Jurassic Park IV has charted an unusual course of evolution, over the past twelve years that have passed since Jurassic Park III released in theaters. The project, at one point, was slated to enter The Island of Dr. Moreau territory, by featuring a story where dinosaur genetical material was combined with dog and human DNA to produce a new kind of biological weapon (check out the unofficial concept art if you don't believe us). For obvious reasons, that version didn't happen.
The current iteration of JP4 is based on a script draft that was penned by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), and the project has Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) set as director alongside Steven Spielberg as one of the film's executive producers. Little is known about the project, other than Trevorrow will be shooting in 3D - a first for the Jurassic Park franchise - and part of the film will take place on Isla Nublar, the island from the first movie (not Isla Sorna or "Site B" from The Lost World and JP3).
Earlier this week, we received confirmation that Universal has plans to release this current version of JP4 in theaters in 2015, after having delayed the film a year to allow for additional development time. Today, we can offer some unconfirmed plot details from the film (as with all RUMORS, be sure to take all this with the customary grain of salt).
[UPDATE: The Film Stage has been told by one of its sources that these plot details were taken from an older JP4 script draft, and do not account for the "major revisions" that Trevorrow has made to the script since he joined the project as director.]
RE-UPDATE: In the year since this was published, it's begun looking more and more like many of these plot details - trained dinosaurs specifically - are likely true, in some form or fashion.
[The following may contain MILD SPOILERS for Jurassic Park IV!]
The following JP4 plot details were exclusively unveiled by JoBlo, and were provided to the site by a "trusted and reliable source." See what you make of them:
JURASSIC PARK 4, set in present day Isla Nublar, is now an actual theme park, as originally intended by John Hammond in the first film. It garners 10 million visitors per year and is completely safe - until it's not. The park itself is described as very Sea World-esque and includes an area called the Isla Nublar Lagoon. That means underwater dino's for the first time. No indication of what kind, but there's concept art showing one of the aquatic dino's, as part of a show, jumping out of the lagoon and eating a strung up great white shark like it was a fish for a dolphin at sea world.
As part of a show, you ask? That's right, folks, this will feature "tamed" dino's. In fact, our source indicated that the usually menacing Velociraptors (which will finally be muzzled, along with the T-Rex - until they're not) will actually be used to help fight the threat, which begins in the form of a new dinosaur, not seen in any of the previous films (and not disclosed to us) shows to be much smarter than originally thought and is the main cause of havoc breaking out at the park.
So, to sum it all up, JURASSIC PARK 4 will take place back on Isla Nublar with a fully operational dinosaur theme park (I'm sure no expense was spared) that's both prosperous and safe, until a new dinosaur figures out a way to wreak havoc, causing the use of the now tamed Velociraptors (and T-Rex? Unclear) as a means to fighting the threat.
So... does that mean Jurassic Park IV could include (among other dino vs. dino battles) the long-awaited rematch between the T-Rex and Spinosaurus (see below)? Also, the dinosaur eating a great white shark bit sounds like a tongue-in-cheek reference to Spielberg's Jaws, no?
On a more serious note, these rumored JP4 story details seem believable, when you take all things into consideration. The project is expected to move the sci-fi franchise forward in a different direction, while still acknowledging previous events in the series (i.e. more a re-invention than a reboot), and this approach could allow for that to happen in a relatively non-contrived fashion.
Moreover, the approach outlined above could allow JP4 to build upon and refine the ethical questions and quandaries that were raised in the first two Jurassic Park movies in particular. In addition, the realization of Hammond's Jurassic Park dream may allow for a smart updating of the previous films' messages about the dangers of excess corporatization (similar to how Jaff and Silver updated the Planet of the Apes franchise's sci-fi elements in their Apes prequel/reboot script).
To sum it all up: if these plot details are real, then Jurassic Park IV may be shaping up to feature some impressive dinosaur vs. dinosaur battle and spectacle; not to mention, have a purpose for existing, other than for the obvious reason ($$$). All in all, I would say there's potential here (again, if true) - but what do you think?
Jurassic Park IV is expected to reach theaters by Summer 2015.
Update Source: The Film Stage