After Colin Trevorrow’s breakthrough indie hit – 2012’s Safety Not Guaranteed — he was saddled with an almost impossible task… reinvigorate a franchise that is inherently not franchise friendly. Jurassic Park was never about a character that can keep coming back for more adventures, it’s about a place that people would have to keep willingly visiting – which became harder and harder to justify, as that place has a mortality rate that is very, very high.
Adding to the difficulty, in April, Avengers director Joss Whedon accused a clip from Jurassic World of being “’70s era sexist” – an accusation that Trevorrow agreed with, at least when viewing the clip out of context. Still, for a franchise that has remained dormant for 14 years, Trevorrow was already on the defensive two months before the film was released. (And, as Trevorrow pointed out, Whedon then himself came under fire after the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron.)
Trevorrow’s solution to the “why would anyone ever return to this island?” problem was basically to go “all in.” In Jurassic World, it’s not another dangerous excursion. Instead, the island from the first film (which isn’t the same island in the second and third movies, meaning those films are largely ignored during the events of Jurassic World) is now a prospering Disney World-type theme park – run by Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire Dearing — with its plethora of attractions, restaurants and even a Starbucks. But, to get people to come back, the island has to keep producing bigger and badder dinosaurs – which leads us to the new Indominus Rex. As you might expect, the Indominus Rex causes some problems, which leads Claire to seek help from a Velociraptor trainer named Owen Grady, played by Chris Pratt.
Even though Trevorrow has already announced that he’s not returning for a sequel, when you speak to him, it’s obvious that he’s certainly not faking his enthusiasm for this movie – a movie that he calls his “director’s cut.” Ahead, Trevorrow explains why he decided not to return for another Jurassic adventure, and discusses the difficulty of being a filmmaker in 2015 in a world that’s become filled with a lot of vitriol.
Jurassic World feels like a direct sequel to Jurassic Park, in that its directly referenced and the other two movies are not.
Yeah, I mean, that’s a little bit of how it was intended, but not with disrespect for the others. It’s just that those movies took place on a different island and they weren’t about a theme park and this is. So, absolutely, it’s a sequel to the first movie.
With just the first movie, the park wasn’t open yet so it might not be something people want to avoid in the future. Once the T. rex shows up in San Diego in The Lost World, there might be second thoughts about wanting to be around one of those.