Back in 2008, producer Kathleen Kennedy was pessimistic about the status of the Jurassic Park franchise:
“You know, when [Jurassic Park author Michael] Crichton passed away, I sorta felt maybe that’s it. Maybe that’s a sign that we don’t mess with it.”
Jurassic star Sam Neill agrees, citing the death of creature design guru Stan Winston alongside Chrichton when he told MTV in a recent interview, “I think we’ve told the story. I think it’s done.”
It’s a nice thought, but the franchise is about as likely to remain dormant as the dinosaurs within. Jurassic Park III director Joe Johnston went so far as to tease “the beginning of the second Jurassic Park trilogy” last year, but that’s probably taking things too far the other way. Heat Vision hears Universal and Steven Spielberg are absolutely thinking about Jurassic Park 4, that Spielberg is brainstorming with Mark Protosevich (Thor) how to reboot the franchise. But reps for the studio and Spielberg stress that discussions are, at this point, “purely exploratory.” More after the jump:
Jurassic Park was ridiculously popular. In 1993, the movie grossed $357 domestic and $915 million worldwide. Box Office Mojo ranks the inflation-adjusted domestic total 18th of all time. By the same calculation, the worldwide total is equivalent to about $1.7 billion in 2011. Wow.
The sequels were also astoundingly successful, though less so. The Lost World earned $619 million worldwide in 1997; Jurassic Park III slipped to a still impressive $369 million in 2001. It’s hard to leave that kind of money on the table. Especially Universal in its current state.
As Heat Vision points out, the studio has one fully functional franchise: the Fast & Furious movies. The Mummy may be worth another look in the next few years. And though they’d rather have Matt Damon back, a Jeremy Renner-led Bourne reboot is promising. Yet, Universal’s tentpoles over the next two summers are Cowboys & Aliens and Battleship. That’s exciting for us, but must terrify studio accountants.
Any new Jurassic Park will make money hand over fist, though of course I don’t know that this is, creatively speaking, a good idea. Will Spielberg, entrenched in the motion capture world of Tintin, even bother with practical effects these days? Are we interested in a 3D velociraptor? There is undoubtedly a good idea for Jurassic Park 4 out there, and I hope Spielberg and Protosevich come across it in these meetings.