It's taken a while, but the long-rumored fourth Jurassic Park movie - now officially titled Jurassic World - is on its way to becoming a reality. Sets for the film are currently under-construction (including on locations used in Steven Spielberg's original movie over 20 years ago), while a cast of humans is being assembled to face off against dinosaurs in the sci-fi/horror adventure.
LEGO Movie voice actor Chris Pratt - who also stars in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy this summer - is playing one of the leads in the new Jurassic Park installment (a character Pratt describes as jaded, yet wide-eyed towards the dinos), while The Village and Terminator Salvation star Bryce Dallas Howard will play a corporate scientist.
Non-adult actors Ty Simpkins (Iron Man 3) and Nick Robinson (The Kings of Summer) are reported to be playing kid characters in the film, though it remains unknown for now if the youngster they're set to portray onscreen are related to Pratt's and/or Howard's leads (or too one another, for that matter).
Deadline is reporting that Vincent D'Onofrio is set to play a (human - no funny business now) villain in Jurassic World; unless the movie breaks from Jurassic Park franchise tradition, D'Onofrio's antagonist will either be someone whose self-serving actions result in dinos running amuck (a la Dennis Nedry from Jurassic Park) or a corporate figurehead seeking to exploit the giant Jurassic creatures in an ethically-questionable fashion (a la Peter Ludlow from The Lost World). I just hope that D'Onofrio doesn't play his villainous role quite so hammy as he did his role in Escape Plan last year.
In addition, Deadline is reporting that Irrfan Khan is set to play an undisclosed role in Jurassic World. The acclaimed Indian actor - whose recent Hollywood work includes roles in Amazing Spider-Man and Life of Pi - has been rumored to join the project since the time when Pratt's name first entered the conversation. There hadn't been a significant followup report on Khan's involvement since then, so it's nice to have confirmation that he hasn't simply passed (or been passed over) for the movie.
On the rumor front, Backstage.com (via Jurassic World.org) is claiming that French actor Omar Sy has joined the Jurassic World cast, along with Khan and D'Onofrio. Sy already has supporting roles in a couple upcoming Hollywood features - X-Men: Days of Future Past (where he plays Bishop) and Candy Store - so him joining the new Jurassic Park movie doesn't seem like a stretch. We'll let you know if additional outlets confirm his involvement.
Indie filmmaker Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) is making the jump to the blockbuster leagues with Jurassic World, drawing from a script draft that he cooked up with screenwriter Derek Connolly (who also penned Trevorrow's debut feature). For a while, there've been rumors that the fourth Jurassic Park installment will revolve around a fully operational version of the dino resort - before (shock of shocks) it starts having problems - though Trevorrow has already cautioned "don't believe everything you read," in response to those claims.
That said, there have been signs - like how Jurassic World is filming on the same Hawaiian islands used for the first movie, or how certain set photos (again, hat tip to JurassicWorld.org) indicate that the abandoned Six Flags park in New Orleans (where a sizable chunk of the movie will be shot) will be used during production - that suggest that a version of Jurassic Park will be up and running in the film (until it's not, anyway).
UPDATE: The Wrap's report on D'Onofrio and Khan joining Jurassic World likewise confirms the "operational Jurassic Park" angle, with the following details:
"[Irrfan Khan] will play Patel, the billionaire owner of a new Jurassic Park. An individual familiar with the casting breakdown tells TheWrap that D’Onofrio will play the CFO of the Patel Corporation who projects the image of a normal family man to mask a hidden edge."
Now - who else wants to see velociraptors riding a roller coaster?
Jurassic World opens in U.S. theaters on June 12th, 2015.
Update Source: The Wrap