There was some early trepidation about Colin Trevorrow’s hiring to direct Jurassic World. The director’s only feature film credit was Safety Not Guaranteed, a small film with an equally small cast and budget, and here he was helming the next sequel in one of the most significant franchises of all time. But he had Steven Spielberg’s blessing, and — whatever your opinion — the box office numbers show he got the job done. But even though he was in the driver’s seat, what exactly was Spielberg’s influence on the picture?
During a conversation with Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, producer Frank Marshall, and Spielberg for THR, the director explained his exact duties.
“I was very involved in breaking the story, working on the script with [Trevorrow] and [writer Derek Connolly]. I was not on the set, but I watched dailies every day. If I felt something about the dailies, I would send a note to Colin directly. But Colin was doing a great job; you could tell by the rushes. I didn’t even find Colin, Frank did.”
Spielberg later added that Trevorrow wouldn’t have landed the Jurassic World gig if it wasn’t for the final moments of Safety Not Guaranteed.
“Had that [time] machine not worked, Colin would not have directed Jurassic World. Colin was a fan of all the Jurassic movies. And he spoke so much like a moviemaker, not like an essayist. I’ve heard a lot of people talking about movies in very analytical ways, and some of that is impressive and some of that is just analytical. But Colin spoke about the audience and what it felt like to be in the movie theater watching the Jurassic movies. And then he took the other approach of talking about structure and how he would tell the story. And he basically sold himself to me in the room.”
Even thought Trevorrow isn’t returning to helm the Jurassic World sequel (he’s busy with a little thing called Star Wars: Episode IX), the stage is already set. Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley said at the end of last year that Trevorrow and Spielberg had ideas for “the next two movies, actually. It was designed as a trilogy, unbeknown to us.”
Stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are returning for Jurassic World 2, which is scheduled for a release on June 22, 2018. Trevorrow will collaborate with director J.A. Boyana on a story he previously teased would focus on what would happen if other organizations around the world were able to replicate the dinosaur-creation formula.