Exclusive: Dwayne Johnson Producing Zathura Reboot, Building Jumanji Cinematic Universe

Dwayne Johnson is producing a reboot of the little-seen 2005 movie Zathura, which will connect it to his Jumanji reboot.

By Nathan Kamal | Published


Dwayne Johnson will produce a reboot of the little-seen family adventure film Zathura as the next chapter in expanding the Jumanji franchise. According to our trusted and proven sources, the Black Adam star is going all-in on one of the many series that he has already invested in, after the successful reboot of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Jumanji: The Next Level. Zathura may not have the name recognition that Jumanji does, but it is certainly the next logical step for the megastar and producer.

Zathura was released in 2005, directed by none other than future Marvel and Star Wars fixture Jon Favreau. It was based on an illustrated children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg, who also wrote the original Jumanji book, which eventually became the source material for the hit 1995 Robin Williams film. While Jumanji was centered on children who encounter a mysterious game that acts as a link to a mysterious jungle world full of dangers, Zathura took the same template to science fiction and space travel. 

But while Jumanji was another of Robin Williams’s 1990s hits, Zathura quickly disappeared in theaters. However, Dwayne Johnson famously once referred to himself as “franchise Viagra” and it seems that he has decided to focus his powers on Zathura and Jumanji. While there is no direct connection (other than Dwayne Johnson himself) between Zathura and the Jumanji franchise, it seems like the plan is to fuse the two into a connected universe.

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Shared cinematic universes have been all the rage since 2008’s Iron Man kicked off the historic success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Dwayne Johnson seems to be targeting Zathura next. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle made over $960 million at the box office without any of the original stars, while its sequel brought in a still respectable $800 million. A third Jumanji movie is scheduled for 2023, which raises the possibility that it also might act as a backdoor entry to its science fiction-themed sister property. 

Dwayne Johnson brought in Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart, and Nick Jonas to revive the Jumanji series, then Awkwafina, Danny DeVito, and Danny Glover for the sequel. While it is not clear whether Dwayne Johnson himself will star in a Zathura reboot, it is likely that he will recruit a similar roster of marketable actors. The original movie starred The Hunger Games’ Josh Hutcherson, Dax Shepherd, and a pre-Twilight Kristen Stewart, so there is always the possibility he might dip back into that pool. 

Until recently, it seemed like Dwayne Johnson was fully committed to Warner Bros. Discovery’s DC Universe, infamously announcing that the “hierarchy of power” had changed and all but challenging Henry Cavill’s Superman to a fight. Things took a different turn when James Gunn and Peter Safran were brought in to lead the newly formed DC Studios, and Johnson recently announced that there were no immediate plans to keep Black Adam around in the DCU. That does not mean that Dwayne Johnson is taking on Zathura as a consolation prize, but at least he has a fallback.