Jurassic World 3 has announced many characters returning from across the franchise, including Jurassic Park, and each could play a pivotal role.
When Jurassic World 3 hits screens next year, it will mark the return of characters from across the Jurassic Park timeline. Not only will the film bring back characters introduced in both Jurassic World and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, it will also feature the three beloved leads of Steven Spielberg’s original 1993 classic. The return of Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler, and Ian Malcolm — who did appear briefly in Fallen Kingdom — is expected to be more than fan-service cameos, and their inclusion alongside Jurassic World characters could give clues about the film’s plot.
In 2015, the dinosaur destruction franchise made a giant comeback with Jurassic World, in which the lessons of the original Jurassic Park were never learned, and a theme park based on John Hammond’s work is a popular tourist destination. Due to some genetic manipulation, of course, a dinosaur escapes and wreaks havoc. Jurassic World was a meta commentary on the first Jurassic Park — it wondered how something as iconic as dinosaurs could compete with the distraction of personal technology. At the same time, it introduced new characters that it hoped would stack up to the originals. While Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire Dearing and Chris Pratt’s Owen Grady were likeable enough, they didn’t have the same impact as the original's cast. The film managed just fine, though, topping a billion-dollar gross worldwide.
Now, the World trilogy is ending, and its final chapter is likely to be a celebration of the entire franchise. That means familiar faces old and new will be back to grapple with the repercussions of Fallen Kingdom, in which a host of dinosaurs were freed into the American wilderness. The following are the characters returning for Jurassic World 3 and how they will factor into the story.
Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard)
After her lack of oversight in Jurassic World led to the destruction of the park and loss of several lives, Claire moved her sights to conservation in Fallen Kingdom. As leader of the Dinosaur Protection Group, she returned to Isla Nublar in order to turn the dinosaur tracking systems back on and assist in relocating the animals to a new sanctuary. When she learned that the Jurrassic World dinosaurs were going to be auctioned as biological weapons instead, Claire had to decide between rescuing the animals or letting them die. Ultimately, she allowed another character, Maisie Lockwood, to release them into the wild.
Claire is a character with conviction, so it’s likely that she will still be advocating for dinosaur rights in Jurassic World 3. Now that they’re in the wild, the dinosaurs are likely to be threatened by military forces, which means the stakes are higher for Claire than ever. This is especially true now that she has her own makeshift family.
Owen Grady (Chris Pratt)
Pratt’s dinosaur trainer has an especially strong connection to Blue, the last remaining velociraptor in the series. Their relationship evolved from uneasy allies to companions in Fallen Kingdom, and it’s unlikely that Owen will let Blue be harmed without a fight. While Claire is worried about the lives of every escaped dinosaur, Owen will likely be focused on Blue. The boy-and-his-dog element of the new trilogy will be especially powerful in its finale, and it could provide the driving force behind Owen’s character arc.
Alan Grant (Sam Neill)
One of the most exciting announcements to come from the Jurassic World 3 team is the return of Neill’s Dr. Alan Grant. Alan was the protagonist of the original Spielberg film, but he hasn’t been in any of the dinosaur flicks since 2001’s Jurassic Park III. Because Jurassic World ignored the first trilogy’s sequel films, it’s unknown if his adventures in the third Jurassic Park are still canon. With monsters on the loose, though, his expertise in paleontology and experience with living dinosaurs will likely drag him back into the fray.
By the end of Jurassic Park, Alan learned the dangers of Hammond’s experiment, which means he won’t be too thrilled to have the animals on mainland America. This could establish a dynamic in which the characters from Jurassic Park are at odds with the Jurassic World crew; in Fallen Kingdom, Ian Malcolm petitions the government to allow the dinosaurs to die. If he can convince his old friend Alan to let nature take its course, he might return as a foil for Claire and Owen.
Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern)
Laura Dern is hot off an Oscar win for her role in Marriage Story, but that isn’t stopping her from a long-awaited return to the blockbuster franchise. Ellie, Laura Dern’s paleobotanist, was Alan’s partner in Jurassic Park, but Dern made her more than a love interest; she’s intelligent and funny, but she’s also a fighter. Ellie had a cameo in Jurassic Park III in which she was married and had a child. If that version of events holds up in Jurassic World 3, it will probably take some convincing for Ellie to join in the fight.
If there is a rivalry between the old characters and the new, Ellie is a wild card, whose sympathies could fall in either direction. While her role in the film’s plot is unpredictable because of that, it would be great to see Dern thrown into a few action scenes on par with her raptor chase in Jurassic Park.
Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum)
Goldblum’s cameo in Fallen Kingdom was highly publicized, but it added up to very little screen time. Malcolm is the franchise’s original skeptic, and he had some of the most iconic lines of Jurassic Park. Assuming this movie ignores the Malcolm-centric The Lost World: Jurassic Park, the mathematician should leave the hearing rooms this time around and get back into the field. Malcolm has already made his opinions on the dinosaurs’ safety known, so he’s a natural antagonist to Claire and Owen. How much action he’ll see in the film is anyone’s guess, but he’ll likely play a vital role in recruiting his old friends, Alan and Ellie, back into business.
Henry Wu (BD Wong)
Returning alongside the trio of heroes from the original Jurassic Park is BD Wong’s Dr. Henry Wu. Of all the characters in the franchise, Wu has had the strangest arc. He was an approachable, well-meaning scientist in the 1993 film, but he evolved into the Jurassic World trilogy’s central villain. Wu has become obsessed with genetically manufacturing his own dino species despite the cost in money and lives. It’s a strange direction for a once-grounded character, and Wu will probably have to deal with the combined persuasive forces of Alan, Ellie, and Ian at some point in the film. Almost certainly, Wu won’t make it out alive.
Lowery Cruthers (Jake Johnson)
Johnson’s Lowery performed two main functions in Jurassic World: he was the goofy comic relief and the chorus that provided the film’s meta connection to Spielberg’s classic. Lowery is obsessed with the tragedy of the original Jurassic Park, but he’s also a fanboy who has landed his dream gig. Lowery never left the control room in that film; Johnson’s a well-known actor now, though, which suggests his role will be expanded. Lowery will probably get up close and personal with his beloved dinosaurs this time around, likely as part of Team Claire and Owen.
Barry Sembene (Omar Sy)
In Jurassic World, Barry was Owen’s cautious partner in the dinosaur training business. While Owen had the stronger connection to the animals, Barry acted as Owen’s mature conscience. His expertise, nearly as strong as Owen’s, suggests a more direct role this time around. Barry will probably be back at Owen’s side as they track Blue and the other dinosaurs, although it would be an interesting wrinkle if he was hired by the opposition to find the animals first.
Franklin Webb (Justice Smith)
Franklin was the warm heart of Fallen Kingdom. His character is a slightly older take on the kid-in-danger trope of the Jurassic films; he spent most of his screen time screaming, running, and begging to go home. Of all the previous franchise characters, Franklin will take the most convincing to interact with Jurassic World's dinosaurs again. It wouldn’t be surprising, then, if he was sidelined in a control room or the back of a van somewhere as a tech support character. Franklin all but disappeared in the second half of Fallen Kingdom, and the overstuffed cast in Jurassic World 3 doesn’t guarantee room for a bigger role this time around.
Zia Rodriguez (Daniella Pineda)
Zia is the closest thing the Jurassic World series has to an Ellie Sattler. She’s bright, tenacious, and quick on her feet. Zia was part of a duo with Franklin in Fallen Kingdom, which didn’t know what to do with either of them. Like Franklin, Zia was given a few moments to shine, but was absent for big chunks of the film’s second half. Zia has more backbone than Franklin, though, and an active role right alongside Claire would serve her best.
If Jurassic World 3 does as well as the first film in the series, there will certainly be another trilogy. Zia and Franklin have the potential to be great protagonists for that series if they’re used correctly in this one.
Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon)
One of the most controversial creative choices in Fallen Kingdom centered around Sermon’s Maisie Lockwood. The granddaughter of John Hammond’s one-time partner, Maisie finds kinship with and sympathy for the mutated dinosaurs after learning that she’s a clone of the woman she thought was her mother. While cloning isn’t necessarily a bad fit for the Jurassic franchise, the revelation felt like a sharp left turn for fans — and an unnecessary diversion in a film that was already overstuffed with ideas.
Maisie’s role in Jurassic World 3 will say a lot about the future of the franchise. If her identity as a clone is pivotal to the plot, it’s likely that future films will stray into the larger world of science-fiction. However, she was essentially adopted by Claire and Owen at the end of Fallen Kingdom, which could mean she’ll be the child in danger this time around. Bringing back Jurassic Park’s Alan, Ellie, and Ian suggests a return to the straightforward action of the original, but Maisie does have a strange connection to the dinosaurs, and that will likely be exploited.
The Cast Overall
Currently, Jurassic World 3 has the potential to be several different movies. While it might continue in the blockbuster sci-fi action vein of its direct predecessors, director Colin Trevorrow is making a deliberate choice in bringing back so many characters from the original film. Hopefully that means a return to what made Jurassic Park an instant classic: a monster horror story with loveable characters and a simple plot. Trevorrow referenced the ’93 movie many times in World, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him return to that sandbox again.
However, Trevorrow also helped develop Fallen Kingdom, which was muddled by its unfocused mix of genres and big ideas. If he can keep his focus as a storyteller, he can deliver a worthy follow-up to the Spielberg original with just as many scares and just as much heart. Clearly, he has the right cast for it.