J.A. Bayona Was the First Choice to Direct ‘Jurassic World’

     April 23, 2018

juan antonio bayona

While much was made out of the fact that Safety Not Guaranteed filmmaker Colin Trevorrow was enlisted to direct the long-awaited Jurassic Park follow-up Jurassic World, it turns out he wasn’t the first director approached for the gig. During an interview with /Film, producer Frank Marshall says J.A. Bayona—the director at the helm of the sequel Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom—was who they initially approached to direct Jurassic World. However, Bayona didn’t feel he could deliver the film the right way under the given time constraints:

He said, “I need a lot of time. I know what I need. I need my prep time. I have a certain process I go through and all that. And I just don’t think I can do it,’” says Marshall. “‘So thanks, but no thanks.’”


Image via Universal Pictures

This is fascinating, and Bayona actually makes more sense than Trevorrow. At its core, the Jurassic Park franchise is a horror series. Bayona broke out in a big way with the horror film The Orphanage, but he also proved with the disaster movie The Impossible he could handle major visual effects and action. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be and went on to make the extremely emotional A Monster Calls while Marshall and Co. turned their attention to Trevorrow, who had only one Sundance indie under his belt when he was hired to direct Jurassic World.

But when it came time to make the sequel, Marshall went back to Bayona, and this time the filmmaker was ready to make the jump. Producer Pat Crowley told /Film that Bayona sparked to Trevorrow’s plans for this new Jurassic trilogy:

“Colin [is] the architect of the second one and the third one,” says Crowley. “And he and J.A. hit it off.  So J.A. then felt much more comfortable…he liked the original Jurassic World.  And he knew the direction Colin wanted to go in.  So it wasn’t as if it was just some script that he had to try to adapt.  And they kind of they shared [ideas] together.  So that was a big kind of thing.”

Trevorrow is returning to direct Jurassic World 3 to close out this trilogy, but it’ll be interesting to see what Bayona brings to the table with Fallen Kingdom, which hits theaters on June 22nd.

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