Despite the fact that dinosaurs are now running loose all over the globe, don’t expect Jurassic World: Dominion to be the final film in the Jurassic Park franchise. Far from it.
When speaking with Collider’s own Christina Radish about the upcoming Epix music documentary Laurel Canyon, producer Frank Marshall affirmed that Jurassic World: Dominion is not being planned as the conclusion of the franchise. “It’s the start of a new era,” he said, after an effusive “no” when asked if Jurassic World 3 was being envisioned as an endpoint. “The dinosaurs are now on the mainland amongst us, and they will be for quite some time, I hope” he added, alluding to future stories set in this “new normal” world where humans have to share the globe alongside dinosaurs.
Jurassic World was itself the beginning of a new era for the franchise, following Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park and The Lost World and Joe Johnston’s Jurassic Park III. Spielberg returned as a producer on Jurassic World, but it’s director and co-writer Colin Trevorrow who has now taken the reins of the franchise and directed Jurassic World and the upcoming Jurassic World 3. Trevorrow co-wrote and produced the follow-up Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which was directed by J.A. Bayona.
And while Jurassic World was very much an echo of the first Jurassic Park movie albeit with a fully operational park, Fallen Kingdom brought the dinosaurs to the mainland and ended with a number of them getting loose. Jurassic World: Dominion once again sees Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard return to lead this new era of the franchise, but Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum are reprising their roles from the initial launch of the franchise because with dinos on the run, they need all the expert help they can get.
But Marshall’s description of Dominion as the start of a new era is interesting. Traditionally, when actors sign on for major franchises, they sign three-picture contracts. If that’s the case with Pratt and Howard, they’ve fulfilled their contracts at the end of Dominion. And with Marshall teasing a “new era,” it’s possible that Dominion might bring Owen and Claire’s stories to an end while teasing the further adventures of other new characters. Either ones that would be brand new to the franchise in Jurassic World 4, or a handoff to the younger cast members like Justice Smith or Daniella Pineda. Or maybe after Dominion, a time jump picks up with a grown up Maisie Lockwood, since she herself is a clone created using the same DNA technology that first brought the dinosaurs back from extinction.
Whatever the case, first we have Jurassic World: Dominion to look forward to. Production was three weeks in when it was shut down over coronavirus concerns, but Marshall says they have their sets built in London and will be “back in business” once they have guidelines from the British government. So far, Universal Pictures hasn’t delayed the film’s planned June 11, 2021 release date. Yet.
Look for our full interview with Marshall on Collider soon. And for more on Jurassic, check out Perri’s ranking of the films thus far.