It would be hard to find someone who wasn’t scared of Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. The film featured some of the most amazing creatures ever put on the big screen — but that also meant an equal amount of terror and thrills came along with it. The darkness of the franchise has definitely had its ups and downs, and often times to mixed results. While the latest sequel, 2015’s Jurassic World, did retain some of the original’s scare factor, it usually substituted that for sheer spectacle instead. Nevertheless, the film’s $1.67 billion box office haul makes it seem like fans weren’t terribly upset that horror had little presence in it. What remains to be seen, however, is what approach 2018’s Jurassic World 2 decides to take.
The sequel is being helmed by J.A. Bayona (A Monster Calls). The director was originally set to helm World War Z 2, but those plans have since fallen through. Looking at his past work on The Impossible, The Orphanage and Penny Dreadful, the filmmaker is clearly well-versed in darker stories – a that trait that will hopefully carry over to Jurassic World 2. With a franchise that’s so malleable, Bayona could easily change the sequel’s tone to fit his own personal style. That would definitely please diehard Jurassic Park fans who were disappointed with Colin Trevorrow’s less-scary approach on Jurassic World.
Bayona’s creative team is very much behind him, in that respect. Trevorrow has openly supported the director’s Jurassic World 2 plans on multiple occasions – and now, in an interview with Moviefone, Jurassic World 2 producer Frank Marshall discussed his excitement about Bayona’s darker take on the sequel. He also revealed the director’s extreme dedication to visualizing and planning out how the film will look:
“He’s very meticulous in his preparation and in his doing storyboards and pre-viz, and he’s a real shooter. If you’ve seen his other movies, you know that he has a dark side to him as well. So I’m kind of excited about what he’s going to bring to the franchise.”
There are many ways that Jurassic World 2 could be much darker than its predecessor. There have been recent announcements about how the sequel will deal with animal abuse and will be “more suspenseful” – not to mention the exclusion of Jake Johnson’s comic relief character introduced in Jurassic World. So, there are many noticeable changes being made — for better or worse. Bayona still seems like a smart choice for the sequel, and his austere vision could really help to bring back some of that scariness that the original Jurassic Park had.
Jurassic World is kind of a bittersweet film. While it did successfully reboot one of the most beloved franchises of all time, it arguably didn’t have much staying power. All of the surface-level elements of Jurassic Park are there — dinosaurs, amusement park gone wrong, and even a do-it-all hero — but it still feels lacking, next to Jurassic Park. Fans are surely hoping that the sequel will at least partially fix some of those problems – and most of that responsibility, of course, falls onto the director. Unlike Trevorrow, Bayona is a very experienced filmmaker who has many notable works to his name now. Therefore, he should be able to bring the necessary means to create a fresh, albeit faithful, sequel.