The resounding box-office success of Universal’s Jurassic World came as a surprise to a wide range of people. The reboot had been earmarked to bring in a huge tally upon its release, but these estimates were quite quickly surpassed as the film went on to smash box office records around the world, ultimately landing a spot as the fourth highest-grossing film of all time worldwide.
With that degree of success behind it, there was no doubt that a sequel would soon follow. Sure enough, before Jurassic World had even completed its box office run, a follow up was confirmed by Universal. At present, fans know that the next Jurassic World installment will arrive in theaters in summer 2018, but when it comes to a sequel of this magnitude, updates are always in demand.
Thanks to a recent Collider interview with producer Frank Marshall (Jurassic World, Jason Bourne), new information has come to light. Marshall wasn’t prepared to reveal too much, but he was willing to chat a little about a few things regarding the upcoming sequel. First and foremost however, Marshall admitted that even he was surprised by exactly how well Jurassic World did upon its release, denying that he was ever prepared for what the film eventually accomplished.
No, I wasn’t, and that’s the honest truth. I was hoping to open at 100 [million], they were projecting 100 which is huge, and that would’ve be the biggest opening for a movie that I’ve produced, but we pretty much doubled my expectations [Laughs] at every turn.
Marshall then went on to explain where exactly Universal is at this moment with the production of Jurassic World 2 and when shooting is expected to begin:
We’re in pre-production, in fact I just got back from London from meeting with [director] Juan Antonio [Bayona] and the production designer. We’re designing, he’s doing storyboards, and we’re in full pre-production to start shooting sometime early next spring.
With directing duties being passed on for the sequel from Colin Trevorrow to Juan Antonio Bayona (The Impossible, Penny Dreadful), Marshall addressed the issue of Jurassic World 2’s script. Trevorrow and writing partner Derek Connolly have been working on their initial story for the sequel and Marshall was quick to dismiss the notion that Bayona was instead taking things in his own direction.
No, as a director Bayona has his input but Colin and Derek are writing the script, so there have been numerous meetings and we have the template for the movie, but of course he’s putting in his own ideas and taking ownership of it, but it’s pretty much the same story that they originally came up with.
As well as confirming that Jurassic World 2 will also be shot in Hawaii (as was its predecessor): “Yes, we’ll be shooting again in Hawaii just like the last one.”, Marshall discussed the challenge of upping the ante in terms of action, dinosaurs and storyline:
I think we have that pressure both on Bourne movies and on Jurassic movies [Laughs], we set the bar pretty high. For me it’s always a bout story, as long as the action sequences move the story forward, that’s what’s important, and I think just having to look and see how we can involve the characters in the story with whatever dinosaur we have in the action sequence. So, it’s a challenge but a healthy challenge.
All in all, Marshall sounds quite confident with both the progress for the sequel and the direction it’s currently heading in. It’s hard to say exactly what to expect from a production of this magnitude, especially since Trevorrow won’t be returning to direct. Changing up the directorial vision of a franchise has extensive histories both good and bad, so Bayona's efforts on Jurassic World 2 are carrying a lot of expectation and uncertainty for fans who undoubtedly maintain rather lofty hopes.
With that being said, the world that Trevorrow and Connolly have created still lives on through their new script, so a touch of familiarity will remain within Jurassic World 2. The Jurassic World franchise is a valuable one to Universal and in this sense, fans can be assured that every step is being taken to produce the best sequel possible.
Jurassic World 2 arrives in U.S. theaters on June 22nd, 2018.