The first trailer for Jumanji: The Next Level has dropped.
Jumanji: The Next Level has the heroes of the first film, along with a few unexpected new companions, return to the world of Jumanji to retrieve Spencer (Alex Wolf), who has become lost within it once again.
The trip gets off to a bad start, as aside from the missing Spencer, the group also loses track of Bethany (Madison Iseman).
Where have the lost teens ended up?
A few months ago, Karen Gillan, who plays Martha’s in-game avatar Ruby Roundhouse, posted a cast photo to her Instagram page with a caption implying that all was not as it seemed. With the release of the trailer, the meaning behind this caption has become more clear.
Coming face to face with Smolder Bravestone upon her return to the game, Martha initially believes she has found Spencer. As fans will remember, Bravestone was Spencer’s avatar in Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle. Instead, she is dismayed to discover the Bravestone avatar inhabited by Spencer’s grandfather, Eddie.
Moose Finbar, the avatar originally belonging to Fridge, has been taken over by Eddie’s friend Milo, with Fridge now appearing as Shelly Oberon, Bethany’s Avatar from the first film. Bethany joins Spencer as missing in action.
Where are they? Most likely, they have inhabited new avatars.
Where is Spencer?
The most likely explanation for Spencer’s whereabouts is that he is now working under the avatar of Jefferson ‘Seaplane’ McDonough, used by Alex Vreeke in the first film.
Spencer seemed to enjoy the strength and ‘smoldering intensity’ that came with being Bravestone. Why, then would he choose a different avatar for his second run?
One possible explanation is that, like Eddie, Milo, and Fridge, Spencer did not get to choose his avatar. Another possibility is that Spencer hopes to prove himself by taking on Jumanji with an avatar more similar to himself. Smaller in stature and with a list of weaknesses including allergies, Seaplane is much closer to Spencer in real life than Bravestone is. Beating Jumanji as someone closer to himself could improve Spencer’s self-worth. This was something he struggled with during Welcome To The Jungle.
What about Bethany?
The whereabouts of Bethany seem a little more complicated at first. After all, it seems that all of the avatars from the first film are accounted for. However, this does not necessarily mean that all of the avatars in the whole game are accounted for.
The answer may lie in the movie’s title, Jumanji: The Next Level. Specifically, the ‘Next Level’ subtitle.
Most modern video games have extra playable characters able to be unlocked as players advance. Bethany may be inhabiting a new avatar the characters unknowingly unlocked when they completed the ‘first level’ in Welcome To The Jungle. This new avatar may be the character played by Awkwafina, who features on the film’s main cast list.
Of course, a lot of this is just speculation for now. We’ll know more when Jumanji: The Next Level hits theaters in December.