The 2017 film “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” had something of a challenge to overcome when it premiere, it being a direct sequel to the original 1995 movie starring the late comedy great Robin Williams. Thankfully the Sony-Columbia follow-up proved a critical and box-office hit, becoming the fifth highest-grosser of the year. This can be attributed to its powerhouse cast including the likes of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kevin Hart. Such was the reception that this film gets a direct sequel of its own arriving this December. But Kevin Hart would be having difficulty promoting it following an accident he figured in this weekend.
According to Entertainment Weekly, actor Kevin Hart figured in a vehicular accident just this Sunday, September 1, at Malibu Hills in California where he was significantly injured. The star of “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and its upcoming sequel was a passenger in one of his vintage automobiles almost an hour after midnight when his driver lost control along Mulholland Highway and plowed onto an embankment. Hart, the driver and a third passenger were the only ones aboard the actor’s 1970 Plymouth Barracuda at the time the accident occurred, and an examination of the driver determined he was not driving under the influence of alcohol.
Nevertheless, the impact of the Plymouth onto the Malibu embankment resulted in Hart and his driver suffering what medical examiners termed as “major” back injuries, while the other passenger fortunately got by with only minor scratches according to a report on the scene by the California Highway Patrol. Both Kevin and his driver were immediately transported to hospitals close by for emergency treatment. The vintage car was bought by Hart this past July as a self-gift on his 40th birthday, and was dramatically damaged in the embankment collision as well.
The following day, September 2, Kevin Hart’s wife Eniko Parrish issued a statement regarding her husband’s condition. Speaking to reporters outside the hospital where he is undergoing surgery, Parrish noted that Hart was awake and fine in spite of his injuries. “He’s good, everybody’s good. Thank God,” she added. The actor also got a wellspring of support and well-wishes from fans and fellow celebrities in the wake of his accident. Most notable of course were greetings from “Jumanji” costars particularly Dwayne Johnson, who lighthearted chided Kevin for making him worry on social media, where he also posted a set photo of the two of them.
Hart returns to Sony-Columbia’s “Jumanji: The Next Level” where he reprises his character role of a “Jumanji” videogame avatar, zoologist Mouse Finbar. Where in “Welcome to the Jungle” Mouse was “controlled” by high school football jock “Fridge” Johnson (Ser’Darius Blaine), in the sequel control of Mouse has been passed to Milo Walker (Danny Glover), a friend of the grandfather of Eddie Gilpin, player of the avatar Dr. Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson). The film premieres December 13.
Image courtesy of USA Today