When 2015’s Jurassic World hit theaters around the world and went on to become one of the highest grossing films of all time with a $1.67 billion gross, there was little doubt in anyone’s mind that a sequel was sure to follow. But to follow up such a huge hit in a franchise that has become somewhat iconic is no small undertaking, to say the least. This time around, audiences will likely be expecting an overall upping of the ante in everything from effects to thrills.
With that thought in mind, the Jurassic World 2 team already appears to be taking steps in the right direction. Rumors have recently circulated that the budget for Jurassic World 2 will greatly surpass that of its predecessor, but as of this writing the cost of the film has yet to be finalized. However, even the possibility of a budget larger than its predecessor indicates a potential desire by the filmmakers to do much more this time around.
One aspect of Jurassic World 2 that is now being touted as exceeding Jurassic World’s efforts falls into the realm of suspense and scares. In a new interview with Jurassic Outpost, co-writer and producer of the sequel, Colin Trevorrow admitted that the new film was built around director J.A. Bayona’s (The Orphanage, The Impossible) skillset. As that skillset has been honed through horror and suspense films (see also Bayona's work on the TV show Penny Dreadful), Trevorrow also explained that Bayona was clearly the director for him, long before anyone even considered such a thing a possibility:
“It will be more suspenseful and scary. It’s just the way it’s designed; it’s the way the story plays out. I knew I wanted Bayona to direct it long before anyone ever heard that was a possibility, so the whole thing was just built around his skillset.”
Trevorrow went on to speak about how important it is for him to bring back the element of two directors collaborating on a film, in much the way that blockbuster directors Steven Spielberg and George Lucas have done on the Indiana Jones films. As director of Jurassic World, Trevorrow has been dedicated to the idea of working with Bayona on Jurassic World 2 and incorporating the director’s instincts into the upcoming film:
“Film has become so cutthroat and competitive; it felt like an opportunity to create a situation where two directors could really collaborate. It’s rare these days, but it’s something that the directors that we admire used to do all the time—one writes and produces and the other directs, and the end result is something that’s unique to both of them. I’m in the office right now, I’ve been here every day since July working closely with J.A., listening to his instincts, and honing the script with Derek to make sure it’s something that all of us believe in.”
And although the impulse on a sequel of this magnitude is to take everything to the biggest level possible, Trevorrow is not ready to abandon the use of practical effects in favor of CGI. That’s not to say that Jurassic World 2 won’t have its fair share of digital effects, but that the latest sequel in the franchise will remain true to what has been done before it:
“There will be animatronics for sure. We’ll follow the same general rule as all of the films in the franchise which is the animatronic dinosaurs are best used when standing still or moving at the hips or the neck. They can’t run or perform complex physical actions, and anything beyond that you go to animation. The same rules applied in Jurassic Park.”
There’s no doubt that Trevorrow is confident with Bayona’s ability to deliver a Jurassic World film that will take things in a new yet familiar direction. A scarier and more suspenseful film is appealing in theory, but sequels always have an uphill battle when it comes to pleasing audiences. That being said, Trevorrow’s apparent passion for the production and eagerness to collaborate with Bayona are the best thing that fans of the franchise can currently hope for.
Jurassic World 2 opens in U.S. theaters on June 22nd, 2018.