Welcome to Jurassic World
Twenty two years have passed since John Hammond arranged that first ill-fated visit to Isla Nublar for a handful of unsuspecting innocents. Adapted by Steven Spielberg from Michael Crichtons best-selling novel, 1993s Jurassic Park won over critics and audiences worldwide, taking in $1 billion at the box office.
With the use of cutting edge CGI technology alongside state of the art animatronic design, those pre-historic beasties were brought spectacularly to life on the big screen. Filling moviegoers with equal amounts fear and awe, Spielbergs team achieved the impossible; they made people believe that those dinosaurs were real.
After that initial jaunt into Jurassic Park emerged as a blockbuster smash it was followed by two successive sequels, 1997s The Lost World and 2001s Jurassic Park III.
Fifteen years later, let us revisit the time when dinosaurs ruled the earth...
The journey so far
Towards the end of production on trilogy-closer, Jurassic Park III, director Joe Johnston teased fans with talk of a fourth outing.
While his own return to the directors chair would fuel much buzzy talk over the next several years, back in July 2001 both he and Spielberg were concentrating their efforts on creating a new story.
During those preliminary talks for the fourth movie, the idea of shifting things away from the island environment arose, along with the possibility of JP 3s Pteranodons making a re-appearance. After this - the first in a long, long, LONG line of rumours - the lengthy development process began in earnest...
A very long engagement
Between 2001 and 2011, development on the fourth film underwent more changes than an awards show host. Countless drafts were scribbled by various writers, A-listers casually linked and potential stories cooked up in new ways to restart the dinosaur series.
Worthy mentions include one early iteration from 2003, which had Keira Knightley slotted in for the role of Hammonds granddaughter Lex based on a character draft penned specifically for her.
A later version - with Dark Citys Alex Proyas in the directors chair - had Jeremy Piven and Emmy Rossum eyed for two leading roles with Richard Attenborough scheduled to play Hammond once more.
One draft, penned by John Sayles, even had genetically-engineered (because of course, how else?) dinosaur-human hybrids working as mercenaries!
By the end of 2010, Joe Johnston discussed Jurassic Park 4 while doing press for his monster movie reboot, The Wolfman. There is an idea now for number four that is different from the first three, he told Hitfix, and that is more or less the beginning of a new trilogy, in that it sends the whole franchise off in a new direction.It's not about the dinosaur park anymore.
So... is it gonna be about San Diego again?
At Comic-Con 2011, after a decade of development Steven Spielberg announced that a fourth movie was definitely happening. To the wild throng of fans collected in the conventions infamous Hall H, the director revealed that Jurassic Park 4 was on its way:
"We have a story," Spielberg said. "A writer is currently working on the treatment for [that story]...and the hope is to see Jurassic Park 4 in the next 2 or 3 years.
That writer was the previously-rumoured Mark Protosevich, whose credits include I Am Legend, The Cell and story work on Marvels Thor. Spielberg and returning producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall earmarked the scribe to begin work scripting the new sequel based on two of his original treatments.
Spielberg to produce
By the following winter, Spielberg had firmed up his duties on the pic. Many hoped hed reprise his directorial duties on the franchise for the first time since The Lost World, but it was not meant to be.
I dont want to talk about Jurassic Park 4 yet its too early, he told Collider. But I can tell you that Im not directing it. Im producing it though. This prompted the question, would it be a sequel or reboot? I cant say, he replied. I will when the time is right, but for now I cant talk about it.
In the midst of the movies ten year+ development period, a range of scribes were linked to the movie. William Monahan, John Sayles, Joe Johnston, Jack Horner and latest addition Mark Protosevich all contributed a variety of story ideas, treatments and drafts.
By June 2012 two new names would join that list; Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa had signed on to pen the latest iteration. It was unknown whether or not they would be working on a draft based on Protosevichs treatments, or if they were contracted to strike out a new story. Whatever the case, it was an exciting development.
Universal set the movie communitys hearts racing with news in early January 2013 that Jurassic Park 4 had been issued a release date. Could it be that in a mere 18 months wed be greeted by a brand new dino romp?
It would seem so, as breaking news declared that the fourth movie - rumoured for a 3D shoot - would arrive the following year on June 13th, 2014. But who would be at the helm for this ambitious sequel?...
Kennedy out, Marshall in
Throughout the franchises long history, Universal was blessed by a tight knit team of producers dedicated to crafting the best big screen dino experience. Along with Spielberg, Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy had shared producer credits on every instalment thus far.
By January 2013, that trio lost a key member.
Following George Lucas decision to step down as the chair of Lucasfilm, Kennedy filled that vacant position thus ending her involvement with Jurassic Park 4. Her reason? To concentrate her efforts on a little film called Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Colin Trevorrow to direct
Until this point, a revolving door of directors had been connected to the role; Breck Eisner, Alex Proyas, Joe Johnston and even Spielberg himself were at one time in contention for the job.
That all changed when director Colin Trevorrow was confirmed as the new man at the helm. His 2012 debut feature - time travel indie, Safety Not Guaranteed - caught the eye of producers who were keen for a fresh take on the franchise.
Not only would Trevorrow be directing, he was also hard at work re-drafting the script with his Safety co-scribe, Derek Connolly.
Another addition to the team, Patrick Crowley, also boarded the project as a producer alongside Marshall, with Spielberg officially taking an executive producer credit.
One of the most exciting aspects of venturing to the multiplex to see the latest Jurassic sequel is undoubtedly; will we see any new dinosaurs? The T-Rex is scary, sure. The raptors are indeed, clever girls. But who doesnt want a new varietal?
Jack Horner, a paleontologist who worked as an advisor on the original, made reference to a previously-unseen type of dino set to appear in April 2013: "I can't actually tell you who that will be," said Horner, who would consult on the new film. "But you'll want to keep the lights on after you see this movie.