Producer Kathleen Kennedy Talks JURASSIC PARK 4, a 3D Re-Release for JURASSIC PARK, and the TINTIN Sequel

by     Posted 2 years, 356 days ago

Kathleen Kennedy JURASSIC PARK TINTIN Sequel interview slice

If you’re unfamiliar with the name Kathleen Kennedy, I assure you you’re very familiar with her work. Kennedy has been one of Steven Spielberg‘s producing partners since Raiders of the Lost Ark, and is responsible for producing films like Schindler’s List, Jurassic Park, The Sixth Sense, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and many many more. Most recently she worked with Spielberg on the director’s two December releases War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin. Steve is currently in New York for the War Horse junket and he got the chance to speak with Kennedy, who gave updates on a number of high profile projects.

While we’ll have the full interview up shortly (as well as updates on other upcoming projects), we wanted to share with you what she had to say about a Tintin sequel, Jurassic Park 4 and the possiblity of a 3D re-release for Jurassic Park today. Kennedy confirmed that they’re working on another entry in the Jurassic Park franchise, revealed that Universal has approached them about a 3D re-release of the original Jurassic Park, and said they’ve already set things in motion for a sequel to Tintin, which could feasibly be released by Christmas 2014 or summer 2015. Hit the jump to see what she had to say.

jurassic-parkRumors of a Jurassic Park 4 have swirled for years, so when asked what it’s going to take to finally get the film off the ground, Kennedy sensibly answered that it all boils down to the script:

“A great script is what it’s gonna take to get a fourth Jurassic Park. We have a very high bar for ourselves because we’re just like the audience, we don’t wanna make the movie if there’s not a reason to make the movie. So we’ve kinda created the dilemma ourselves because it was never intended to be a franchise, so there’s an argument to be made ‘Why are you doing a fourth Jurassic Park?’ So we’ve gotta find a good reason for why we’re doing a fourth Jurassic Park and we’re in the midst of working on that right now.”

It’s definitely good to hear that a fourth entry in the Jurassic Park franchise isn’t being rushed at the expense of a good story. Kennedy revealed that while a script isn’t currently being written, they’re “talking about it.” Given the recent success re-releasing older films in 3D, Kennedy confirmed that Universal has approached them about post-converting Jurassic Park to 3D. Whether or not they actually go forward with it depends on whether Spielberg has the time to revisit the pic:

“They have asked us. And I think it’s really gonna come down to making sure Steven has the time, and [director of photography] Janusz [Kaminski] has the time to sit down and go through it and evaluate.”

jurassic-park-imageIt should be noted that Dean Cundey was the director of photography on Jurassic Park while Kaminski shot the sequel The Lost World, so it’s unclear whether Kennedy misspoke or if Kaminski would be the one overseeing the 3D conversion instead of Cundey. Nevertheless, Kennedy mused that the key to a successful post-conversion is getting the filmmaker involved, so it’s doubtful that a Jurassic Park re-release will happen without Spielberg taking a very hands-on approach to the process:

“I’m not a huge proponent of post-conversion, but I think if the filmmaker gets intricately involved in the post-conversion—it’s not just a technological exercise—then I think it can be really, really good and I think Jurassic Park is a perfect example of a movie that could work really, really well as a 3D picture…I also think it’s tricky because unless you framed the movie with [3D] in mind, not all those shots—quick cutting, that kind of thing—it’s not necessarily going to translate, and so that’s why you’ve gotta have the DP and you’ve gotta have the director frame-by-frame involved in the process of that conversion.”

adventures-of-tintin-movie-poster-01While it doesn’t open in the U.S. until Christmas, The Adventures of Tintin has already been doing great business internationally. Spielberg and producer Peter Jackson have made it no secret that they plan to make multiple entries in the franchise, with Jackson primed to direct the sequel. Since he’s obviously very busy with The Hobbit for the next two years, Steve asked if work on a sequel was already underway:

“Oh yeah it is being moved forward, in fact Steven and I were talking about it this morning. We’re working on a script right now, we’ll see a script probably February or March. If we can do some camera capture this summer, which I think we could do, then we would be on track to have the movie either Christmas 2014 or summer 2015, and so that’s what we’re looking at right now.”

