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JUMANJI sequel launches into space

Chris Van Allsburg delivers a sequel worth waiting two decades for

By Jennifer H. Tomooka     October 22, 2002

JUMANJI fans have waited 21 years for this. USA TODAY reports that ZATHURA, the long-awaited sequel to Chris Van Allsburg's children's book JUMANJI, has finally hit the shelves.

ZATHURA reveals what happened to the kids who decided to play with the suddenly discarded board game. Danny, a curious young boy, rolls the dice and launches himself and his older brother, Walter, on their own frightening star trek, where space pirates, meteor showers and evil robots await.

The first printing of 170,000 was quickly consumed, and a second printing of 30,000 is on the way. Pre-orders and customer requests will determine the third printing.

While the inspiration for the illustrations in JUMANJI were inspired by Victorian ideas of African jungles, ZATHURA was inspired by the 1950s, FORBIDDEN PLANET-style robots and spaceships based on WAR OF THE WORLDS.

While it may be a knee-jerk reaction, don't expect to see ZATHURA on the big screen anytime soon. Sony (who produced JUMANJI) owns the ZATHURA film rights, but publisher Houghton Mifflin's spokeswoman, Megan Butler, claims that there are close to 15 scripts being considered for the sequel.

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