Oh the prehistoric times, they are a-changing. Not only is Jurassic Park 4 going to be directed by indie newcomer Colin Trevorrow, but it will also be sporting some new dinosaurs alongside fan-favorites like Velociraptor and the always crowd-pleasing Tyrannosaurus. No, we’re not talking about the dinosaur-human hybrids seen in concept artwork.
What new dinosaurs will be appearing is still a total mystery, but one paleontological consultant for Jurassic Park 4 is hinting that the addition will be the stuff of nightmares.
The report comes from renowned paleontologist Jack Horner, who acted as consultant on the first film and will be handling the same duties for the series’ fourth installment. Speaking with USA Today, Horner teased that a previously-extinct dinosaur would be brought to life in JP4, but won’t name names just yet:
“I can’t actually tell you who that will be…But you’ll want to keep the lights on after you see this movie.”
Experts on the franchise will warn that adding new dinosaurs is a risky move, since the first films relied on trusted hunters, where Joe Johnston’s Jurassic Park III (2001) tried to usurp Tyrannosaurus’ throne and replace him with Spinosaurus. The reception was lukewarm, even if we’d wager fans would take it over half-human, half-dinosaur monstrosities.
Even if Spielberg isn’t directing the film, and Kathleen Kennedy has relinquished producer duties to focus on Star Wars, the film looks to be in good hands for now. The larger issues that will likely be most divisive among fans will be the ratio of practical effects to digital creations, since the original film was forced by technology to rely on physical dinosaurs and sets, adding unparalleled realism as a result. On the bright side, dinosaurs you can reach out and touch may be coming regardless of the filmmakers’ decision.
Although Jurassic Park 4 is still a long way away, Steven Spielberg and Universal are giving fans of dinosaurs another movie to see in theaters; and in three glorious dimensions, no less! Although some will claim that the Jurassic Park 3D re-release is simply a way of making some quick money off of a beloved film while increasing public interest in live-action dinosaurs once more (we don’t know who wouldn’t be interested already), Spielberg maintains the conversion is one he supports for artistic reasons.
Cynics might balk at Spielberg’s claim that he “shot Jurassic Park in his mind in 3D” as typical marketing speak, designed to deflect criticism and justify the higher ticket price; but long time fans of the original film will have a better idea of what Spielberg is referring to. In many ways, Jurassic Park emphasizes speed, perspective, and distance more directly than any other of Spielberg’s films.
Simply look at the “flock” of Gallimimus sprinting past characters and the camera, the T-Rex chase shot from the perspective of the fleeing jeep, or as Spielberg himself points out, the entire sequence following the T-Rex’s first escape. It’s evident in every frame of the film that the director was attempting to depict dinosaurs as a spectacle, and make every adult viewer feel the same awe and wonder that children do with their first look at a dinosaur.
If 3D can help make that a reality, then why not? It could certainly go a long way in helping Jurassic Park 4 recapture worldwide audiences and reinvigorate a stagnant franchise. Even amidst the increase of 3D spectacle and stunning special effects in modern movies, Jurassic Park is still considered a groundbreaking film that hasn’t really been dated by time. Is it even possible for its successor to survive under its long shadow?
Life found a way, so maybe Trevorrow can as well.
Jurassic Park 4 opens in 2D and 3D on June 13th, 2014.
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