By now it’s safe to say that Jurassic World isn’t exactly enjoying the kinds of excited pre-release hype that other major tentpole titles of 2015 are receiving. The trailers for the film have received a mixed reception at best, and high-profile directors like Joss Whedon have come out and accused the film of being “’70s era sexist” with its depiction of the characters. Even with the news that the original Jurassic Park t-rex is returning, the fourth installment of this franchise seemingly is facing an uphill battle to generate enthusiasm.
But perhaps thanks to executive producer Steven Spielberg, the tide may start to turn in the movie’s favor. In a newly released featurette (which you can watch above), the director behind the 1993 original expressed his thoughts on Jurassic World, comparing it to his seminal tale of dinosaurs run amuck.
The biggest selling point for Jurassic World is that it takes place during a time where a fully-operational dinosaur amusement park has been in existence for several years, bringing in thousands of visitors on a daily basis. That element is what impressed Spielberg the most, as he gave Collin Trevorrow’s work this stamp of approval:
“To see ‘Jurassic World’ come to life is almost like seeing ‘Jurassic Park’ come true.”
Though the three films to date have certainly portrayed the downsides of having such an attraction come into fruition (and Jurassic World looks to be doing the same), there’s no denying that many viewers left the first Jurassic Park with a strong desire to visit that place and become enamored with various forms of dinosaurs. Having an opportunity to see John Hammond’s original vision become a reality is admittedly an interesting angle for the film to explore, as it allows the filmmakers to explore a new set of challenges the team must solve. Instead of trying to get it off the ground, they’re looking to sustain a business long-term and keep people interested in their product.
This is what Spielberg means when he says that the new film is “Jurassic Park come true.” If Hammond was able to win the approval of Alan Grant, Ian Malcolm, and Ellie Sattler, then the world shown in Jurassic World would have been the next stage in the process. All Hammond ever wanted to do was wow people from all around the globe by giving them something they had never see before, and now audiences are getting a chance to see how that would have been accomplished. From that viewpoint, going to watch Jurassic World this summer will be somewhat fascinating, regardless of how one feels about Chris Pratt’s raptor biker gang.
Spielberg further sells skeptics on the film by saying that it “goes down an original road that none of the other movies dared to travel.” That is some high praise, considering how revolutionary and formative Spielberg’s original was for an entire generation of moviegoers and the film industry itself. Based on that quote, one would have to assume that the Jurassic World story is going to take the franchise in new ways that will keep everything fresh from a narrative perspective. But what might that road be?
One distinct possibility is that Jurassic World will offer some commentary on the state of the modern consumer. A subplot is going to be how the general public has become “bored” of dinosaurs and are in need of a shiny new attraction to revitalize interest (much like how we eagerly anticipate new technological gadgets to play with). That would be a nice supplement to serve alongside the franchise’s tried and true themes of scientific discovery and cautionary tales of the dangers of playing God. We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but Spielberg’s words provide some much-needed good press for the film.
Jurassic World opens in theaters June 12, 2015.