Something has survived, and it looks like it is the Jurassic World: Dominion film production. The anticipated third film in Colin Trevorrow’s new Jurassic Park trilogy was among the many countless film and television productions to be placed on indefinite pause this spring due to the coronavirus pandemic. Yet it is now also the first major blockbuster or studio movie to be heading back to work sometime in early-mid July in the United Kingdom’s Pinewood Studios.
The news was broken via Deadline, which reports cameras are currently expected to roll during the week of July 6 on the film that sees Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard reprise their roles as dinosaur-loving adventurers. Universal Pictures is quick to stress though that this will be a very protected and safety-minded production.
“Anyone with symptoms will be isolated immediately before being sent home,” an unnamed Universal production executive is quoted as saying. “We want to make sure we are going above and beyond the national protocols to create a safe environment. Cost isn’t our main concern now: it’s safety.”
In lieu of that concern, a number of procedures have been announced. The production is expected to carry out thousands of COVID-19 tests beginning next month and lasting until the end of production. All cast and crew will be tested before returning to the set and again throughout the production. Additionally, Universal is opening up a private medical facility called Your Doctor to deal with the employees’ entire medical needs with on-site doctors, nurses, and isolation booths, while the cast and crew undergo COVID training. Other than actors performing, masks are expected to be mandatory on everyone present, as will be nightly anti-viral “fogs” across Pinewood Studios, and “Green Zones” intended to isolate the cast and crew actually shooting scenes.
All told, Universal is expecting to spend around $5 million on these safety measures.
These measures are detailed, but need to be to reassert a safe workplace. And in some ways it makes sense a major blockbuster like Jurassic World would be the first out of the gate to begin shooting. These type of blockbusters are major priorities for their studios, and thus worth spending the millions it would take to (hopefully) limit COVID-19 exposure. Conversely, it might be harder to imagine studios spending this much on smaller projects in the immediate future.
Jurassic World: Dominion is the trilogy closer to a franchise Trevorrow revitalized in 2015 with the first Jurassic World (alias: Jurassic Park 4). Imagining a world where the Jurassic Park theme park could be successfully opened and maintained for some years, the new trilogy is a slow burn of Pandora’s Box being opened. The last movie, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, ended with a number of dinosaurs escaping human captivity to spread and multiply across the American West… suggesting “Jurassic World” is our own.
The new film is also pulling hard on millennial nostalgia as it brings back all three of the classic 1993 movie’s stars, including Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Godlblum. Hopefully for more than just a cameo too like Goldblum’s day of work on Fallen Kingdom.