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Game over.
~ Russel Van Pelt

Russel Van Pelt is the main antagonist of the 2017 film Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. He appears as a re-imagined version of the original Van Pelt from the 1995 Jumanji film. This version of Van Pelt is a ruthless mercenary who will stop at nothing to get the Jaguar's Eye jewel and kill the four game protagonists.

He was portrayed by Bobby Cannavale, who also played Irving, Gyp Rosetti, James Kent and Guy Danlily.


Van Pelt is a creation of the cursed game Jumanji who exists as one of the threats to its players. After Jumanji changes from a board game to a video game, Van Pelt is re-imagined from a big game hunter to a corrupt explorer seeking to steal the Jaguar's Eye jewel for himself.

In the backstory of the game, Van Pelt lead a group of mercenaries and the NPC (non-playable character) Nigel in the search for the Jaguar's Eye, which he had a great obsession with. Van Pelt succeeded in retrieving the Jewel from the Jaguar statue, and, as a result, was possessed by the Jewel's power and gained the ability to control Jumanji's wildlife, while also bringing a curse upon the land. That night, Nigel succeeded in stealing the Jewel from Van Pelt in an attempt to return it, although Van Pelt's pet vulture altered him to the theft, and Van Pelt ordered his henchmen and the wildlife to retrieve the Jewel and kill anyone standing in their way. Nigel subsequently gives the Jaguar's Eye to individuals sucked into the game, who assume the identities of the game's protagonists, and tasks them with returning the Jaguar's Eye to its statue.

The Jaguar's Eye ends up in the possession of high school students Spencer Gilpin, Anthony "Fridge" Johnson, Bethany Walker, and Martha Kaply, who took the identities of game protagonists Dr. Smolder Bravestone, Moose Finbar, Professor Shelly Oberon, and Ruby Roundhouse, respectively. Van Pelt promptly pursues the group and attempts to corner them in Jumanji's market. The quartet, however, escape with the aid of Alex Vreeke, who had been trapped in the game for 20 years and assumed the identity of protagonist Seaplane McDonough. Back at the market place, one of Van Pelt's henchmen informs his boss of the protagonist's escape, and, as a result, Van Pelt ensures him that he will not fail him again, killing him with a scorpion.

Van Pelt eventually confronts the group again when they reach the statue that the Jaguar's Eye belongs to. He takes Bethany hostage and threatens to kill her if Spencer does not give him the jewel, only to discover that the jewel is in Fridge's possession. Distracted, Bethany attacks him and escapes. Martha then captures the Jaguar's Eye, prompting Van Pelt to corner her. However, Martha allows herself to be bitten by a snake and then gives the jewel to Spencer when she respawns. Once Spencer returns the Jaguar's Eye to its statue and the five protagonists shout "Jumanji" to beat the game, Van Pelt disintegrates, leaving a group of rats and other small animals behind.

Once that Spencer, Fridge, Bethany and Martha returned to the real world, they destroyed the Jumanji game with a bowling ball, thus destroying the game once and for all and precluding Van Pelt's chance to ever return or cause any harm to anyone, finally destroying himself.


  • Van Pelt appears to have the role of the final boss of Jumanji.


           Jumanji Villains

Jumanji: Van Pelt
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle: Russel Van Pelt

Van Pelt | Van Pelt's Hounds | J.H. "Trader" Slick | Professor J.S. Heinrich Ibsen | Stalker | Captain Ishmael Squint | Mr. Shreve | Mr. Shatic | The Draken | Ludwig Von Richtor | Aston Philips | Flint | Jamazon Queen Gina | Ape Judge | Sand King