After Jurassic World surpassed even the rosiest box office expectations last year and grossed $1.6 billion worldwide, it became clear that a sequel would be in order. Jurassic World 2 is slated to begin production in February 2017 and is being positioned as the second film in a trilogy. With J.A. Bayona taking over directorial responsibilities for Colin Trevorrow, the new franchise installment will be more suspenseful and scarier to fit in line with the filmmaker’s sensibilities. Jurassic World stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are returning to their worlds, but the supporting cast still needs to be rounded out.
Universal’s financial reasons for wanting a Jurassic World 2 are understandable, but some may be questioning if there’s anything left to be done with the property from a creative perspective. After four movies, the concept of a dinosaur theme park gone amuck seems to have been played out. However, the team behind the film appears to be aware of this, and they are working hard to make sure the sequel can justify its existence and tell a worthwhile narrative in its own right – and not just be a cash grab.
In an interview with HitFix, Trevorrow (who is helping write the Jurassic World 2 screenplay) discussed this very subject, saying that they are looking to expand some ideas introduced by Michael Crichton in the original novel and incorporate some real-world beliefs to make a compelling film:
“This one has to make a case for itself in another way. We’re all cynical about sequels and we probably grow more cynical every year so this also has prove that it has a reason to exist, beyond just making more money. And I believe it does. I think there’s a real story to be told here and more that’s all really sourced from [Michael] Crichton’s original ideas that can be expanded on…The thing I love the most about what he introduced is this idea that I think is so prevalent in our world today that a mistake made a long time ago just can’t be undone. When we look at even the wars that exist, the things we’re dealing with, these are all things that began long ago with choices that were made and you can’t put it back in the box. To be able to relate that to this world, the minute that they cloned a dinosaur, you can’t put that back in the box. And what could be the ultimate result of that?”
Trevorrow has talked in the past how he wants the series to move beyond its traditional theme park setting and explore other concepts. A term he used in 2015 was “open source,” meaning that corporations other than InGen had the ability to make their own dinosaurs. Given that Jurassic World 2 plot details are being kept under wraps for now, it’s impossible to say for sure if this is the direction they’re headed, but it would be a welcomed development. Seeds were planted in the first Jurassic World for this story beat, so it’s obviously something Trevorrow has been thinking about for a while. Seeing multiple companies have an arms race to see who can build the better dinosaurs has potential.
In theory, this is similar to Batman Begins‘ use of “escalation” when setting up its own sequels. Despite the failing of the Indominus Rex experiment, InGen was still part of a highly successful and lucrative amusement park that ran smoothly for years. It stands reason to believe that their competitors would take notice and try to do something of their own. It’s true that if someone really was able to clone a dinosaur, that’s not just something that would go away after a while, and other companies would look for more uses for the technology (besides pure entertainment). What Trevorrow is mentioning certainly sounds intriguing, and it will be up to him, co-writer Derek Connolly, and Bayona to make it work. Of course, Bayona’s A Monster Calls earned raves out of the fall film festivals, so perhaps he has the magic touch to make something affecting.
Jurassic World 2 opens in U.S. theaters June 22, 2018.