There may be more than meets the eye with the Jurassic World sequels.
Epic blockbusters will be abundant during 2018’s summer season, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is going to be one of them. That being said, 2018 won’t be our last year with the beloved dinosaur franchise.
Based on the immense success of the first Jurassic World film in 2015, it wasn’t much of a surprise when Universal announced a date for a second film, even though for the most part, the first felt conclusive on its own. More than just a second movie, however, it appears that a third is in the works to arrive in a couple years. In a recent interview with the Jurassic World director from the first film, and Fallen Kingdom screenwriter Colin Trevorrow, he confirmed a third film and discussed how a trilogy has always been the plan. He says:
“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 we 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 who you lean in to follow what they’re going to do.”
Just as the announcement of a second film was unsurprising, the confirmation of a third is not shocking news either. Especially considering the original Jurassic Park series consisted of three films. But rather than just existing as another dinosaur epic it appears Fallen Kingdom, as well as the film that follows it, will have something new and interesting to say. Or at least, that appears to be Trevorrow’s intent.
Since the Fallen Kingdom trailer released not too long ago, fans of the original series already found some parallels between the upcoming addition and The Lost World based on the given synopsis. Both films involve characters heading to an island with dinosaurs to both study them and protect them against impending danger whether that danger be hunters or a natural disaster. However, Trevorrow claims that the film is quite different from The Lost World, even though they sound similar right now.
And as much as some fans were also hoping to see some dinosaur riding going on in the upcoming film, as was also brought up in the interview, it doesn’t appear that this will be the case either. To that prediction, Trevorrow answers:
“It’s important that we keep it at least grounded in a space where the dinosaurs are a parable for animals in the world today. I think that ultimately, when people are able to watch this film and where this franchise is going, it really is about the ethical treatment of animals in the world and our responsibility to the living creatures that we share the planet with, alongside our responsibilities to the planet itself. I think the riding of a t-rex by a soldier is a level of fantasy, [while] I love it and I would love to see it, I don’t know if it’s specifically this franchise, but it’s super cool.”
Ultimately, in setting aside fantasy on some level, he wants the tone of the films to remain consistent and revolve around real problems that derive from humanity. In Jurassic World, it was obvious that when faced with the opportunity to do a ridiculous or horrible act for a lot of money, human greed will win out. To Trevorrow, that’s what the franchise is all about. However, while the second film will deal with this same problem as well, his goal was also to address the great responsibility that humans have to now deal with the animals that resulted from greed.
When looking at a franchise as large and as epic as the Jurassic World series, the social message within the movie is probably not the first thing that runs through audiences’ minds. And who can blame anyone for that? The films are about dinosaurs, one of the most mystical, terrifying, and fascinating parts of our earthly history that interests everyone from all ages and never stops because we’ll never really get every definitive answer out there. We’ll never see a T-Rex in our lifetime, so to see one come to life in a movie is the next best thing.
Plus, often enough, so many blockbuster films put the focus on the spectacle aspect of the story because they believe that’s what will make the most money and is what audiences want the most. On some level, it is, because of course, we all want to see the dinosaurs. But many would also like to be able to step back and feel like they’ve taken away more from the film than just the visuals, and if Trevorrow can accomplish this, more power to him. It’s a hard thing to do in a film that banks on its visuals and spectacle and star power. Themes of greed and human selfishness are very clear in the first film, but there was still so much else going on that it sort of got lost in the background. However, now that the first film has already spent a good amount of time establishing the world and the characters, maybe there will be room in this second to explore these social themes a little more.
So it appears that Fallen Kingdom will work not only to set up a third film, but also to differentiate itself from the previous trilogy in some ways as well, and as Trevorrow hopes, to work as more than just a spectacle, fantasy film. And if that’s all really the case, then a film that once sounded irrelevant and unnecessary now sounds a little more promising. Come for the T-Rex, stay for the unifying message at the heart of it all.