The Jurassic Park movie franchise returns with a new installment, Jurassic World, in 2015, featuring Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) in his sophomore turn as a feature director. However, it doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to deduce that Universal is also resurrecting the sci-fi/horror property in the hopes that Jurassic World will be successful enough at the box office to warrant additional sequels.
Trevorrow was interviewed about Jurassic World by Empire Magazine for the latter’s upcoming 300th issue; during the course of that conversation, the topic discussion eventually turned to future Jurassic Park installments.
The filmmaker voiced his interested in coming back for said followups - “if they’ll have me” – assuming they come to pass, but perhaps more interestingly he discussed how he envisions something a little more creatively-satisfying than just more human vs. dino adventures that are only tangentially related:
“We [Universal and I] definitely talked about [sequels] a lot. We wanted to create something that would be a little bit less arbitrary and episodic, and something that could potentially arc into a series that would feel like a complete story.”
You can see what Trevorrow means, as The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III – love them, hate them, or something in between – don’t really form a complete story with the original Jurassic Park. Lost World does partly build on the story and themes of Steven Spielberg’s original film, but JP3 kinda tosses that idea out the window, in favor of more pure B-movie thrill ride action. It’s good to hear that Trevorrow and his Jurassic World co-writer Derek Connolly are plotting out the franchise’s future more carefully than that – so long as it doesn’t come at the expense of their Jurassic Park movie being a compelling installment, on its own.
Nothing has been officially announced yet, but past Jurassic World casting reports have indicated that the film revolves an operational version of the Jurassic Park attraction in the present-day, with Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) playing a character whose job involves making sure the park’s dinosaurs are under-control and don’t pose a threat to guests. (How much you want to bet that he’s only so-so good at that job?)
Trevorrow, during his Empire interview, discussed the Jurassic World character played by Omar Sy – the French actor who portrays Bishop in this May’s X-Men: Days of Future Past – in relation to Pratt’s onscreen counterpart, though what he had to say could be a little too revealing for some people:
MILD SPOILER AHEAD!
“He’s essentially Chris Pratt’s best friend. They work together and have some pretty cool action scenes together. I wanted to create a relationship there that could be memorable and potentially carry on to future films.”
The implication is that both Pratt and Sy’s characters will be alive and well by the time Jurassic World draws to a close, based on Trevorrow’s suggestion that future Jurassic Park installments – should they happen – could easily continue to develop their dynamic (see our related examination of franchise building affecting dramatic tension).
Admittedly, this is nothing that shocking, as the main characters in previous Jurassic Park movies have generally still been alive by the end; the way Trevorrow puts it, it sounds as though Sy won’t just be a disposable sidekick, either. (We’ll call him The Falcon to Chris Pratt’s Captain America.)
END MILD SPOILERS
Finally, in addition to offering the welcome news that Jurassic World will bring its dinosaur characters to life through animatronics – no doubt combined with digital effects – Trevorrow offered his take on the central premise on the film, while hinting at the themes and questions that arise from it:
“It’s about alpha dominance and the fact that humans have been the alpha species for a very long time, and so now we’ve brought back another that happened to be the alpha species during its time, and we have to co-exist, so what is that relationship?”
Words don’t guarantee anything, but the way that Trevorrow talks about Jurassic World is encouraging. He seems to have a genuine passion for making this film, having thus far avoided using any easy buzzwords to describe his new movie (“gritty,” “grounded,” etc.), while instead offering actual food-for-thought during his interviews on the subject to date. Add to that Trevorrow’s willingness to reuse the same tools that worked for the Jurassic Park franchise before – like practical effects for the dinos – in combination with techniques like the 3D and 65 mm formats, and there’s reason so far to think that Jurassic World could turn out well.
UPDATE: EW has premiered the first official set photos for Jurassic World. They don’t reveal a whole lot, but they do show lead Bryce Dallas Howard (Terminator Salvation) in action, in addition to teasing the aftermath of what happens when a truck crosses an irate dinosaur (click any of the images to enlarge):
Jurassic World opens in U.S. theaters on June 12th, 2015.