It seems hard to believe, but it's already been over three years since we lost Robin Williams. The actor and comedian became huge after starring on Mork & Mindy, and from there he only got bigger. In the 1980s, he had hit movies like Good Morning, Vietnam and Dead Poets Society, where he got to show his serious side. And yet, Robin was just getting warmed up.
Robin Williams went on to star in a string of massive hits in the 90s. There was Mrs. Doubtfire, The Birdcage, voicing the Genie in Aladdin, and winning an Oscar for his role in Good Will Hunting. For a stretch of time, Robin was virtually unstoppable.
Another big Robin Williams movie from that era was 1995's Jumanji. The movie is about two kids who find the jungle-inspired board game, when they discover that everything in the game comes to life. They also find Alan Parrish (Williams), a man who has been stuck inside the game for years.
Jumanji proved to be another hit for Robin Williams, taking in over $100 million at the U.S. box office. In the film, the game was left untouched for years before coming back, and taking the entire cast on ridiculous adventures. And now that's what's happening to the movie as well.
Now a brand new Jumanji is about to hit theaters. It's called Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, and it's a little different from the original. This time, four teenagers find a Jumanji video game, then become part of the game by turning into the adult avatars they've chosen for themselves.
The cast of the new movie includes Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Jack Black. But the big draw of the movie is none other than Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. We can only assume they asked The Rock to be in it because he's literally in every single movie. And that's an actual fact.
As the main star in the movie, Johnson is essentially filing the void left by Robin Williams. And that's some pretty big shoes for The Rock to fill. (Figuratively speaking, of course. We can only assume that Dwayne Johnson can fill most pairs of shoes fairly easily.)
As it turns out, Robin Williams and The Rock never got to be in any movies together. However, as you might expect, their paths crossed from time to time, as what tends to happen when you're big Hollywood stars. So did these two stars ever meet?
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Dwayne said he did encounter Robin Williams once at CinemaCon, a conference for movie theater owners in Las Vegas. And then he went on to tell us all what happened.
The Rock said that, after the event, they were both backstage. He was nervous about introducing himself to the comedy legend, but finally did. He got up, and approached Robin Williams. Yes, even the Rock can get nervous, so now we can be a little less harsh on ourselves when we get nervous about anything, too. Except it's probably not as big as introducing yourself to Robin Williams.
"I finally see him and catch his eye," Dwayne said in the interview. "And I’m like, ‘Hey, I just want to say, you are my biggest fan.'" That might not have been the positive first impression that The Rock was going for.
"I was like, ‘Ah, s—! I meant the opposite!’” Johnson said. “And he just laughed and said, ‘It’s so good to meet you,’ and gave me a big hug. So that was it. I made an idiot out of myself when I first met Robin.” Who knew that The Rock was capable of being awkward?
Johnson said he felt the pressure of having to follow-up such an iconic movie. "It was pretty nerve-wracking at first because there’s such a tremendous amount of love and reverence that people have for Robin,” he said. However, he said it helps that this movie is actually a sequel, not a remake.
"I felt like the best thing that I could do for our movie was to try to get out in front of any narrative and let everybody know that we’re making this as a continuation," Johnson said. "We cannot fill Robin Williams’ shoes. That’s impossible to do." In other words, the new Jumanji in no way cancel out the existence of the original Jumanji.
See For Yourself
But does the sequel measure up to the original? Soon you'll be able to decide for yourself. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle hits theaters on December 20.