Blockbuster maestro Steven Spielberg has been making headlines around the clock as of late, while he promotes the worldwide release of his awards-contending wartime melodrama, War Horse, and the U.S. release of his animated comic book adaptation, The Adventures of Tintin. During the press circuit, Spielberg has also been providing answers to reporters' questions about his upcoming slate of films, including this year's Abraham Lincoln biopic, the sci-fi thriller Robopocalypse, and the long-rumored Jurassic Park 4.
Spielberg previously made it known that he's involved with the development of a fourth Jurassic Park flick, but it was previously not clear whether he was planning to direct the movie as well. According to the man himself, the answer is... no.
Collider caught up with Spielberg after he finished answering questions at a French press conference for War Horse and was unable to snag any new tidbits about the nature of Jurassic Park 4 (ex. Will it be a direct sequel? A franchise reboot? Both?) or when the movie might be hitting theaters. However, Spielberg did make it clear that he would only produce the film and let someone else hold the directorial reigns.
That's not exactly a huge shock, seeing how Spielberg also passed on directing Jurassic Park III and instead allowed Joe Johnston (who had originally lobbied to direct The Lost World: Jurassic Park) sit at the helm instead. But will the latter be returning for a fourth round of dinosaurs vs. humans? Or will a franchise newcomer be given the job instead?
Well, Johnston has already revealed that he's been "in discussions" to work on Jurassic Park 4, but that nothing is settled yet. More so, the Captain America director also previously dropped the following tidbit about what Spielberg and screenwriter Mark Protosevich (The Cell, I Am Legend, Thor) have in mind for the film:
"...The most important thing I can tell you is that ['Jurassic Park 4'] starts a new trilogy that will go off in a different direction — a completely different direction that is very exciting, and different from anything we’ve seen. It starts with the history of the first trilogy, but it spins it off in a completely different direction. That’s all I can tell you.”
Judging by Johnston's comments, it sounds like the fourth Jurassic Park will be an attempt to wipe the (narrative) slate clean from previous installments and introduce a whole new collection of characters. In other words, JP4 is being fashioned as a rebooting sequel along the lines of the upcoming G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Frankly, that's probably for the best, given that it'd be tricky to justify bringing back part or all of the main cast members from the previous Jurassic Park films.
On the technical side of things, Jurassic Park 4 does stand to benefit from the vast improvements in digital effects technology over the past decade since JP3 was released; not to mention, there's a good chance the film could be shot in 3D - and, let's be honest, seeing Velociraptors or the Tyrannosaurus Rex in three dimensions could be pretty cool.
Keeping all that in mind: the setups for the last two Jurassic Park flicks were really contrived (even series producer Kathleen Kennedy has admitted as much). Hopefully, Protosevich and Spielberg have something clever up their sleeves - and won't just deliver a lackluster fourth installment that rehashes what we've seen before.
We will continue to keep you updated on the status of Jurassic Park 4 as the story develops.