Jurassic World, from director and screenwriter Colin Trevorrow, dominated the box office with a record-breaking theatrical release at home and abroad this summer. The fourth film in the feature franchise created by Steven Spielberg has taken in $1.5 billion worldwide, surpassing Marvel’s Avengers as the third highest grossing motion picture of all time.
After stunning audiences the world over with its featured amusement park teeming with the film’s titular Jurassic-era critters, Trevorrow’s fourth installment in the Jurassic Park franchise is already slated for at least one sequel, with the former director on-board to pen the fifth film’s script.
Little is known regarding the planned sequel, aside from its June 2018 release date and the return of star players Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard (in addition to franchise producers Spielberg and Frank Marshall), but Trevorrow has revealed some information regarding where he intends to take the series going forward. In conversation with WIRED, the director had this to say:
“Whether or not I am involved in later installments, I felt it was important for me to set the table. I know they’re going to want to make them, I know that Steven definitely wants to make several of these movies, and I want to do my job in setting the table for something that can be rich and thoughtful and interesting. [It will not be] just a bunch of dinosaurs chasing people on an island. That’ll get old real fast.”
Trevorrow went on to highlight his intention to bring the franchise around to a place where the narrative might be able to move beyond the theme park and entertainment, and enter into the realm of hard science-fiction.
“I feel like the idea that this isn’t always going to be limited to theme parks, and there are applications for this science that reach far beyond entertainment. And when you look back at nuclear power and how that started, the first instinct was to weaponize it and later on we found it could be used for energy. And this isn’t something necessarily that was in the book but is a seed that I wanted to plant in this movie, is that might be able to grow in more of these movies if they decide to make more of them, is: What if this went open source? It’s almost like InGen is Mac, but what if PC gets their hands on it? What if there are 15 different entities around the world who can make a dinosaur?”
In order to examine the potential for weaponization of the technology that he has already established, Trevorrow detailed myriad ways in which the series might next evolve.
“Dr. Wu says in the film, when he’s warning Dr Mesrani, ‘We’re not always going to be the only ones who can make a dinosaur.’ I think that’s an interesting idea that even if we don’t explore fully in this film, there is room for this universe to expand. I shouldn’t use the word universe, because people will think we’re making a Jurassic World universe, [which] we’re not.”
Comparing the technology developed by InGen in his film to nuclear weapons testing in the 1940s has far reaching consequences far beyond the fourth and fifth films. By moving the science established previously beyond entertainment into the realm of industrial utility, Trevorrow prepares for an immediately interesting way of bringing the naive wonder of the end of the 20th century in the original film into the more ethically volatile 21st century of the fourth.
For all of its computer-generated bombast and high-decibel thrills, however, Trevorrow’s blockbuster rings a little hollow as a feature film, especially when compared to the sparse simplicity of Spielberg’s original from 1993. But if the director can deliver on all of the moral and dramatic intrigue that he promises with his planned sequel, then the fifth film in the Spielberg produced franchise might very well become the film that its predecessor only ever flirted with imitating.
The Jurassic World sequel opens in U.S. theaters on June 22nd, 2018.