If you were to make a biopic about the actor and aspiring Wolverine Danny DeVito, you probably wouldn't try Dwayne Johnson. This is part of what makes Jumanji: The Next Level such a funny concept. In the next Sony sequel, Danny Devito's Eddie gets sucked into the Jumanji game, where he is given the avatar of Smolder Bravestone, played by The Rock. Jumanji newcomer Danny Devito has revealed what he likes about his impression of The Rock, saying:
I think both of our avatars did really well, Dwayne and Kevin, so I was very happy to see that Dwayne likes to dive into Jersey, you know? It was really great.
Danny DeVito approves both his avatars in Jumanji: The Next Level and that of co-protagonist and colleague Jumanji newcomer Danny Glover, who gets the character of Franklin “Mouse” Finbar played by Kevin Hart. Danny DeVito is a huge fan of The Rock's impression of him in particular due to the fact that Dwayne Johnson really followed him and didn't hold back with his performance.
As Danny DeVito said at ABC 1 Extra Butter , The Rock dived into Jersey. Obviously, the New Jersey-born actor is reporting how Dwayne Johnson influences a New Jersey accent to really look like him, as if DeVito Eddie's grandfather was actually sucked into the game in Smolder Bravestone's body. If you're going to make an impression of Danny DeVito, you have to talk like him, and The Rock does just that.
It is quite shocking when you hear it in the first trailer of Jumanji: The Next Level , and this is part of what makes it so fun. It is exaggerated, but adapts to the highly recognizable voice of DeVito and the nature of the story in Jumanji . If we had just been told that Danny DeVito's character was in Smolder Bravestone's avatar, it wouldn't really matter or it would work if The Rock behaved like The Rock.
He must look like a person who inhabits another person's body through his ways, his voice and his performance. We saw it with Spencer by Alex Wolff, who used Bravestone's avatar in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle . That movie saw The Rock play meek in the body of a brave man and this film will see him play a bass boy from Jersey inside a large Samoan body.
In addition to Eddie by Danny DeVito, Jumanji: The Next Level will see Danny Glover's Milo using Kevin Hart's Franklin Finbar avatar. Speaking of what it's like to see another actor making an impression on you, Danny Glover said:
Well, I think you have this interpretation of yourself and then you see someone who determines the way you see yourself, it's really interesting. But you know, I was lucky and Danny [DeVito] was lucky; we had these iconic moments where people always remember us in those moments. It doesn't matter how old we are.
Danny Glover found it interesting to see Kevin Hart play Danny Glover inside Kevin Hart because it gives him an external perspective of himself. The same goes for Danny DeVito. We all have an idea of how we come to others, but these impressions and this film are interesting ways to have that idea reflected on you through the lens of other people.
What makes it so different for someone like Danny Glover or Danny DeVito is that these are famous actors with large volumes of work. So there is already a great deal of material on which to base an impression based on their iconic cinematic moments. This is why you need Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson to really rely on their impressions.
They are impersonating famous and established actors, not newcomers for whom they were avatars in the first film. So The Rock and Kevin Hart must really bring out their inner Danny DeVito and Danny Glover.
You can see these impressions when Jumanji: The Next Level will open in theaters in December 04. Take a look at our 926 release program to see which movies you can watch next year.