Isla Nublar is open for business once more, because apparently after three movies people still haven’t learned that trying to introduce dinosaurs to the modern world is a bad idea. In Jurassic World, Bryce Dallas Howard’s team of scientists are even taking things one step further by creating genetically engineered dinosaurs that combine the deadliest traits of a handful of species into one big, bad, scary package. Hopefully nothing will go wrong (spoiler: things go wrong).
The first trailer for Jurassic World was unveiled this week, and it probably raised more question than it answered. What exactly is the big bad new dinosaur that’s going to make the T-Rex look cuddly by comparison? Why is Chris Pratt’s character able to race alongside a group of velociraptors on his motorcycle without getting torn to pieces? And why don’t any of the dinosaurs have feathers? OK, we’ll chalk that last one up to artistic license.
In a new interview with Empire, director Colin Trevorrow didn’t exactly answer any of those questions in detail, but he did address some of the clips from the trailer and how the various story ideas were formed and came together. The genetically engineered dinosaurs, Trevorrow explained, are intended as something of a commentary on the insatiable greed of modern audiences, who have reached a point where encountering giant reptiles from millions of years ago just isn’t cool enough any more.
“There is no shortage of awesome [real] dinosaurs. We could have populated this entire story with new species that haven’t been in any of these movies. But this new creation is what gave me a reason to tell another Jurassic Park story. We have the most awe-inspiring creatures to ever walk the Earth right in front of us, but for some reason that’s not enough. We’re always hungry for the next thing, and those who profit from it are always looking to feed that hunger. The focus groups want something bigger than a T-Rex. And that’s what they get.”
It’s unclear whether Trevorrow is referring to fictional focus groups within the film’s world or real focus groups – probably both. That could make for an interesting bit of meta-commentary if handled well by Trevorrow and his fellow screenwriter, Derek Connolly (Safety Not Guaranteed).
One of the monsters in the trailer that looks insane enough to be genetically engineered, but is actually a real dinosaur, is the monstrous mososaurus seen leaping out of the water to grab a tasty seafood treat. Trevorrow said that he was interested in featuring a creature that literally eats Jaws for breakfast.
“I pitched the mosasaurus and went off on the idea… I thought it would be cool if we had this massive animal and the park used one of our most fearsome modern predators as food. There could be a whole other facility where they used shark DNA to mass-produce them to feed the bigger beast. It’s a bonkers idea, but I’m comfortable going to Crazytown, because I used to live there when I was a kid.”
The raptors in the original Jurassic Park were arguably even scarier than the T-Rex, despite being smaller, because of their speed and intelligence. With that in mind, it was surprising to see them happily sprinting alongside a motorcycle without trying to rip its rider, Owen (Pratt), to pieces. Trevorrow warned that the clip shouldn’t be taken as evidence that the raptors have been tamed – more that Owen is a kind of raptor whisperer.
“Owen’s relationship with the raptors is complicated. They aren’t friends. These animals are nasty and dangerous and they’ll bite your head off if you make the wrong move. But there are men and women out there today who have forged tenuous connections with dangerous predators. That’s interesting territory to me.”
As far whether or not we’ll get to see the T-Rex itself in action, Trevorrow assures fans that, “You bet your ass you will.” Now all we need is a three way showdown between the raptors, the T-Rex and the mysterious mutant dinosaur to make for a complete family holiday package.
Jurassic World premieres in theaters on June 12th, 2015.