NOTE: This article contains potential SPOILERS for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
The first Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom trailer has finally arrived, teasing an explosive dino-adventure... and a secret dino-conspiracy. The conspiracy may be kept under wraps for now (and only slight hints were offered in the first trailer), but the filmmakers are making the "explosive" part of the film their centerpiece, and fans should expect it to be scarier than its predecessor. This time around, it isn't a trip to the island of lost dinosaurs supplying the action, but a mission to remove the prehistoric wildlife before they're destroyed. It seems John Hammond was so preoccupied with whether or not he could build a dinosaur park on a dormant volcano, he didn't stop to wonder if he should.
The coming volcanic eruption puts the entire plot on a ticking clock, reuniting Jurassic World's stars and some fresh blood (pun intended) to launch a last-minute rescue. The trailer doesn't leave anything to speculation though, showing that the volcano can and will erupt... with the film's heroes and dinosaurs still on it. That's not the only story teased in the first trailer, and fans shouldn't miss a single shot, reveal, or clue amidst all the action. So we're breaking down every beat of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom's first footage.
We'll offer one final SPOILER warning, and then let's get started.
15. Claire & Owen Didn't Work Out After All
The first Jurassic World ended with Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) deciding that with the day well and truly saved, the best decision moving forward was to "stay together." The final scene stopped short of promising romance, but it was implied that the pair had been brought closer by the extreme circumstances of the film. The trailer for Fallen Kingdom shows early on that the pair most definitely did not stay together, judging by their interactions... and what we can only assume was the location Owen chose to meet at.
It's hard to know what Owen has been up to in the four years between the end of Jurassic World and the start of Fallen Kingdom, but it could be assumed that the salary of a velociraptor trainer was a generous one... add in the possible settlement due to those who survived the catastrophe, and he's laughing. As for Claire, she's spent the intervening time organizing the Dinosaur Protection Group. Apparently, her up close and personal experience with several of the creatures has instilled sympathy (remember the dying brontosaur?), making her a front line fighter for the dinosaur's safety and dignity. And the biggest threat facing every dinosaur on the island is outside her capability to stop.
14. Jungle Can Do A Lot in Four Years
By now it's become practically mandatory to include a heroic shot of the massive wooden gates marking the entrance to Jurassic Park. The previous film paid homage to the original in its own way, by claiming - via monorail speakers - that the enormous doors of Jurassic World, while mainly for show, were constructed out of the wood used on the original. So there may not be a better symbol of the enduring "bad idea" that is a dinosaur amusement park than the updated, upgrades gates... now sitting in equally forgotten disrepair.
It's also a testament to how much the park will have changed since the main characters set foot on its grounds. It's only been four years, but the jungle growing into and over the scene is impressive. Fans can also see what looks like the aftermath of a dinosaur's disagreement with the monorail. If it was run automatically and abandoned as quickly as everything else in the park, the audience may have missed out on a truly epic machine vs. dinosaur battle. No surprise: life found the way.
13. You Wanna See a Dead Dinosaur?
The image of the gates and wrecked monorail are poignant, and fitting of the Jurassic Park legacy, but the following shot is likely to catch viewers unprepared. This may be the first time that the carcass of a massive dinosaur is simply placed into a shot with no greater purpose or set-up. But once the surprise wears off, some questions arise. First of all, why is there an uneaten carcass in the open? One would assume that if the dinosaur - a dried out ankylosaurus, from the looks of it - were killed by a predator, then the predator would have... well, eaten it. The same goes for scavengers that survive by eating what larger carnivores leave behind.
A possible explanation is that the dino wasn't killed by a predator at all. Given the role that volcanic instability and eruptions play in the film, it's possible that dinosaurs may be falling victim to the poisonous gas emitted ahead of full-scale eruption (which may have sent warning signals in the first place). It's also possible that the ankylosaurus's armored back is all that's visible, and scavengers have made short work of its belly.
Either way, this shot is also helpful in establishing the hero vehicles: a personnel carrier and at least one truck carrying a dino-sized cage.
