Jurassic World: Dominion Footage Travels 65 Million Years Into the Past

We’ve seen the extended new trailer for Jurassic World: Dominion and spoke with director Colin Trevorrow about it.

Jurassic World Dominion Preview
Photo: Universal Pictures

Moviegoers who will watch F9 in IMAX later this month are going to get a special bonus along with the latest collection of Fast and Furious mayhem: playing in front of the film will be the first look at footage from 2022’s Jurassic World: Dominion, the sixth entry in the dinosaur franchise and ostensibly the conclusion to the trilogy that launched in 2015 with Jurassic World.

Den of Geek got a chance to see the footage, which is more of an extended trailer, and chat afterward about it with director Colin Trevorrow, who also helmed the first Jurassic World. And it must be said that the first and most surprising thing about the preview is that despite the movie being about how dinosaurs are reintroduced into the modern word, the movie begins with the series’ first-ever look at where the dinosaurs came from in the past.

Yep, we open 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous period to frankly jaw-dropping vistas of what Earth may have looked like back then. There are vast plains and forests, and hordes of Dreadnoughtus and Nasutoceratops (two of the seven new species shown in the footage) ambling peacefully through the land. What’s striking is just how serene and silent it all is, even with scores of giant animals lumbering across the land and water.

“This was the first time that doing that made sense in the story,” Trevorrow tells us about showing where exactly the dinosaurs come from. “For us to be able to go back and present dinosaurs and their world as they existed was just a dream of mine from the very beginning and finding an excuse to do it was at the top of my list. [Industrial Light and Magic] has done extraordinary work in creating a world that feels tactile and real…Hopefully it’ll feel like you’re on Earth, but 65 million years ago.”

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The tranquility, however, is soon shattered by the inevitable sounds and sights of battle as a Giganotosaurus attacks a T. Rex and, in a violent exchange, ends up killing it. As the camera closes in on the dead T. Rex’s eye, a mosquito lands on its flesh and sucks some blood out of it—could this be the same mosquito, trapped in amber, from which the dino DNA was removed and used to recreate the creatures in Jurassic Park?

“That is our T. Rex,” Trevorrow confirms. “That’s the one that we know from Jurassic Park and Jurassic World.”

Flash forward to the present (or the near future) and we find ourselves in a drive-in where an all-too-familiar sound of giant footsteps and the emergence of a T-Rex into the outdoor venue turns a night at the movies into a cauldron of terror and mayhem. As the monstrous animal smashes cars left and right and sends people reeling, a helicopter buzzes overhead with tranquilizer guns ready to subdue the animal. It seems pretty evident that Dominion takes place in a world where dinosaurs are now part of the ecosystem now and may be treated as natural occurrences—or disasters.

“When we see the movie, we’ll see what the status quo is,” says Trevorrow. “But it is a very delicate balance with dinosaurs in our world. We are trying to figure out how to navigate it at the beginning of this. We’re trying to figure out if it’s possible for us to co-exist. The movie itself really becomes a mirror for our world right now—we’re realizing that if we don’t figure out how to co-exist with each other and with nature, we’re going to be a lot of trouble.”

The rest of the extended trailer features more rapid shots of dinosaurs rampaging in the modern world, although we don’t get any glimpses of the human cast. Joining Jurassic World and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom mainstays Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are original Jurassic Park stars Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum.

Asked if the legacy trio are major characters or making brief appearances, Trevorrow replies, “Well, they’re main characters and they’re every bit as much main characters as Chris and Bryce. They have pretty much the same amount of screen time, and they definitely do interact.”

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The director adds, “To make that actually feel believable, we have to tell a pretty intricate story that draws them closer and closer together until they collide… that’s the film we’ve made, and we’re very proud of it.”

After having its original release date bounced around thanks to the pandemic, Jurassic World: Dominion is now slated to arrive on June 10, 2022—in exactly a year—but you can get a first, impressive glimpse by seeing F9 in IMAX starting June 25.