Principal photography on both Hobbit films should be completed by early next summer, so it makes sense that they would try to squeeze in a month-long camera capture shoot before Jackson returns to post-production on The Hobbit full-time (Spielberg shot the camera capture for Tintin in 32 days). The intense post-production process of Tintin 2 could then begin, making way for a 2014 or 2015 release.

Here’s the portion of Steve’s interview with Kennedy regarding Jurassic Park and Tintin, followed by the transcript. We’ll have more updates from Kennedy, as well as the full interview, up soon.

jurassic-park-imageWhat’s it gonna take to get a fourth Jurassic Park off the ground?

Kathleen Kennedy: A great script is what it’s gonna take to get a fourth Jurassic Park. We have a very high bar for ourselves because we’re just like the audience, we don’t wanna make the movie if there’s not a reason to make the movie. So we’ve kinda created the dilemma ourselves because it was never intended to be a franchise, so there’s an argument to be made “Why are you doing a fourth Jurassic Park?” So we’ve gotta find a good reason for why we’re doing a fourth Jurassic Park and we’re in the midst of working on that right now.

So is someone writing a script as we speak?

Kennedy: Not writing, but we’re talking about it.

jurassic-park-posterThere’s been some success recently of older films being re-released in 3D. Do you see any of the films that you’ve done that you think could be successful if given a post-conversion 3D for re-release?

Kennedy: I’m not a huge proponent of post-conversion, but I think if the filmmaker gets intricately involved in the post-conversion—it’s not just a technological exercise—then I think it can be really, really good and I think Jurassic Park is a perfect example of a movie that could work really, really well as a 3D picture. I think there’s many movies that don’t, and I think the audience has really gotten wise about the fact that it’s a more expensive ticket price and therefore it should be worth it. So I think obviously you can rest assured that Jim Cameron is getting deeply involved in making sure that that conversion is exactly right. I think with Lion King or frankly certain digital movies, it’s an easier process to make the conversion because that stereo conversion is already something that you can do more effectively digitally than if you’re taking something that was shot on film and you’re now trying to create a digital conversion, you’re often times gonna end up with something muddy and kinda green-looking and the quality won’t be there. I also think it’s tricky because unless you framed the movie with that in mind, not all those shots—quick cutting, that kind of thing—it’s not necessarily going to translate, and so that’s why you’ve gotta have the DP and you’ve gotta have the director frame-by-frame involved in the process of that conversion.

Saying that, I also agree Jurassic Park is just a phenomenal film. Has Universal asked you about it?

Kennedy: They have asked us. And I think it’s really gonna come down to making sure Steven [Spielberg] has the time, and [Director of photography] Janusz [Kaminski] has the time to sit down and go through it and evaluate. [Note: Dean Cundey was the director of photography on Jurassic Park, while Kaminski shot the sequel The Lost World, so it's unclear whether Kennedy misspoke or if Kaminski would be the one overseeing the 3D conversion instead of Cundey]

adventures-of-tintin-movie-imageWell Cameron said on Titanic that they’ve done, I believe, 60 weeks, $18 million, four people looking at every single frame, and then he comes in and looks at the frames. And that’s why the 18 minutes of footage I saw was incredible.

Kennedy: That’s what it’s gotta be. And the problem is, what the studios I think were doing—and I understand it, it’s a business—they were looking at it as “How can we do this as cheaply as possible?” That was a big mistake, because it’s not about how cheaply it can be done, you’ve gotta look at the properties you think can really have an upside, and then make sure that the quality is there because if the quality’s not there, I think the audience is very, very ready to turn their back on 3D technology unless they really feel the confidence that it’s gonna be done with as much care as a director would take if they were making the movie from scratch.

The first Tintin has been very successful around the world. Mr. Jackson is very caught up in The Hobbit for a while. Assuming that it’s a success in America, when do you envision a sequel being able to move forward? Is it being moved forward right now?

Kennedy: Oh yeah it is being moved forward, in fact Steven and I were talking about it this morning. We’re working on a script right now, we’ll see a script probably February or March. If we can do some camera capture this summer, which I think we could do, then we would be on track to have the movie either Christmas 2014 or summer 2015, and so that’s what we’re looking at right now.

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