“The park is open.”
On 12th June, the world’s most popular dinosaur theme park will return for a 4th time with “Jurassic World”, a new feature film starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, and Irrfan Khan. But wait, aside from that, how much do you really know about this installment of the popular film franchise?
Here’s what we know, for now: Built out of the ruins of the original dinosaur safari park on Isla Nublar, “Jurassic World” will take place 22 whole years after the events of “Jurassic Park”. It will feature a fully functioning theme park, as originally envisioned by John Hammond (played by the late Richard Attenborough). But because the park’s attendance rate are declining, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitor interest.
Unfortunately, as the sheer “Jurassic Park” luck would have it, the new attraction will gravely backfire. Dun dun dun!
All-new characters alonside new dinosaurs aside, check out 10 more little known “Jurassic World” fun facts below to best prepare you for the movie when it comes out:
1. Truth: “Jurassic World” spent more than 10 years in development hell
Executive producer (and the director of the first 2 “Jurassic Park” films) Steven Spielberg confirmed that a 4th “Jurassic Park” movie was in the works during a 2002 interview. But in the intervening years, he wasn’t satisfied by any of the scripts that were created for the sequel. The death of “Jurassic Park” novelist Michael Crichton in 2008 was also a setback for the project, according to producer Kathleen Kennedy. Later, Spielberg announced that the sequel was back on in 2011 at Comic-Con International and that Colin Trevorrow was signed to direct it in 2013. Alas, “Jurassic World” was pushed back once more from its original June 2014 release date, but it will finally hit theatres in a few weeks. Yay!
2. Steven Spielberg was responsible for delaying “Jurassic World”
Trust Steven Spielberg to let his perfectionist side push a movie so far back that it almost didn’t see the light of day, eh? As mentioned, Spielberg was personally responsible for the final delay of “Jurassic World”. This was because he wanted the final film to be good. A script was written in 3 weeks and Universal Pictures was reportedly pushing for a fast turnaround on the film with production to start in June 2013. Fortunately, Spielberg had the clout to shut down production until the script met his approval. Jurassic World finally began filming in April 2014.
3. Super fans were initially unhappy with the name “Jurassic World”
We wouldn’t have known any better but apparently, super fans are initially unhappy with the name “Jurassic World”. You see, dinosaurs lived during the Mesozoic era (approximately 252 to 66 million years ago), which was divided into the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods. The park is called “Jurassic World” but, as with the earlier films, several of its dinosaurs, including T-Rex (aka Tyrannosaurus Rex) and Triceratops, are in fact from the Cretaceous period. Oops?
4. Only one “Jurassic Park” actor is returning – B.D. Wong
There won’t be cameo appearances by Sam Neill, Laura Dern and/or Jeff Goldblum because Colin Trevorrow has publicly said that he didn’t want to shoehorn their characters into the movie and that their return would have been contrived if it was simply forced to happen within the script. But there is at least one human character coming back: Dr. Henry Wu (played by B.D. Wong). Dr. Wu appeared in the first “Jurassic Park” movie as the head of the scientific team that brought the dinosaurs back to life. Presumably, Dr. Wu is now employed by Masrani Global Corporation, the new owners of “Jurassic World”.
5. Chris Pratt wasn’t the first choice actor to take on the lead role
They really, really thought hard and long before picking their leads. In fact, several actors were considered to play Owen Grady, the new lead character of “Jurassic World”. Garrett Hedlund, Jason Statham, John Krasinski, Jason Sudeikis, Josh Brolin, Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, and Glenn Howerton were reportedly among the top contenders before “Guardians of the Galaxy” star Chris Pratt was cast in the role. Keira Knightley and Kristen Stewart were also rumored to be up for the role of Claire Dearing, but Bryce Dallas Howard was ultimately chosen for the part.
