Jurassic World, the fourth film in the Jurassic Park series and the first released since Jurassic Park III in 2001, was a box office monster when it was released in summer 2015. The film, starring Chris Pratt along with a genetically-modified dinosaur, earned over $652 million at the domestic box office. This made Jurassic World the second-highest-domestic-grossing film among 2015 releases (behind only Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and fourth all-time.
Following its huge success, another sequel was perhaps inevitable and indeed, such a sequel was announced last July. Jurassic World co-writer/director Colin Trevorrow isn't returning to call the shots on the dino-sequel, as he's currently getting ready to direct Star Wars: Episode IX next, instead. However, Trevorrow will still co-write the Jurassic World sequel with his writing partner, Derek Connolly.
Juan Antonio Bayona is now officially set to direct the still-unnamed sequel to Jurassic World, after it was reported earlier this year that he was front-runner for the job. Universal Pictures confirmed the news via the official Jurassic World Twitter account (see below) and Bayona likewise confirmed his involvement via his own Twitter account.
— Jurassic World (@JurassicPark) April 18, 2016
Bayona is the 40-year-old Spanish filmmaker best known for directing the 2007 horror film The Orphanage and the 2012 tsunami epic The Impossible. He has also worked on television in recent years, having directed the first two episodes of Showtime's period horror drama, Penny Dreadful. Bayona is currently in post-production on the dark children's fantasy novel adaptation A Monster Calls and was previously attached to direct the slow-developing World War Z sequel, before he stepped away from the project (freeing himself up to helm Jurassic World 2 instead).
Pratt and his Jurassic World costar Bryce Dallas Howard are onboard to return for the second film, with Frank Marshall and original Jurassic Park director Steven Spielberg once again onboard as producers. Trevorrow said in an interview last summer that future installments in the Jurassic World/Park franchise might go “open source," and reach beyond the core plot of dinosaurs attacking people in a theme park.
Is Bayona ready for such a big film? It’s difficult to argue that he's not; he’s already proven himself to be a capable and professional director with modestly-budgeted films, and he’s said to be close with Marshall. And let’s not forget that when Trevorrow got the Jurassic World directing job, he only had the indie Safety Not Guaranteed to his name. Then again, we all remember that the second Jurassic Park film, 1997’s The Lost World, was a noteworthy step down from the 1993 original, so hopefully history won't repeat itself here.
Jurassic World 2 (official title TBA) opens in U.S. theaters June 22, 2018.
Source: Universal Pictures