Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle filmmakers defend Karen Gillan's skimpy costume

Ben Bussey
UK Movies Writer
Spot the difference…? Karen Gillan with Dwayne Johnson and Jack Black in ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ (credit: Sony)

The makers of ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ have spoken out on the controversy over the costume worn by Karen Gillan in the movie.

The upcoming sequel to 1995’s ‘Jumanji’ replaces the original board game with a video game, which transports its players into the game world, and directly into the body of their chosen avatars.

Gillan (‘Doctor Who,’ ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’) is the sole female avatar, Ruby Roundhouse – and, once the first images from the film appeared online, it did not go unnoticed that she seemed a little under-dressed compared to her co-stars Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Kevin Hart and Jack Black.

Speaking to Screen Rant, the producer and director of ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ have acknowledged that the costume didn’t go down well in all corners. However, it seems they anticipated this response, and – echoing sentiments expressed by Gillan herself – they insist this sexualisation is addressed in the film.

Producer Matt Tolmach says, “We’re all very aware of that [backlash]…  When all the noise came out it was like, this is exactly what we anticipated, and is very definitely spoken to in the movie.”

Karen Gillan and co in ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ (credit: Sony)

Director Jake Kasdan admits that “taken on its own,” Gillan’s ‘Jumanji’ attire may have come off as sexist, but he stresses, “I knew what we were doing, and I know what the character is. I love her character. I think it’s something I’ve never seen before in a movie, it’s one of the parts of the movie I’ve been most excited about…

“So if anything, I was just sort of like ‘People are gonna go crazy when they get what we’re doing here,’ in a good way. They’re gonna love it… I love what she’s doing in the movie. So I wasn’t that worried about it.”

Certainly the trailers show Gillan herself address the absurdity of her outfit, and they also demonstrate that the character is more than capable of handling herself. We’ll just to wait and see how well the point comes across when ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ hits UK cinemas on 20 December.

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