6. Director Colin Trevorrow is kinda new, having done only one other feature film previously
The job of director went to the relatively unknown Colin Trevorrow, who has only one feature film to his name – a 2012 indie comedy “Safety Not Guaranteed” which received critical acclaim. He wrote and directed his first short film, “Home Base” in 2002, which has received over 20 million hits online. For now, it seems that he could be quite the visionary as he previously explained one of the most spectacular special effects in “Jurassic World” called the “Gyrosphere“, a ride at the park that allows you to get into a gyroscopic sphere and be out in the wild with dinosaurs and travel beneath them.
7. Film includes tribute to John Hammond (played by the late Richard Attenborough)
The late Richard Attenborough expressed his desire to return for the 4th “Jurassic Park” movie, but he passed away during the film’s long development. Attenborough’s character from the first 2 films, John Hammond, will also be deceased in “Jurassic World”, but his vision lives on thanks to the fully-functioning dinosaur theme park that exists in the movie. As a tribute to Attenborough, a statue of John Hammond will be seen in “Jurassic World” and he will be identified as the founder of both “Jurassic Park” and InGen, the company that brought the dinosaurs back from extinction.
8. Keep a look out for the star dinosaurs of the show, Indominus Rex and Mosasaurus
The main attraction is a new dinosaur called Indominus Rex – a highly intelligent animal that will kill anything that moves. At first glance, Indominus most closely resembles a T-Rex. But its distinctive head ornamentation and ultra-tough bony osteoderms can be traced from Theropods known as Abeliosaurs. Indominus’ horns have been placed above the eye orbit through genetic material hybridised from Carnotaurus, Majungasaurus, Rugops, and Gigantosaurus. Indominus’ roar is estimated to reach 140-160db – the same as a 747 taking off and landing, and it can reach speeds of 30 mph while confined to its enclosure. But a character who could well steal the show is a water-dwelling, shark-eating creature called Mosasaurus. It is a carnivorous, aquatic lizard, resembling flippered crocodiles, with elongated heavy jaws. The genus existed during the Maastrichtian age of the Cretaceous period (Mesozoic era), around 70 – 66 million years ago.
9. Skeptical paleontologists everywhere raised eyebrows at the “Jurassic World” trailer
When the first trailer was released, it excited people as much as it failed to impress the real pros i.e. paleontologists. According to Hans-Dieter Sues, National Museum of Natural History Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology in the SeaWorld-like scene in the trailer, where the Mosasaurus jumped out of the water to devour a great white is somewhat inaccurate because the creature was way too big. Sues said, “The Mosasaur in the pool is twice the size as the largest actually known species.” On top of that, it should have a forked tongue but in the movie, it doesn’t. As such, Sues thinks “Jurassic World” audiences are in store for a Godzilla-like monster move, but not a “realistic portrayal of actual extinct animals”.
10. Believe it or not, possible sequels are already in talks/planning
Long before “Jurassic World” even wrapped production, news leaked about this new film setting up a larger story arc that could continue in sequels. Obviously, Universal will wait to see if audiences turn out for “Jurassic World” when it’s released in a couple of weeks, but let’s not forget that director Colin Trevorrow hinted to Empire more than a year ago about the coming dino-sequel and crossed his fingers that he would be invited back, to continue an exploration into the dinosaur world. He said:
We definitely talked about (sequels) a lot. We wanted to create something that would be a little bit less arbitrary and episodic, and something that could potentially arc into a series that would feel like a complete story.
Hmm. Looks like “Jurassic Park” fans are definitely getting a whole lot more than they bargained for. Not that we’re complaining or anything like that 😉
Last but not least, here’s a quick look inside “Jurassic World”, narrated by yours truly aka Steven Spielberg himself:
Steven Spielberg returns to executive produce the long-awaited next installment of his groundbreaking “Jurassic Park” series, “Jurassic World.” Colin Trevorrow directs the epic action-adventure based on the novel “Jurassic Park” by Michael Crichton, while Frank Marshall and Patrick Crowley join the team as producers.
“Jurassic World” will be released in 3D by Universal Pictures on 12th June 2015.