12. Keep an Eye On That Hole in The Wall
The trailer wastes no time in building the suspense now synonymous with Jurassic adventures, with this shot in particular a standout. For fans to get the most understanding out of the released footage, it's key to recognize that this becomes a significant location through the events that follow. Later shots will reveal reverse angles of this room, meaning it is, or was likely a command center. Some shots later in the trailer may appear to be set on the massive ship transporting dinosaurs off the island, but the cement walls and vines confirm it's an island set. And one that will probably be well protected, judging by the firepower accompanying Claire's team of dinosaur experts.
If it's not obvious already, the large hole in the wall is also worth noting. From a fictional standpoint, the gaping hole apparently unable to be covered by the sliding door next to it is a danger. And it will prove a tunnel of nightmares once the trailer crescendos. From a cinematic angle, it's a major indicator of the benefits of hiring the director of The Orphanage and Penny Dreadful. The suspense and tension of a doorway into the unknown island of monsters is palpable in a single frame, which bodes well for the rest of director J. A. Bayona's movie.
11. Baby Blue
The dinosaur experts and artists on the first Jurassic Park turned out to be ahead of actual paleontology when they suggested types of raptors could have stood as tall as a human being and exhibited problem solving intelligence. And ever since, the Velociraptor has been a top-billed star of the series - taking a central role in the actual plot of Jurassic Park 3. Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow raised the stakes yet again, making a squad of raptors the future of biological warfare (in the minds of some seriously questionable investors). And with Fallen Kingdom, the mystery of Owen's time raising and training the raptors will be revealed.
The single sequence of Owen interacting with a young raptor is obviously meaningful to fans of the previous movie, since that's no random raptor. That's a juvenile look at 'Blue,' the female who led the squad of raptors and in the end proved intensely loyal to Owen over the genetically-modified 'alpha.' Owen and Blue's relationship wasn't exactly warm at any point of the movie, but it was at the beginning. Blue's affection for Owen, imprinting on him (evident from the nuzzling) may be the difference in the entire trilogy's story... since it's the possibility that Blue will be killed that seems to convince Owen to join Claire's mission.
10. The Land That Time Forgot
It's hard to imagine why a director would be given the helm of a Jurassic Park sequel and choose NOT to fill their film with homages, references, and loving tributes to both the prior films and the genre at large. In the first Jurassic World, the large visitor center located at the end of the park's main shopping strip was itself a throwback to the park's first visitor center. The original building that the film's young stars would revisit, albeit in shambles... the same state in which the current building now sits, starting the cycle all over again. And no surprise: the team's arrival is marked by a massive, long-necked welcome wagon - as it was back in Jurassic Park.
Fans should also take note of the clock attached to a nearby lamp post. Not for a specific numerical Easter Egg, since the actual hands of the clock have come completely unattached. However, it's hard not to read the lack of a time as an inside joke as well, suggesting that Isla Nublar has literally become a kind of "Land That Time Forgot." That story of Edgar Rice Burroughs was published just a few short years after Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, which also inspired Michael Crichton's first Jurassic Park novel. But it was Burroughs who shifted the dinosaur action to a remote island.
9. Bringing Back The Rock Star
There may come a time when Jeff Goldblum will cease being contacted to reprise a former role in a big-budget reboot or sequel, but the time has not yet come. So fans can count themselves fortunate to have one more appearance from Dr. Ian Malcolm, noted mathematici-- sorry, chaotician with almost certainly more hands-on experience with dinosaurs than any in his field. It appears that in debating the fate of the dinosaurs protected on Isla Nublar, and what responsibility the outside world may have in their survival, a governmental committe has called on Malcolm's own insights. Insights that, to this point, have proven to be true... and then true again... and then true again. Doesn't that defy Chaos Theory at some point? Who knows.
Fans shouldn't hope for too much from Malcolm in Fallen Kingdom, however, since Goldblum has been quick to describe his role as a small one. He even mused that it may be cut entirely, suggesting that this scene may be the only one of him audiences get. If that's the case, then his cameo as the guy who hates dinosaurs but just can't escape them is a bonus. Either way, it's nice to see that even this many years later, his taste in eyewear and wardrobe hasn't changed one bit.
