It’s been nearly a quarter of a century since Steven Spielberg has taken the world on a safari of truly gargantuan proportions, courtesy of his now legendary film Jurassic Park. With three sequels in the can, and the last one, Jurassic World, becoming a box office smash in 2015, something naturally would survive to chomp another day. Well, it wasn’t long before that very possibility was locked in, as that very year it was announced that Jurassic World 2 was officially happening, and with some returning friends.
So, obviously, we are looking forward to the future, and thinking about what exactly we know about the film that is officially titled Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Which is why we’ve put together this handy guide for all of you adventure lovers, dinosaur fans, and Spielberg devotees out in the world. Apparently, there’s a lot of you, as this movie wouldn’t be happening without the fans that poured out to see Colin Trevorrow’s continuation of an adventure 65 million years in the making. With that in mind, welcome to what we know so far about Jurassic World 2.
What Will Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Be Rated?
You could probably put a sizable bet on the fact that Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is going to be rated PG-13. A summer blockbuster of mass appeal, it’s not like it’d have a legitimate chance of being rated R; even if that would mean the franchise would match the tone of Michael Crichton’s original writing and content that much closer. While we’d love to see dinosaurs rampaging and scores of carnivorous carnage, this flick’s gotta be good for the kiddies to enjoy as well. If it helps, Jurassic World 2 is planning to be scarier than Jurassic World. So it’s not like this is going to be a mellow walk in the park or anything.
What Is The Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Release Date?
The release date for Jurassic World 2 is officially set for June 22, 2018. Now, obviously, this puts the film deep in the heart of blockbuster country, and its release date is in a pretty competitive window on both sides of the divide. The week before Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom drops, The Incredibles 2 will finally hit theaters all over. Meanwhile, the week right after the film’s debut has both Tag and Barbie looking to carve up the box-office pie amongst themselves, with The Purge: The Island following behind those competitors in the 4th of July time frame.
So, why stick with such a perilous release slot? Well, in addition to ticket sales for most big films dropping pretty heavily in their second weekends, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is being unveiled just 11 days past the 25th anniversary of Jurassic Park’s release date in 1993. With this beautiful historic symmetry, and the potential for Universal to hype up this anniversary in the weeks and months before the new film’s premiere, it almost feels like kismet.
In the beginning, folks wouldn’t have been wrong to think that Colin Trevorrow might return for Jurassic World 2’s production. Sequel talk was built into the discussions between Trevorrow and Steven Spielberg’s meetings for Jurassic World. That probably could have happened, if it wasn’t for the fact that Trevorrow announced that he wasn’t going to be following the franchise into its next phases. This probably had something to do with the fact that Colin Trevorrow was ready to pursue his labor of love known as The Book of Henry, as well as the fact that he landed himself the golden ticket that is Star Wars: Episode IX.
Obviously, a replacement was needed, and that replacement came in the form of Hispanic film director Juan Antonio Garcia “J.A.” Bayona. Bayona was initially noticed for his work on the Guillermo del Toro produced horror film, The Orphanage, and would then go on to make films such as The Impossible and A Monster Calls, as well as lending his talents to direct an episode of Showtime’s Penny Dreadful.
While Colin Trevorrow didn’t return to direct Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, he did work on the film’s story alongside fellow Jurassic World writer Derek Connolly. When it comes to monster adventures, Connolly has a lot of experiences, as he’s also a credited writer on such films as Kong: Skull Island and Monster Trucks. Of course, this is on top of his work as a frequent collaborator of Trevorrow’s, as the two wrote the breakout hit Safety Not Guaranteed together, and are working on the script for Star Wars: Episode IX as well. Not returning to the writer’s room are Jurassic World writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, who were both involved with the original draft of the preceding film. Though considering their draft was basically rejected wholesale, in favor of Trevorrow and Connolly’s final draft, that isn’t too much of a surprise.
