Awkwafina is in final negotiations to star in Jumanji 3. There had previously been whispers that the rising star was being looked at as a new addition to the cast of the upcoming sequel. But now her deal is nearly done and, barring any major setbacks, this franchise has another star to add to its already impressive roster.
According to a new report, Awkwafina, whose real name is Nora Lum, will play a key role in Jumanji 3, which doesn’t yet have an official title. She’ll be part of a growing ensemble that sees the four key stars from the last installment, 2017’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, returning. This includes Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan. It’s unclear at the present time if Awkwafina would be playing an ally, or if she’ll be taking on a villain role. Either way, this seems like a great deal for both sides, as she’s proven to be a bankable rising star that works great in ensembles, who now gets the chance to star in what should be a big hit at the box office.
2018 was a major breakout year for Awkwafina. She starred alongside Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett in Ocean’s 8, which went on to gross nearly $300 million at the global box office. She also starred in the runaway romantic comedy hit Crazy Rich Asians, which brought in $174 million domestically, making it a huge success when many in Hollywood viewed it as a gamble, since it was the first major studio movie to feature an all-Asian cast since The Joy Luck Club in 1993. She’s also developing an autobiographical series, titled Awkwafina, for Comedy Central.
Related: Jumanji 3 Just Got a 2019 Release Date
Jumanji 3 plot details are still being kept under wraps, but director Jake Kasdan, who helmed the previous installment, is returning. He’s also co-writing the screenplay, alongside Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner, who worked on Welcome to the Jungle. Production is expected to begin very soon, as Sony has already set a December 13, 2019, release date, which becomes increasingly ambitious the longer it takes to get cameras rolling. Much of that has to do with working around Dwayne Johnson’s very busy schedule. He’s currently shooting Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, with this set to be his follow-up.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle wound up being a massively surprising success. Not only did critics and moviegoers largely embrace the sequel to the 1995 Robin Williams classic, but the movie grossed $962 million globally. And that’s even more impressive considering that it was competing directly with The Last Jedi. If the current release date sticks, Jumanji 3 will face a similar challenge, as Star Wars 9 is set to arrive on December 20. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as any further details on the project are made available. This news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.