It took long enough, but a fourth Jurassic Park movie hit theaters this summer and it looks like—from a box office perspective, at least—it was well worth the wait. I imagine not even Universal could have predicted that Jurassic World would not only break the opening weekend record, but go on to become the third highest grossing film of all time worldwide. It was no surprise, then, when Universal Pictures announced a further sequel for release in 2018 with Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard returning.
While director Colin Trevorrow won’t be back in the director’s chair (he’s busy with a little thing called Star Wars: Episode IX), he is involved in Jurassic World 2 as the co-screenwriter alongside frequent collaborator Derek Connolly, as well an executive producer. So while Trevorrow has his sights set on a galaxy far, far away, his immediate focus is on crafting the story for the Jurassic World follow-up so that another filmmaker can come in and take over the franchise.
Trevorrow previously teased that the story for Jurassic World 2 won’t necessarily be confined to a single island yet again, and in an appearance on the Jurassic Cast Podcast, he went so far as to reveal the single line of dialogue from Jurassic Park that’s serving as the “thesis” for the Jurassic World sequel:
“Honestly, the trilogy is articulated in Jurassic Park, it’s all in there… Jurassic World is all based on Ian Malcolm’s quote, ‘You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could, and before you even knew what you had, you patented it, and packaged it, and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now you wanna sell it.’ That to me is Jurassic World, that’s why I had all the product placement, that’s what it was. The second one, Jurassic World 2, and as we were driving we tried to find, what is the foundation? ‘Dinosaurs and man, separated by 65 million years of evolution have been thrown back into the mix together. How can we know what to expect?’ That’s why it’s exciting that the movie did well, that leaves us a lot of room to run, and it was part of this design, it had a beginning, middle, and end when we wrote the first movie. Now that the movie did well, we get to play that out.”
Trevorrow seemingly confirms that yes, a new trilogy of films is being planned with Jurassic World 2 acting as the middle installment and considering the consequences of bringing dinosaurs back on a global scale. The filmmaker further teased that the follow-up will be a bit of a departure for the franchise:
“It will get to be a different kind of film. The audience has given us permission to a certain extent to take this to the next level, and I don’t necessarily mean in scale, I feel very strongly that it’s not about more dinosaurs or bigger and better dinosaurs, it’s about using this as a starting point for a much larger story about our relationship with these animals and about animals in general and the dynamic created by bringing them back to life.”
With regards to bringing back Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard as paper-thin characters Owen and Claire, respectively, Trevorrow says they’re organically part of the sequel because they’re directly connected to the fallout from Jurassic World:
“Jurassic World was very much made with the fans in mind, and I’m not going to forget it, but now we’ve seen a lot of ‘dinosaurs chasing people around on an island’ movies. I think you guys and also the general audience is going to be down to explore where else we can go. We know Owen is going to be in it and Claire will be in it and neither will be in the same place that we left them in this movie, Even though Claire is the one who evolves the most over the trilogy, it’s her story that mirrors this changing world, Owen has shit to deal with. The two of them opened Pandora’s Box in Jurassic World and each of them are responsible for different elements of it in different ways, and I think the way that these characters are connected to the circumstances of what’s happening it’s different than the previous films. It’s not ‘Let’s manufacture a way to get them somewhere,’ they’re embedded into it now in a way that as story tellers makes it much easier for us to keep them involved and doesn’t feel as contrived.”
I find Jurassic World an increasingly curious box office phenomenon—it’s an OK movie that is technically a worldwide runaway success, and yet I don’t feel like people are running around quoting lines of dialogue or planning their Owen Grady Halloween costumes as they were with the original. It didn’t capture the zeitgeist like other box office behemoths have, and yet it’s the #3 movie of all time. It just feels like Jurassic World is a fairly innocuous movie, so I’m mighty curious to see what direction Trevorrow and Connolly take the sequel, and what kind of filmmaker is tasked with continuing the franchise.
Listen to Trevorrow on the podcast below. Jurassic World 2 opens in theaters on June 22, 2018.