The Jurassic World Trilogy Is Half-Baked
According to Colin Trevorrow, he always imagined Jurassic World as a trilogy; one big story told over the course of three films. Unfortunately, that means we're now two-thirds of the way through and thus in a position to assess just how effective the Jurassic World story really is. It's fair to say the dinosaurs and the CGI that brings them to life is spectacular, but the actual plot - both of individual movies and overarching series - don't offer much. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom suffers from the saggy middle syndrome, a phenomenon where a writer has a strong vision of the beginning and the end of their story, but doesn't know how to connect the two. As though lampshading the problem, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom actually tries to shift genre halfway through.
Making matters even worse, Jurassic World 2 doesn't even succeed as setup: the film's ending, which aims to set up Jurassic World 3, literally makes no sense. Dialogue from Ian Malcolm strongly suggests we're supposed to view the dinosaur breakout as a sort of dinogeddon, with humanity and dinosaurs now forced to coexist. And yet, what the film shows falls well short of that; only 11 species are released into the wild, with probably less than 50 specimens, and all have trackers implanted within them. It would hardly be difficult for the authorities to track the creatures down. It genuinely feels as though the movie thinks it has set up a literal "Jurassic World", when in reality it has fallen far short of that.
It's too late to address that disconnect, and perhaps not worth it; the idea of dinosaurs and humans coexisting is a tremendously attractive one, and deserves to be explored. But that weakness is clearly linked to Colin Trevorrow's vision, as well as to his writing.
Who Could Replace Colin Trevorrow?
Hollywood tends to go through fashions, with the latest being for blockbuster franchises to pick fresh-faced directors, although there are signs this is finally coming to an end. After a number of high profile snafus, most notably in the Star Wars franchise (including Trevorrow himself), studios are leaning back on reliable talent. While it's great to see rising talents given a shot - and the payoffs both creatively and financially can be massive - not every new director will be the perfect fit for a multibillion-dollar franchise. Universal would be wise to follow this lead with Jurassic and pick someone with skills more established.
In a hypothetical world where Trevorrow is replaced on Jurassic World 3, top of that list would undoubtedly be Matt Reeves, best known for tremendous monster movies like Cloverfield and for the Planet of the Apes films. Of course, Reeves is currently working on the Warner Bros. movie The Batman, so that would rule him out. Another good choice would be Jordan Vogt-Roberts, who's also proved he can handle a blockbuster monster film with the tremendous Kong: Skull Island. Vogt-Roberts invested a great amount of time and effort into making Kong feel like a character in his own right, and that translates well to the Jurassic World franchise, where Blue the Velociraptor is currently one of the most well-developed characters.
In truth, it's unlikely that Universal will ditch Trevorrow. Jurassic World 3 is due in 2021, and - as he's both writer and director - parting ways with him at this stage would be a risky move. After all, while we've focused on the director, the studio would also need to find a new scriptwriter, and that involves a lot of possibly already-moving parts. Colin Trevorrow is safe with the dinosaurs. Only time will tell whether or not that's to the detriment of the franchise.
- Jurassic World 3 (2021) release date: Jun 11, 2021