Yesterday, Jurassic World 2 director J.A. Bayona shared the first official photo from the film on Twitter:
So excited to show you this!! A first look of the new Jurassic adventure. #JW2 pic.twitter.com/U7eJRANXggMarch 8, 2017
It seems pretty straightforward, but let’s take a closer look and see what it might tell us about what we can expect from the dino-sized sequel.
Who is the girl?
The first and most obvious question is, who are we looking at here? There weren’t any girls this age in Jurassic World, so it’s not a character we’ve seen before. Is it the daughter of Owen and Claire, Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard’s characters from the previous film? Is it the child of Lex or Tim from the original Jurassic Park, being introduced as a further link between the old and new of this franchise? Is it just some random kid in an image, like who had no bearing on the final movie itself?
The safest bet is that it’s probably “Lucy,” a new character the film was back in October of last year. According to the casting breakdown, the character needed to be nine years old and “a sensitive and clever actress capable of handling long and complex scenes,” capable of showing emotions including “tender moments with her father, to anxiety, bravery, and shock.”
Where are we?
In previous interviews, Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow (who’s co-writing and producing this sequel) has stated this movie will not be “just a bunch of dinosaurs chasing people on an island. That’ll get old real fast.” He’s also teased the idea of open sourcing the creation of dinosaurs in the story, hinting that as many as 15 different entities might be able to create dinos of their own at this point. Additionally, director J.A. Bayona has said he was “surprised when [Trevorrow] pitched me the story because it leads the story to a place that we’ve never seen before.”
All of that leads me to believe that this movie is largely heading off the island and bringing the action to the mainland, maybe as a nod to the end of Steven Spielberg’s The Lost World, which briefly saw a T-rex loose on the streets of San Diego. This Jurassic World 2 photo looks like it could be set in New York City’s American Natural History Museum (notice the inset glass exhibit on the far left side of the image), and thinking about dinosaurs roaming around the Big Apple is an exciting prospect. But if it turns out the picture doesn’t depict that specific museum, then perhaps it’s showcasing a part of Jurassic Park creator John Hammond’s mansion. I’ve seen speculation that this could be a flashback image and the little girl could be Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire when she was a child, and if she did indeed visit Hammond’s place at that formative age, it might explain how she ended up working at Jurassic World in the first place.
What kind of dinosaurs are these?
That’s obviously a triceratops staring down the little girl in the middle of the image. The dino in the front left corner looks like a Ceratosaurus (a predatory carnivore), and while it’s slightly tough to tell from the angle we’re given, the left middle skeleton looks like that of a sauropod, possibly a Camarasaurus. I initially thought that the creature in the far back left was related to a monkey, but upon closer inspection, it appears to be a small carnivorous dinosaur, perhaps an allosaurus of some kind.
On the right side, that guy with the spiked shell in the front seems like a lock for an ankylosaurus, while a sharp-eyed Reddit user pinpointed the right middle dino as a Kosmoceratops. The one in the back right is, again, a little tough to see clearly, but it’s definitely a small member of the Ceratopsia classification.
Admittedly, that doesn’t tell us too much about what we might see in this film. These could be skeletons of dinosaurs that don’t appear in living, breathing form in the movie at all, and even if they do, we’ve seen many of them on screen in Jurassic movies before. But perhaps the simplicity of the creatures on display here says something about the direction this film is heading; after breeding the Indominus Rex to be the ultimate killing machine in the previous movie, maybe this signals a shift back toward the “classic” dinosaurs we might recognize from our history books.
In any case, I can’t wait to see what a stylish director like Bayona does with a major franchise film like this. Based on his previous work (The Orphanage, The Impossible, A Monster Calls), we can almost certainly count on it being a lot darker than the previous movie.
Directed by J.A. Bayona and starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, Jurassic World 2 hits theaters on June 22, 2018.