A few years ago, while I was talking to Jurassic Park screenwriter David Koepp about his time working on the film series, he quickly hit on the central problem with the continued life of the franchise.
“Every time, you have to come up with a reason why rational people would go back to this island!” he laughed.
And in a way, new sequel Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’s volcanic destruction of Isla Nublar (the Costa Rican island where both Jurassics Park and World were set) is representative of the film’s final escape from this age-old problem, with JA Bayona’s sequel literally blowing up the limitations and clichés of the franchise for an ending that hints at a VERY different sort of story for Jurassic World 3.
The island is gone forever – so what happens when the dinosaurs come to us?
In this article we’ll be going into some detail about the new film’s ending, what it means for the upcoming 2021 sequel (with some insights from the stars and behind-the-scenes heavyweights) and how it’ll effect the franchise as a whole, so if you haven’t had a chance to see Fallen Kingdom yet please look away now. Spoilers are coming!
- There are some very subtle Donald Trump jokes in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
- Jurassic World’s Bryce Dallas Howard insisted that she still wear high heels in the sequel
- Jeff Goldblum explains why the time is now right for him to return to Jurassic World
Still here? Then you’ll already know that the film ends with a good number of the surviving dinosaurs from Jurassic World entering human society, whether that be as the possessions of shady mobsters and businessmen (who bought some of the dinosaurs earlier in the film), or as genuinely free beings blundering into civilisation (like velociraptor Blue, the T-Rex and the water-dwelling Mososaur in particular).
In a closing scene, Jeff Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm sums up the new status quo pretty well.
“Humans and dinosaurs are now going to be forced to coexist,” he tells the assembled experts and members of the public. “We’re going to have to adjust to new threats.
“We’ve entered a new era – welcome to Jurassic World,” he concludes. Quite the set-up for the already-confirmed Jurassic World 3.
Now, in some ways Malcolm might be making a bit of an over-the-top declaration. There can only have been say, 20-30 dinosaurs that actually made it off the island to be released by Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon), and if humanity so chose, it doesn’t seem implausible that we could fairly easily track, hunt and trap or kill the dinosaurs. Hell, the technology exists – how else were they able to contain escaped animals on Jurassic World itself?
Still, it seems likely that audiences will have to get themselves over this logical hump to embrace the interesting new premise being put forward by screenwriters Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly (Trevorrow, who directed Jurassic World, is also back in the hot seat for the sequel).
In fact, it seems like the entire point of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was to move the pieces around the board until the outcome the filmmakers wanted – dinosaurs returning to the world, forcing humans to live alongside them – was somewhat plausible. Finally, the series is free of that question – why on Earth do these idiots keep going back to Murder Island? – and the deck is set for a very different sort of Jurassic Park movie.
So with that in mind, what could such a sequel hold? Well, we recently got a chance to chat with stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, who dropped a few hints at what we might be getting when Jurassic World 3 is released in 2021.
“There will be another film, and we have a loose idea of what that film is, so we can’t get into any spoiler territory,” Pratt, who plays ex-velociraptor trainer Owen Grady in the series, told RadioTimes.com.
“But this film does very much play as the second film in a trilogy, and I think it’s safe to say we’re going to see the repercussions of this technology becoming widespread around the globe.
“It’s truly going to become a Jurassic World.”
“Honestly, what’s so exciting when it comes to these movies is that the stakes are really high because people really, really care,” Howard added. “We really care.”
For more clues, we can turn back the clock to 2015, when Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow (who, as noted above, is back in charge for Jurassic World 3) told us exactly what direction he wanted the series to go in.
“I really like the idea that this group of geneticists aren’t the only people who can make a dinosaur,” Trevorrow told us at the time. “You know, when you think of the differences between Apple and PC – the minute something goes open-source, there are all kinds of entities and interests that may be able to utilise that technology.”
Trevorrow went on to expand on his idea, explaining that “it would be like the way we have relationships with animals on this planet right now – there are animals that are kept in zoos, like Jurassic Park, but they are also used in agriculture, and medicine and in war.”
In other words, this new coexistence between man and dino that Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ends on wouldn’t necessarily be the lawless, hand-to-mouth existence you might imagine, with the film instead seeing the dinosaurs co-opted for our own society while other shady companies besides InGen are able to clone their own specimens.
Maybe that’ll even solve the issue of why the small number of dinosaurs is such a threat – we made more! And with the genie out of the bottle, technology-wise, it might become impossible for anybody to stop special interests from cloning their own dinosaurs en masse.
We see some hints of this new set-up in Fallen Kingdom – mobsters successfully buy a dinosaur for their own purposes before the auction goes to hell – and we can only imagine the military, agricultural and genetic power that harnessing the strength of these newly-free creatures could bring.
That is, of course, until everything goes wrong again – because what kind of Jurassic Park movie would it be if man’s hubris didn’t get the better of him?
“We are the Alpha now,” Trevorrow said, “and we dominate all of the other animals. But when you throw in animals that were the Alpha on this planet for far longer than we’ve ever existed in with us… I don’t really know who’s in charge there.”
“[I wanted] to create an opportunity for storytelling that will at least get us off this island, potentially,” he concluded in 2015.
“And not have these movies continuously be people running away from dinosaurs on an island, because I’m not sure how long that can keep entertaining us.”
In other words, it’s likely that Jurassic World 3 will see the basic plot of the original Jurassic Park expanded to a global scale, with humanity’s arrogance in imprisoning and utilising dinosaurs for our own purposes backfiring in a way that could bring devastation to our whole species, rather than just a few paleobotanists and chaos mathematicians on safari. Think Planet of the Apes, but with more scales.
And while we’re sure Jurassic World 3 will also focus on smaller, personal conflicts – Blue’s sense of being betrayed by Owen at the end of the film seems sure to be setting up a sequel storyline – we can’t wait to see a Jurassic Park movie that operates on a truly international scale.
The park may be gone for ever – but our Jurassic future is just getting started.
This article was originally published on 24 June 2018