8. They Have a T. Rex
At this point in the trailer, we begin to move into the territory where taking events in the sequence they're shown becomes impossible for those trying to piece together the larger plot. And as heartbreaking as it may be to see Rexy - yes, that's the canonical name of the female T. Rex tracing all the way back to the first film, look it up - sedated and strapped into a shipping container, this may be the one time it actually IS for her own good. We can't even begin to imagine how the team on hand managed to track her down without the help of the infamous hunter Roland Tembo (played by Pete Postlethwaite). But they did it, leaving Owen and Claire to make one heck of a reveal.
The work would seem to be done with Rexy, but footage shown in the previously released Jurassic World featurette confirms the pair are just getting started. The sequence apparently sees Claire move in along the Rex's side for some reason, possibly even winding up on its back. The rest of the footage shows Owen getting an up-close view of the Rex opening its eyes and waking up, so expect some frantic flailing from all involved.
7. Leaving The Island Behind?
The trailer may only offer a tease of the events and suspense of Fallen Kingdom, but the visual impact of Bayona's vision is already delivering some unforgettable shots. The one above is no exception, shot from what appears to be the inside of a massive cargo ship, filled to the brim with truck-mounted cages (filled with all manner of dinosaurs in the previous shot). And as the ship heads off to... well, isn't that the question, those on board make their way to the rear to scan what remains of Isla Nublar.
The fire and smoke obscure most of the island, which suggests that this sequence takes place at the end of the island's eruption and destruction (since Owen and Claire seem to inspect Rexy among these other dinoaurs, it's after they've made it off safely, too). At first glance, it might seem strange for a shot confirming everyone makes it off Isla Nublar with dinosaurs in tow to be shown so prominently in the first trailer (beautiful as it may be). We can only assume that there's more to the story we haven't yet been able to solve. But if conspiracy and espionage are involved, we have to assume that takes place back on the mainland.
6. Which Should They Worry About More?
At long last, we return to the control center, and its large, round tunnel into an unknown island of man-eating monsters. Thankfully, a tease that doesn't go unsatisfied, with the trailer showing a menacing Baryonyx stepping foot into the light with jaws wide and snapping. The characters in immediate danger are Claire and her fellow Dinosaur Protector (played by Justice Smith), giving Howard's former damsel a chance to turn the tables, becoming the veteran of dinosaur encounters. And this may also be the one scene in the movie where white-hot lava is actually a friend to the residents of the island.
Based on shots that precede and follow this sequence, it would appear that Claire and her recruit make it out of the situation unscathed. Both are shown elsewhere soon after in the more violent stages of the eruption, in the process of escaping the island permanently. The lava slowly pouring into the structure - and the characters' relative calm at such a twist - suggests this isn't an ordinary volcanic movie scenario. We just have to hope that for the characters' sake, dinosaurs don't know to avoid liquid hot rock just yet.
5. A Classic Cameo
The previous Jurassic World was a literal love letter to the first movie, with more than one character an explicit superfan of the original park and its history. Jake Johnson's office-bound tech may have looked the part, but it was the younger stars who got to live a dream come true: returning to walk the halls of Hammond's first park. Not to mention getting to repair and escape in one of the JP-branded, gas-powered Jeeps driven by park employees in the first movie. So it only seems fair that the sequel to World should hand the cameo keys to the other, arguably more iconic vehicle to sport the Jurassic Park insignia.
We're referring to the Ford Explorer in the background of Owen and Blue's first encounter (the raptor jumps into the scene by landing on top of it by surprise). The green and yellow paint job and signature font will trigger the nostalgia for every fan, but the car's position is also telling. Unfortunately, while the image of an Explorer crushed onto its roof and missing its tires conjures images of Lex and Timmy's doomed vehicle, the actual surroundings aren't a match at all. Maybe dinosaurs just really hate Explorers.
