Jumanji Robin Williams
Robin Williams in Jumanji.TriStar Pictures

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle will directly explain what happened to Robin Williams' character from the original 1995 film. The new movie is a sequel and reboot starring Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Kevin Hart.

Welcome to the Jungle replaces the original's magical board game - which allowed a stampede of animals into the real world - with a video game which absorbs the film's human stars into it, casting them as in-game avatars.

These avatars are played by Johnson, Hart, Jack Black and former Doctor Who star Karen Gillan, who explained the film's connection to the original to Collider.

"Well I've always wondered where Robin Williams' character [Alan Parrish] went for all of that time in the first one," she said, referring to Parrish being absorbed by Jumanji for 26 years. "It was sort of left to the imagination a little.

"That's where this film comes in, we get to see exactly where he went and what it feels like and what it looks like I guess that's the biggest difference."

When the new film's characters are suckered into the Jumanji video game, they'll explore the same world where Parrish spent those 26 years and presumably find what he got up to during that time.

They'll do so as the game's avatars, with Alex Wolff's nerdy kid becoming hulking adventurer Dr Smolder Bravestone (The Rock), Madison Iseman's most popular girl in school becoming Professor Shelly Oberon (Black), Ser'Darius Blain's high school sports star as zoologist Franklin Finbar (Hart) and Morgan Turner's nervous girl as commando Ruby Roundhouse (Gillan).

The film also stars Nick Jonas as the in-game guide and Bobby Cannavale as the film's antagonist.

The original became a cult childhood favourite in the 90s and starred a young Kirsten Dunst opposite Williams, Bonnie Hunt and Jonathan Hyde.

It was one of the most beloved films of the comic actor's career. Williams sadly took his own life in 2014 at the age of 63.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle will be released on 20 December 2017.