The fourth installment in the Jurassic Park franchise, Jurassic World, is scheduled to begin filming this upcoming June for a theatrical release almost exactly one year later. Story-wise, it would appear that this addition to the sci-fi/action/horror series revolves around a new operational version of the Jurassic Park establishment, fulfilling John Hammond’s original vision of a place where humans can safely view living dinosaurs in the flesh. (Until they inevitably break loose, anyway.)
Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi) is reported to be playing the billionaire owner of the working Jurassic Park, which is located on the Isla Nublar island that was featured in Steven Spielberg’s original movie, rather than the Isla Sorna (a.k.a. “Site B”) that served as the primary setting for both The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III.
Meanwhile, Vincent D’Onofrio (Escape Plan) is playing the CFO of Khan’s company; as the character who is described as being the film’s villain, one presume that it’s D’Onofrio’s foolhardy behavior (motivated by greed, arrogance, or a mixture of the pair) that results in dinos rucking amuck and eating tourists in a manner very unlike how broken-down Pirates of the Caribbean animatronics would behave.
Last year, there was a claim that Jake Johnson – Zooey Deschanel’s costar on New Girl and costar of Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow’s feature debut Safety Not Guaranteed – was being eyed for a role in the upcoming Jurassic Park installment. The actor was interviewed recently by The Huffington Post about major developments on his name-making TV series, when he confirmed that he will, in fact, be appearing in the Trevorrow’s sophomore project.
When asked if Trevorrow’s involvement with Jurassic World was, in no small part, responsible for getting Johnson to commit to the big-budget undertaking, he replied:
Absolutely. Now, I’m also a huge fan of “Jurassic Park.” When I was growing up and “Jurassic Park” came out, I freaked out like every other kid. I was born in ’78, so I was, like, 12. If it wasn’t Colin and someone said they wanted me in “Jurassic Park,” I would jump on it. The fact that it’s Colin, written by Derek Connolly (who wrote “Safety Not Guaranteed”) and both those guys are personal friends, I’d go through a wall.
Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) is playing one of the Jurassic World leads – a security-minded fellow who sounds like a more outgoing version of Robert Muldoon (Bob Peck) from the first movie – opposite Bryce Dallas Howard (Terminator Salvation) as a corporate scientist who, presumably, is employed by Khan’s character.
UPDATE: In a separate (albeit, related) interview with Vulture, Johnson revealed that he will begin working on Jurassic World in July and offered a description of his role, saying “I’m the tech guy. I’m the guy in the booth, so I don’t get to wrestle around with the dinos…”
Jurassic World doesn’t sound like a radical departure from past Jurassic Park movies, between the reports of familiar human character archetypes and the alleged narrative setup for the film. Then again, that’s not to say it hasn’t shown any signs of promise or being a fresh twist on what’s come before, either.
Trevorrow’s comments in the past have suggested that he intends to get back to the thematic core of Michel Crichton’s original Jurassic Park novel (humanity’s arrogance in believing it can control nature) with his film, after the series devolved into a basic – if still mostly fun – monster B-movie thriller by the third installment. Similarly, seeing how the project is shooting in both 3D and different visual formats (read: 35 mm and 65 mm), it seems Jurassic World will have shinier effect and otherwise look different than its predecessors (in a good way, mind).
If all goes well, this could end up being the first Jurassic Park sequel to truly justify its existence from a creativity standpoint – and thus, help to ensure that moviegoers won’t want this franchise to go permanently extinct after seeing this latest chapter.
Jurassic World opens in 2D and 3D theaters in the U.S. on June 12th, 2015.
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