Jurassic World proved last year that the franchise’s “Dino DNA” was still as potent as ever in 2015 as it was back in the 90’s. However, unlike the original 1993-2001 trilogy of films, the new nostalgia-imbued effort also happened to be a deadly dance exclusively designed for digital dinosaurs; something that likely irked some cinematic purists who prefer their creatures to come from an artist’s workshop, rather than a computer. However, it seems that the film’s 2018 follow-up has ambitious plans to up the ante in suspense and will actually use practical effects.
In a podcast interview with Jurassic Outpost (transcribed by Collider), executive producer of the Jurassic World sequel Colin Trevorrow discussed some details about the upcoming film’s approach to their cloning-cooked prehistoric predators. After breaking out big directing Jurassic World, Trevorrow – now tasked with directing 2019’s Star Wars: Episode IX – ceded the Jurassic director’s chair to J.A. Bayona, while still remaining onboard to produce and work on the script. From the outset, Trevorrow maintains that the sequel – the middle act of a planned trilogy – will increase the jumps and scares substantially, explaining:
“It will be more suspenseful and scary. It’s just the way it’s designed; it’s the way the story plays out. I knew I wanted Bayona to direct it long before anyone ever heard that was a possibility, so the whole thing was just built around his skillset.”
Some audience members certainly hold the belief that Jurassic World, while filled with nostalgic heartstrings and an accessible protagonist in Chris Pratt’s Owen Grady, was still a sterile (though aesthetically rich), run-of-the-mill CGI montage lacking of the genuinely chilling moments of the original films. Interestingly enough, studios Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment and Legendary Pictures recently blew up the budget from Jurassic World’s $150 million to $260 million for its sequel; something that seemed to indicate costs for practical effects such as animatronics for more intimate, old-school scares. Indeed, Trevorrow has confirmed just that, stating:
“There will be animatronics for sure. We’ll follow the same general rule as all of the films in the franchise which is the animatronic dinosaurs are best used when standing still or moving at the hips or the neck. They can’t run or perform complex physical actions, and anything beyond that you go to animation. The same rules applied in Jurassic Park.”
Trevorrow explains that with Jurassic World centering on the stupendous apex predator the Indominus Rex (pictured above,) the idea of introducing animatronics was unfeasible, given the gait, demeanor and intended fluidity of the creature’s movements. However, with the sequel, Trevorrow reveals that the script was actually written to accommodate dinosaurs that utilize animatronics in lieu of CGI. While it’s 2016 and the film will obviously still utilize digital effects, it will apparently do so more sparingly. That hybrid dynamic actually mirrors the collaborative relationship Trevorrow practices with incoming director Bayona, reflecting what he feels is a true team effort where egos are stowed away, diverging from industry norms. According to Trevorrow:
“Film has become so cutthroat and competitive; it felt like an opportunity to create a situation where two directors could really collaborate. It’s rare these days, but it’s something that the directors that we admire used to do all the time—one writes and produces and the other directs, and the end result is something that’s unique to both of them. I’m in the office right now, I’ve been here every day since July working closely with J.A., listening to his instincts, and honing the script with [co-writer Derek Connolly] to make sure it’s something that all of us believe in.”
On a final note, Trevorrow also dropped what might be considered a plot detail regarding the Jurassic World sequel (at least, by process of elimination). Some might recall in the first film that park security boss Vic Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio) was fixated on turning the dinosaurs into trained military weapons to set loose upon America’s enemies. This recurring idea throughout the film might have led some to believe it would become a potent thematic nugget in the sequel, possibly even the centerpiece of the plot. Well, Trevorrow definitively debunks such a notion, stating:
“I’m not that interested in militarized dinosaurs, at least not in practice. I liked it in theory as the pipe dream of a lunatic.” Adding that Derek and I, one of our first reactions was ‘No if anyone’s gonna militarize raptors that’s what the bad guy does, he’s insane.’”
Well, I suppose that clears up some of the possibilities for the Jurassic World sequel. Yet, save for the confirmed return of Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, most of the details, including the title, remain a mystery. However, director Bayona did recently divulge that the proper name for the sequel (which works off the title Ancient Futures,) has already been decided behind-the-scenes.
Jurassic World 2 (title to be revealed,) will prove once again that “life finds a way” with the film scheduled to hit theaters on June 22, 2018.