Which Characters Are Coming Back
The cast of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is going to be a mix of new figures and well known faces. In the case of the latter, there are five figures of parks past that are returning to mix it up yet again. First off, Chris Pratt’s Owen Grady will be returning, and along with him is Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire Dearing. The two survivors of the dino crisis in Jurassic World will also be joined by two more returning cast members from the Jurassic Park side of the fence as well. The obvious returning combatant is B.D. Wong’s Dr. Henry Wu, as he jetted off at the end with the means to keep the franchise going in a special case he was holding. But, of course, the most anticipated cast member to return for Jurassic World 2, is none other than Jeff Goldblum, whose Dr. Ian Malcolm has been missing from the fold since 1997’s The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Though it’s still a bit unclear as to whether that adventure will still be canon, or lost to the sands of time. Oh, and last but not least, Rexy the Tyrannosaurus will also be returning for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
New Cast Members
With new adventures comes new players in the game we know as Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. And boy, oh boy do we have some interesting players! Right off the bat, we have veteran character actor James Cromwell playing Benjamin Lockwood, a former partner of John Hammond’s who has to deal with the fallout from these Jurassic ventures going horribly wrong. Considering he has his own mercenaries in the cast for the film, we’re not so sure he’s one of the good guys. Also entering this world of the Jurassic is actor Toby Jones, who is on deck to play a character named Wheaton, although we don’t know anything else about his role in the film’s narrative. Rounding out the named portion of the new cast is Rafe Spall, who is playing a character known as Mills, and naturally, we don’t know much about him, either. The rest of our new players don’t have names or details, but they’ll most assuredly be in the fray with whatever creatures Jurassic World 2 throws their way. Further additions to the cast include Ted Levine, Kevin Layne, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, and Geraldine Chaplin.
Where Jurassic World Left Off
Jurassic World left the newer park in the Hammond Legacy in shambles, with the Indominous Rex really wrecking up the place, and a climactic battle between it, Rexy, and Blue the Raptor rendering the entry plaza pretty useless as well. Owen, Claire, and her nephews survived the horrors they saw, and Dr. Henry Wu made it off the island with some interesting treasure. Or, more specifically, the genetic material needed to keep InGen in the dinosaur proliferation game. As for the dinosaurs in Jurassic World, they’re now allowed to free roam, like the beasts they were born to be.
At the beginning of the Jurassic World legacy, the InGen Corporation was a vital component to the genesis of the original park that John Hammond dreamt up. With their labs, scientists, and operating capital tied up in creating a park full of “biological attractions so astounding that they’d capture the imagination of the entire planet,” Hammond’s company was betting it all on Jurassic Park. Unfortunately, with the disaster that collapsed the original park, InGen found itself ripe for the taking, and it wasn’t too long before the Masrani Corporation bought up the company in 1998. Though, at the end of Jurassic World, it sounded like the company was poised for a takeover of its own, as Dr. Wu boarded an InGen chopper off of Isla Nublar, with a suitcase of dinosaur DNA.
Where The Sequel May Go
With both remarks he had made towards the point, as well as the events of Jurassic World’s finale, Colin Trevorrow has already suggested that the technology for dinosaur proliferation could fall into various, and in some cases the wrong, hands. But as recently as a couple of months ago, Trevorrow also made mention of the fact that Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom will also explore the themes of how animals are treated in contemporary society, with zoos, pets, and medical experimentation being mentioned as focus points. Of course, what would Jurassic World 2 be without action involving dinosaurs? In particular, it sounds like there’s going to be a brand new dinosaur that we’ve yet to see hide or hair of just yet, but that’s not where the only excitement lies.
With pervasive talk about the film having a fiery component to it, particularly thanks to the ember laden teaser poster for the film, there’s rumors mentioning an active volcano being one of the film’s set-pieces. This is in addition to the submarine adventure that’s also been mentioned to take place during one of the film’s more harrowing moments. Considering the world is going to know what happened in Jurassic World, and the fact that there’s outside interest in live dinosaur specimens, there’s a good chance people will try to raid the island for creatures to take home, similar to the plot of 1997’s The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
How Will Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Draw From The Original Novel?
When it comes to Michael Crichton’s writing, there’s one big recurring theme that makes its way into pretty much every corner of his work: humanity’s mastery over science, and the multitude of reasons it can go wrong. Jurassic World definitely fit that pattern, so Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has that part of the Crichton legacy cut out for it. Though co-writer / director Colin Trevorrow does admit that when it comes to writing for the new film, he was very much inspired by the late author’s particular brand of dialogue. Though we’ve previously wondered just where else this inspiration may have reared its head.
As pretty much everyone knows, Jurassic Park the movie was pretty different from Jurassic Park the novel. Characters that weren’t meant to live survived to see the end of the film, a bunch of dinosaurs from the book were excised, and in some cases reused in other corners of the Jurassic Park mythos, and, most importantly, Ian Malcolm originally died in that first novel. Of course, that last part was reversed by Michael Crichton himself, as he revived Malcolm for The Lost World, thanks to some extensive surgeries.
Not to mention, that same book saw InGen personnel return to the island to recover as much material as they could, in hopes of giving their rival, BioSyn, a leg up on their own dino efforts. Fans of the original film and novel will remember that Dennis Nedry was the first person to try and complete this exercise, with rather fatal results. There’s no clear blueprint as to where Jurassic World 2 will draw from Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park, but if the film follows the pattern we think we’re seeing, both novels in the series could inspire quite a few stories to be told in this new Jurassic universe.