Not many could have predicted the wild success of Universal’s Jurassic Park sequel/reboot Jurassic World. Even though most had predicted some degree of success, almost no one could have foreseen it breaking The Avengers‘ record for opening weekend gross, with it later going onto become the third biggest movie of all time at the box office.
That success is at least partially due to director Colin Trevorrow’s take on the property, which found a way to both modernize it while also maintaining some of the classic elements from the original to please fans of both generations. However, Trevorrow will not be returning to direct Jurassic World 2, as he is currently set to direct another big franchise film in Star Wars: Episode IX. Accordingly, Universal is going to have to find another suitable director to take over, and it seems the studio has already begun their search.
According to a report from THR (via ComingSoon), World War Z 2 director J.A. Bayona was sought by Universal to take over directing duties for Jurassic World 2. His current obligations to World War Z 2 prevented him from taking the job, although it is said that Universal’s pursuit of Bayona “li[t] a flame under Paramount to keep Bayona happy,” which led to the sequel’s recent acquisition of Utopia‘s David Kelly for a rewrite.
While Bayona will evidently not be directing Jurassic World 2, the move by Universal to lure the director may prove beneficial for Bayona in the production of World War Z 2. As it was mentioned above, Paramount is now going to extra lengths to keep Bayona satisfied, which could mean a number of things. For one, it’s very possible that World War Z 2‘s budget will now be slightly increased. More importantly, given the recent respect Bayona has been receiving, it’s plausible that the studio will be more hands-off in the development of the film, allowing the director more creative control.
As for Jurassic World 2, the interest in Bayona may indicate what type of director they are looking for to helm the sequel. Like Trevorrow before Jurassic World, Bayona has stuck to mostly smaller projects throughout his career, like The Impossible (2012), yet has already proven that he is an effective storyteller. Going forward, it’s likely that Universal will look at similar directors, although there are no indications of any other alternatives as of yet.
Whoever does end up directing Jurassic World 2 is going to have the difficult task of maintaining the momentum from Jurassic World, while also having to find a new way to keep the story fresh and entertaining. Trevorrow recently said the sequel will “be a different kind of film,“ and will explore a “much larger story about our relationship with these animals.” Thankfully, it sounds as though Universal is planning to explore different aspects of the world outside of the resort, although it’s still not quite clear what that may entail.
The currently-untitled World War Z sequel is scheduled to reach theaters on June 9th, 2017. The untitled Jurassic World sequel opens in U.S. theaters on June 22nd, 2018.