4. The Bough Finally Breaks?
The furious flurry of homages and throwbacks continues as Owen, Claire, and the unnamed DPG member huddle together to avoid the stampede of dinosaurs fleeing the avalanche of volcanic ash and superheated gases. They're backed against an abandoned Gyrosphere introduced in the previous movie, which seems to confirm that the valley they're running through is the same, and the same one where Grant and the kids were ambushed by a 'flock' of dinos in Jurassic Park. And if that's true, then the massive log they're hiding behind seems like to must be the same one used in that iconic location.
That may be the intention, and the log prop could be the same one used in previous shoots... but it doesn't look that similar when placed side by side. Maybe it's for the best that its position is different enough to evoke the comparison, without actually forcing audiences to see that beloved chunk of wood smashed into splinters by the rampaging dinosaurs fleeing for their lives. It's better this way.
3. Rexy Reclaims Her Title
The final act of Jurassic World saw the most famous Tyrannosaurus Rex of the series make her triumphant return: freed from her pen, and led to do battle with the monstrous Indominus Rex (with help from a raptor or two). In the end, the Indominus was defeated by more than just Rexy or Blue's attacks, though the massive beast still bears the scars and scrapes of that battle and the many before. The final shot of the movie is all hers, standing triumphantly, gazing upon the abandoned Jurassic World, and letting a roar loose. But... did she really earn it?
As we mentioned, Indominus's defeat could be seen as a fluke or joke, leaving some question as to the old girl's fighting prowess. So it's more than a little poetic that when Owen and the gang are threatened by a feisty Carnotaurus, its charge is cut short by the T. Rex - in almost the exact same way that it saved the day in the first Jurassic Park. Appearing as if from nowhere, clasping her jaws around the previously-menacing carnivore, and emitting a roar would probably have proven the point.
But with Indominus Rex getting to roar backlit by a fiery helicopter crash, putting Rexy against the island exploding in flames leaves no doubt as to who rules the island - and the franchise.
2. Nowhere Left To Run
Impressive as Rexy's arrival and kill might be, the heroes don't waste any time getting a head start on the aforementioned wave of killer gas and ash. Claire and her recruit push the Gyrosphere to top speed as they follow the herd downhill to the ocean, but it's not the safe haven some would hope. It's a sheer cliff face that means some fairly disturbing decisions for the dinosaurs, that we would prefer to ignore (honestly, filling the trailer with dinosaurs running for their lives was a risky, if not odd choice).
The good news is that, contrary to what some might think, most dinosaurs could swim. It may not be pretty to look at, and a sheer drop could disorient them, but the evidence says even large dinosaurs were buoyant, and could swim as effectively as elephants of horses. It's unclear where the dinosaurs could swim to, with the island apparently exploding with some serious energy - which leads to the biggest question about this sequence. Is this the heroes' final steps on the island? And is this the last gasp of Isla Nublar, leaving only the dinosaurs gathered so far to carry on Hammond's dream? If it is, how do the heroes wind up running for the coast along an exploding pier elsewhere in the trailer?
1. Why Not Go Underwater, Too?
Of all the nightmares, deadly scenarios, and relentless suspense sequence in the Jurassic Park franchise so far, the horrors have been kept to dry land. Even that footing will apparently be tossed aside come Fallen Kingdom, as the runaway heroes send their Gyrosphere over the cliffs and plunging into the water below. In theory, the reinforced sphere would only need to remain intact long enough to float back to the surface (that should be much more air than is needed to give buoyancy). But nothing ever goes as smoothly or as safely as it should in this series.
We don't know if it's a sudden crack in the bubble, a massive dinosaur preventing it from surfacing, or plain old movie magic to blame... but that gyro is absolutely sinking. We can all start hoping that Owen is better at swimming than he is at commanding a raptor pack, and prepare ourselves for an underwater drowning action sequence on top of the threat of being eaten by dinosaurs. More often than not, we'll wind up loving every second of it... once we're out of the theater.
Those are all the Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom facts and teases we could spot in the movie's first trailer, and it's a good start. The coming teaser, trailers, TV spots and featurettes are sure to focus in on the larger Jurassic World conspiracy that will likely take the spotlight in the next film. But until then, hit us with your own theories, favorite moments, and most controversial takes.
- Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) release date: Jun 22, 2018