With the release of ‘Jurassic World’ in 2015, suddenly the ‘Jurassic Park’ films – which for all intents and purposes had been dormant since ‘Jurassic Park III’ over a decade earlier – were back in full force. But on the back of that success came one question: “What now?” After all, despite being planned as the first installment of a trilogy, the film largely stood on its own, leaving no immediately obvious avenue for a follow-up.
We got the beginning of an answer to that question with the arrival of the first trailer earlier this month. That trailer presented the crux of the film’s narrative as a rescue mission (of sorts) to the now-shuttered park, with the intent being to prevent the island’s dinosaur population from being obliterated in an impending volcanic eruption.
In much the same way that the first ‘Jurassic World’ invited comparisons to ‘Jurassic Park’, so too does that first trailer for ‘Fallen Kingdom’ invite comparisons to the original sequel, ‘The Lost World’. Or so it seemed. Speaking to the press, ‘Jurassic World’ writer/director and ‘Fallen Kingdom’ writer Colin Trevorrow suggested that the similarities between the two films are not as strong as they might appear:
“It looks like it is because they all go to a fog covered, scary island with dinosaurs on it, but it goes to a very, very different place than anyone expects. Really the heart and soul of the movie, the turn of the story, is not what we’ve shown in this trailer. It’s very much not like ‘The Lost World’.”
Trevorrow also suggested that ‘Fallen Kingdom’ won’t be quite as much of a standalone affair as prior ‘Jurassic Park’ film. This one, it seems, will very definitely be the middle chapter of a trilogy, and that will be reflected in the narrative structure generally and particularly in the ending:
“I knew where I wanted it to go. I remember telling Steven (Spielberg) even while we were making the first movie “This is the beginning. Here is the middle. And here’s the end of the end. This is where you want to go.” I feel like that kind of design is crucial to a franchise like this if you really want to bring people along with you and make sure they stay interested. It needs to be thought through on that level. It can’t be arbitrary, especially if we want to turn this into a character-based franchise with people you lean in to follow what they’re going to do… At the end of this movie, it’s not a cliffhanger, but it’s designed for people to want to know what’s going to happen next, whereas the earlier ‘Jurassic Park’ movies had pretty clear definitive endings. They were much more episodic. In working with Derek Connolly, my co-writer, we were also thinking about where it was gonna go in the future.”
With all of that in mind, ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ may well be poised to deliver something a bit different than fans have come to expect from a ‘Jurassic Park’ film. Of course, given the somewhat muted response to the trailer, that’s the sort of experiment that could easily go either way. But hopefully, it will ultimately pay off.
Directed by J.A. Bayona, ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, B.D. Wong, Jeff Goldblum, James Cromwell, Ted Levine, Justice Smith, Geraldine Chaplin, Daniella Pineda, Rafe Spall, Isabella Sermon, and Toby Jones. The film is due to arrive in theaters on June 22, 2018.