Fans have launched a petition asking Universal to fire Colin Trevorrow as Jurassic World 3 director and give Fallen Kingdom helmer J.A. Bayona complete control of the next sequel. Despite the massive success of his 2015 blockbuster Jurassic World, the movie that brought the Jurassic Park franchise back from the dead, it seems not all fans of the dinosaur series are sold on the directorial talents of Trevorrow.
Indeed, Trevorrow's directorial career thus far has been an up and down affair. After reaching the heights of success with Jurassic World, which grossed $1.67 billion worldwide, Trevorrow was set up for even more triumph when he was hired to helm Star Wars IX. But the bottom fell out for the director when his indie film The Book of Henry was savaged by critics and bombed at the box office. In the wake of that disaster, Lucasfilm and Disney quickly moved to fire Trevorrow from the Star Wars sequel, replacing him with reliable J.J. Abrams. Nevertheless, Trevorrow remains on board as director of Jurassic World 3, after acting as co-writer and executive producer on this year's Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
Despite his stumbles, it seems Universal still has faith in Trevorrow to carry on the Jurassic World franchise. But should they have so much faith in the director's talents? Some fans of Jurassic Park/Jurassic World are not so sold on Trevorrow. In fact, a few concerned fans have even launched a petition asking the studio to drop Trevorrow and give the third Jurassic World to Fallen Kingdom helmer Bayona. The fans at Monster Movie laid out their case on Change.org:
As long time fans of Jurassic Park and Jurassic World, we believe that director J. A. Bayona took an important step in the right direction with the franchise. After Fallen Kingdom, which ended up being a darker and more mature chapter than its predecessor, there would be no point in going back to Colin Trevorrow's uninspired style.
Trevorrow's firing from Star Wars: Episode IX, along with the low production value of his indie movie The Book of Henry and his communication mistakes during Fallen Kingdom's marketing campaign, is a testament to his inadequacy. He's proven himself unable to manage such a large and complex project. On the other hand, Bayona's directorial skill and sensitivity are clearly perceivable and could give us another great episode, driving the franchise towards excellence and setting up a bright future for our beloved dinosaurs.
The "communication mistakes" referred to by the fan petition include Trevorrow openly criticizing Fallen Kingdom's marketing and confusing people by attempting to explain some of the movie's plot holes. As it happens, Trevorrow hasn't only rubbed Jurassic Park fans the wrong way, but was also reportedly an irritating presence to some during his time working on Star Wars IX. Nevertheless, Trevorrow has some important people in his camp, including Steven Spielberg.
Interestingly, the fans launching the current petition actually seem to be in the minority when it comes to their praise of Bayona's "darker" approach to Jurassic World over Trevorrow's lighter touch. Besides being a huge hit, Trevorrow's Jurassic World earned a 71 percent Rotten Tomatoes score with critics and a 78 percent with audiences. Fallen Kingdom on the other hand currently sits at just 51 percent with critics and 56 percent with audiences. That being said, Fallen Kingdom is still a smash hit with over $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales thus far.
It seems that when it comes to the proper tone for Jurassic World, it's all a matter of taste. While wider audiences seem to prefer the Trevorrow approach, which tended toward the light-hearted and silly, there seems to be a contingent of hardcore fans who would prefer the franchise to go darker. Indeed, such "dark vs. light" debates come up all the time as regards blockbuster films. Nowhere are these arguments more heated than in the superhero movie realm, where entire fanbases can be torn apart by fights over the proper tone for a film franchise. In this case, Bayona seems to be the Zack Snyder, while Colin Trevorrow is the Joss Whedon. All in all, it seems unlikely that Trevorrow is in any danger of being removed from Jurassic World 3, petition or no petition.
Source: Monster Movie/Change.org
- Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) release date: Jun 22, 2018
- Jurassic World 3 (2021) release date: Jun 11, 2021