television screen in the basement, and dive into it to save Spencer. 

Everything seems to go normally, but it's quickly revealed that something went majorly wrong when the group hopped back into Jumanji: Eddie and his friend Milo Walker (Danny Glover) accidentally got pulled into Jumanji when Martha, Bethany, and Fridge decide to go in. Thanks to a bonkers switcharoo, Eddie now inhabits Spencer's avatar, Dr. Smolder Bravestone; Fridge is now inside Bethany's old avatar Professor Sheldon Oberon (Jack Black); and Milo occupies Fridge's former avatar Franklin "Mouse" Finbar (Kevin Hart). Martha still has ownership over her avatar, the martial arts expert and dance fighter Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan), thankfully, but that doesn't make the search for Spencer any easier. 

In between hilarious dialogue ("Did I die and turn into some kind of a small Boy Scout?" Milo asks; "I have one important question: Who is Jumanji?" quips Eddie) and teases at all sorts of hijinks are some seriously thrilling shots of the in-game world. We see ostriches running through seas of sand, hippos emerging from jungle waters and snakes swinging from trees, and the stark white landscape of the frozen tundra — where our crew just might encounter a mysterious character played by Awkwafina as well as Jefferson "Seaplane" McDonough (Nick Jonas), the avatar of Alex Vreeke (Colin Hanks), who was trapped inside Jumanji for years. 

Jumanji: The Next Level looks to live up to its name and take the film series to a whole new place. The trailer is both funny and exhilarating (exactly what you want from a Jumanji movie), and demonstrates that the sequel isn't falling into tired storytelling methods and tropes standard to follow-up films. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle wowed at the box office and performed well with critics and audiences, showing that the franchise was in good hands with director Jake Kasdan, who was more interested in expanding the lore than trying to re-do what was already done perfectly decades ago. It's clear Kasdan is taking the same approach with The Next Level: build upon the narrative established in Welcome the Jungle and avoid delivering to the sequel any of the same stuff from the original. We have a good feeling about the forthcoming film, and you should too. 

Also starring Rhys Darby as the Jumanji game guide Nigel Billingsley, Jumanji: The Next Level will arrive in theaters on December 13.