Colin Trevorrow may be preparing for a franchise homecoming–closing out the revival trilogy that he launched with 2015’s Jurassic World–as the director of the 2021’s Jurassic World 3, but it seems that the helmer got an early start on his return Jurassic journey in the short film, “Battle at Big Rock.”
The plot of “Battle at Big Rock” segues from 2018’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (which saw J.A. Bayona step in to direct). That movie ended with a game-changing development that saw the mythology’s cadre of cloned dinosaurs unleashed upon the civilized world, teasing a new dynamic in which mankind must co-exist with the formerly extinct species outside the limits of the theme park islands. Indeed, as Trevorrow, further elaborated when he spoke with Collider that the short film “takes place one year after the events of Fallen Kingdom. It’s about a family on a camping trip to Big Rock National Park, about 20 miles from where the last film ended. There have been a few sightings, but this is the first major confrontation between dinosaurs and humans.”
The short film below chronicles a young family of parents played by André Holland (Moonlight) and Natalie Martinez (The Crossing). Despite being apparently fairly close to where dinosaurs wandered into the woods, they’re quite comfortable camping in an RV with three young children, one of them a baby, and enjoying some nice barbecue. But their meal is rudely interrupted by what turns out to be four dinosaurs, including an Allosaurus, which is a nasty customer from the actual Jurrasic period who made his big screen debut in 2018’s Fallen Kingdom. Here he attempts to make a snack out of some grazing Nasutoceratops herbivores but then turns his attention elsewhere.
Genuinely, this looks like a tease of the type of Jurassic Park movie many have wanted since the end of Steven Spielberg’s The Lost World in 1997: a film where dinosaurs start challenge our fragile dominance of the planet.
In the aforementioned interview, Trevorrow said, “The world is bigger than just the characters we’ve been following in the films. We’ve finally taken the story off Isla Nublar, we wanted to show a glimpse of that new reality. If this really happened, you’d see a series of random disconnected incidents that would create a pattern of chaos. I wanted to see one of those incidents.”
Of course, “Battle at Big Rock” is a preliminary bout designed to whet our appetites for the main event, the yet-to-be-titled Jurassic World 3. However, one wonders if it’s also a tease to see what the appetite is for dinosaur action beyond a new installment every three years. While Trevorrow’s trilogy is set to end in a few years, will Universal really want to just close the book on the popular franchise? Or could this be a backdoor approach to broadening audience expectations to seeing all kinds of stories–including those on the small screen–with InGen dinos run amok? Food for thought as, “Battle at Big Rock” premiered on FX on Sunday night after a screening of the first Jurassic World reboot.
Jurassic World 3, meanwhile, is scheduled to arrive at theaters on June 11, 2021.