Audiences will soon return to the awe-inspiring world of dinosaur amusement parks with Colin Trevorrow's Jurassic World, the fourth installment in the seminal Jurassic Park series. The sci-fi franchise has largely been dormant since Jurassic Park III graced screens in 2001, but moviegoers are certainly primed for another go-around with t-rexes and raptors - as evidenced by projections that Jurassic World will bring in over $100 million at the U.S. box office during its opening weekend.
It's all but a given that Universal will want to make a Jurassic Park 5 in the near future, assuming Jurassic World is a financial success; the studio's executives have probably already had preliminary discussions about such a project. So which directors may the studio take a look at for a fifth movie? Well, it seems that Trevorrow's already taken himself out of the running.
Trevorrow spoke with BadTaste.it (hat tip Coming Soon for English translation) during the Jurassic World press tour with regard to the Jurassic Park 5 gig - saying that another filmmaker should get a chance to play in this particular sandbox next:
“'Jurassic Park' is like 'Star Wars.' Different directors can give a different taste to each movie. I would be involved in some way, but not as director.”
Trevorrow's Star Wars comparison certainly is apt, but he seems to be describing something more along the lines of what the Mission: Impossible film series has seen since its inception in 1996. Five films in, that franchise has seen five different helmsmen call the shots, with each filmmaker putting their own unique spin on the property. Much like M:I, the premise that a Jurassic Park film can have is fairly limited (mainly, dinosaurs run amuck and eat people), so it makes sense for the studio to bring in a new voice for the next installment (and, hopefully, give the project a fresh angle to explore).
Some may say that at this juncture, we should wait to see what the response to World is before starting the conversation about Jurassic Park 5 - but, such is the nature of Hollywood business these days. There are so many upcoming tentpoles scooping up release dates, that it's imperative to plan ahead and get all your franchise ducks lined up in a row. Trevorrow, in the past, has indicated that if Jurassic World does well enough to justify a followup, then there may even be a tentative plan in place for how to let the next Jurassic Park movie build on the foundation laid by World:
“We [Universal and I] definitely talked about [sequels] a lot. We wanted to create something that would be a little bit less arbitrary and episodic, and something that could potentially arc into a series that would feel like a complete story.”
Jurassic Park 5 seems likely to happen, so it will be interesting to see what kind of story the filmmakers come up with. There is great anticipation for Jurassic World, but some have criticized the nostalgia-based marketing campaign for simply retreading iconic moments from the 1993 original as a means of appealing to the masses. It doesn't help that the plot for World seems to be merely an update of the original Jurassic Park's narrative, with much of the action revolving around the "man messes with nature" and "dinosaurs cause hijinks" bits we saw over two decades ago.
It's been so long since we got a Jurassic Park film, the strategy may work this time around. However, if the franchise is going to have longterm stability, whoever directs the fifth installment will need to come up with something we haven't seen this series do yet - a great challenge indeed. No wonder Trevorrow seems uninterested, at this point in time.
Jurassic World will be in U.S. theaters on June 12th, 2015.