A nineties movie staple, Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park opened to strong reviews and impressive box office sales. With the help of Industrial Light and Magic, as well as renowned dinosaur experts, the filmmaker raised the bar for digital movie effects - wowing audiences with the most realistic CGI monsters to ever hit the big screen (read our Jurassic Park 3D review). As a result, in a year when Schindler's List, Sleepless in Seattle, and Mrs. Doubtfire were all in theaters, Jurassic Park's female T-Rex was still one of 1993's biggest starlets. In the following years, the franchise spawned two sequels - that, while financially and critically successful, failed to match the wonder and entertainment value of the first film.
Now, after several failed attempts at a fourth Jurassic Park movie, including a film that was rumored to feature dinosaur-human hybrids, director Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) is hard at work on Jurassic Park 4, officially titled Jurassic World. Despite over two years in development, very little is known about Universal Studios' new entry in the franchise but, with only seven months before release, viewers are finally getting their first look at the film - in the official Jurassic World trailer.
Following a viral marketing campaign centered on Masrani Global, a fictional company responsible for the refurbishing of Isla Nublar, the studio has unveiled Trevorrow's take on the series - playing heavily on nearly ten years of accident-free success at Jurassic World (with only a hint of the dangers to come). While the trailer does provide a look at some new dinosaurs and characters, the teaser leaves plenty up to imagination and speculation - especially the film's deadly and mysterious starring dinosaur. The teaser includes footage that lines-up with a previously rumored trailer description (such as shots of park attendees arriving via ferryboat and a mosasaur feeding) - and yes, it confirms that Chris Pratt has some tamed velociraptors (whether he'll actually ride one, remains to be seen).
That said, the trailer successfully recaptures the sense of spectacle and scientific discovery that made the original Jurassic Park a layered and enduring movie experience - setting aside the film's mind-blowing special effects in favor of selling viewers on the core storyline. Specifically, scientists are once again toying with extinct species - which, as Dr. Malcolm taught us back in 1993, sets the stage for nature to break free, expand to new territories, and crash through barriers, painfully, and almost certainly dangerously.
In case readers don't remember, here's the teaser, followed by the first full trailer, for the original Jurassic Park:
Much like the first Jurassic Park trailers, the Jurassic World teaser does not feature too many CGI-heavy "money shots" that have become a staple of modern film trailers (e.g. Optimus Prime riding Grimlock in the first Transformers: Age of Extinction teaser). It's a welcome change of pace that should help build further anticipation and awareness for Trevorrow's project without spoiling the movie's biggest surprises (and reveals). Nevertheless, there's no way of knowing how long Universal Studios will be able to hold-back their Jurassic World's monstrous Dino-hybrid star in future marketing.
With little but hand-picked images, props, and a relatively restrained trailer to tease what Trevorrow has in store for moviegoers, it's still too early to determine just how successful this 2015 will ultimately be for the studio. However, an intriguing viral marketing campaign paired with a trailer that is reminiscent of the original film are certainly encouraging pieces of the puzzle.
Check out official images from Jurassic World below - including park wrangler Owen (Chris Pratt), Masrani Global executive Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), as well as dinosaur fans Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins):
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Beyond fundamental dinosaur/theme park pandemonium, Jurassic World's storyline is a sharp evolution of the original premise. Jurassic Park (and The Lost World: Jurassic Park) played heavily on mankind's arrogance in the face of nature - as John Hammond (and later his son-in-law) ignored the dangers of scientific discovery. As a result, it makes complete sense that Jurassic World will feature a fully-functioning park - where Masrani Global has doubled-down on safety and security but ignored Jurassic Park's biggest lesson: Discovery is a violent, penetrative act that scars what it explores. The staff at Jurassic World might have been able to control the park's original inhabitants but, when the Masrani Global scientists start experimenting with hybrid-dinosaurs, their reach exceeds their grasp - and innocent lives are, once again, placed at risk.
Life has found a way but were Universal Studios' filmmakers so preoccupied with whether or not they could relaunch Jurassic Park, that they didn't stop to think if they should? Only time (and more trailers) will tell.
Jurassic World premieres in theaters on June 12th, 2015.
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