Robin Williams will have a presence in "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle"

Today in extremely bittersweet news, it looks like Robin Williams will play a role in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. 

Williams starred in the 1995 original film, Jumanji, as man trapped inside a children’s board game. So, it’s really only fitting that he play a part in the story’s next installment.

Jack Black — who stars alongside Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, and Nick Jonas in the film — told The Hollywood Reporter that the audience won’t actually be able to see Williams, but there will be an important tribute to the actor.

“We’re exploring this jungle and trying to conquer the game; it’s life or death,” he said. “But while we’re there, we find clues left behind by [Williams’ character, Alan Parrish]. He built up a full-blown jungle house, similar to a Swiss Family Robinson situation. It’s like he’s there helping us without actually being there.”

Black also had words of reassurance for fans of the original film, who might not be so keen on the idea of a sequel.

“Robin would be proud,” he told TMZ. “I love Robin in Jumanji, the original, so we had big shoes to fill. But I think we did a good job.”

Johnson seconded that sentiment, taking to Instagram to express his admiration for Williams — and dedication to paying tribute to the late comedian.

“You have my word, we will honor his name and the character of ‘Alan Parrish’ will stand alone and be forever immortalized in the world of Jumanji in an earnest and cool way,” he wrote. “I have an idea of what to do and I think his family will be proud.”

And the #JUMANJI magic begins. Excellent meeting with our director Jake Kasdan, producer Matt Tolmach, and our @SevenBucksProd team to work on our new re-imagining of this amazing story. I felt like in order to craft something cool we should begin where it all started. Award winning writer Chris Van Allsburg's source material of JUMANJI. Chris also wrote THE POLAR EXPRESS (later adapted by Robert Zemeckis and Tom Hanks) and has a very special & magical way of storytelling. I'm feelin' good and confident stepping into these shoes as a producer as well as actor to bring you something great that you and your entire fam can enjoy. An important thing that I want to be honest and bring up is Robin Williams. The love and respect I have for this man is boundless. You have my word, we will honor his name and the character of "Alan Parrish" will stand alone and be forever immortalized in the world of JUMANJI in an earnest and cool way. I have an idea of what to do and I think his family will be proud. I also think Robin is somewhere lookin' down and laughing, remembering the first time we met backstage and I (for the first time ever) was a star struck bumbling idiot that couldn't even get my words out. Idiot. He literally calmed me down w/ that smile and laugh. But that's for another fun story down the road. We got a great team assembled already over at our home base of SONY and now we build from here. Here's another fun part... in the original movie there were three big roles. In our new story there's now FIVE. Been so damn cool to see all my actor buddies push their projects aside so hopefully they can come play in our world. Should have cool casting announcements this week. Will keep you posted. #TheMagicBegins #JustPressStart #JUMANJI

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One thing is definitely for certain: Bringing tissues to the theater will be an absolute necessity.

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