Jurassic Park 4 is a project where pre-production has been a rough stop-and-go process for more than a decade. The fourth installment in the 20-year old sci-fi franchise - started by director Steven Spielberg's landmark blockbuster adaptation of the Michael Crichton novel about a "biological preserve" populated by human-engineered dinosaurs - looks to finally make its way into theaters in 2015, under the supervision of director Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed).
Trevorrow is keeping tight-lipped on spoilers ahead of principal photography on JP4, which is expected to compete in the intimidating Summer 2015 derby - going against tentpole events like The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Star Wars: Episode VII and Terminator 5 - and will be the first Jurassic Park installment shot in 3D. However, that doesn't mean the director isn't above talking about the film in more general terms (read: drumming up interest for the movie).
The Jurassic Park 4 director showed up as a guest on the Jurassic Park Podcast this past week, where he took a series of general questions concerning the project's status and his feelings towards the Jurassic Park movie property. On the subject of what is his favorite dino featured in the film series to date, Trevorrow replied (via Bleeding Cool):
“What is my favourite dinosaur? We have a new one that’s pretty cool. I’m not going to tell you anything about it, but… it’s pretty badass. I think Jack Horner said something about that too... I feel like, obviously, everyone’s favourite is the T-Rex and there’s just something so iconic about that animal.”
Horner, for those not aware, is a renowned paleontologist who is consulting on JP4, having previously served as a scientific consultant for the first three Jurassic Park installments and the dinosaur-heavy TV series Terra Nova produced by Spielberg. Earlier this year, he did indeed tease that JP4 will feature a new dino addition that he promises will make people "want to keep the lights on after you see this movie” - something which prompted us to put together this '10 New Dinosaurs You Could See' list for the movie.
Jurassic Park III introduced the Spinosaurus - pictured in the still above - to the Jurassic Park franchise, but the carnivorous dino was saddled with the difficult task of outshining the Tyrannosaurs Rex - an iconic movie creature in its own right, as Trevorrow points out. The Spino in JP3 was a mixed success, when it came to instilling new life into the dinosaurs vs. humans game. However, this new "badass" monster being introduced in JP4 might do best if it's not designed to "replace" the iconic Jurassic Park predators like the T-Rex and Veolociraptors (in movie form, not the real-world versions, mind you).
Speaking of Rexes and Raptors, Trevorrow commented on the rumor that JP4 will feature trained versions of said creatures:
“I saw some of the rumours on the internet and I would have all kinds of red flags going off if I heard they were going to muzzle a T-Rex. So I would say don’t believe everything you read, there are way more insiders on the internet than there are in real life.”
Those details were included as part of a Jurassic Park 4 plot summary that leaked online this past June, followed by an update from reliable sources that the information had been taken from a script draft that Trevorrow has performed some "major revisions" on. Arguably, there were some interesting sci-fi ideas and concepts inherent to the premise for that screenplay - which may or may not have been an early draft written by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planet of the Apes). That is to say, one hopes that the baby doesn't get thrown out with the bathwater, as Trevorrow whips the script into shape.
On a related note: given the time between installments, many casual moviegoers and cinephiles alike have been able to stop and think about if a fourth Jurassic Park movie is something that should happen (See what I did there? Sorry...). We even raised that question, back when Trevorrow's version of the project was pushed back to allow for additional development.
For his part, Trevorrow is aware that he needs to deliver the goods:
“It’s important to make a movie for the fans but I also have to remember that there’s a lot of people who just couldn’t care less and need me to make a solid case for why the hell there’s a Jurassic Park 4 in the first place and I want to make a movie for them too... This is not a paycheck gig for me and it’s not the movie that I’m making so I can make the movies that I really want to make. I actually want to make a kick-ass Jurassic Park movie.”
In a previous interview, Trevorrow voiced a similar desire to honor the Jurassic Park movie legacy - with assistance from Spielberg, who Trevorrow has indicated is taking a hands-on approach as an executive producer on the fourth installment. Feelings towards the JP sequels - The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III - tend to veer towards the mixed-to-negative, but there are also many a fan who grew up loving the trilogy and want to see JP4 turn out well. So far, Trevorrow have given off the impression that he's making an admirable effort to accomplish just that (if nothing else).
Are you still interested in seeing Jurassic Park 4? Will life find a way... for this long-delayed installment to turn out okay?
Jurassic Park 4 is expected to reach theaters by Summer 2015.