Last month, the name of the director of this long-awaited sequel was announced, Colin Trevorrow and this novice director will be following in the footsteps of Steven Spielberg and Joe Johnson (Jumangi & Captain America: The First Avenger) and directing the screenplay of Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa, who are the brains behind the 2011 hit, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes. So, the writers have already proven that they can reinvigorate a franchise which began with a classic but fell into cheap sequel territory and Jurassic Parks’s trajectory is similar.
But after 21 years, do we need another dinosaur flick set in the late Michael Crichton’s nature park? It’s no secret that I LOVE Jurassic Park (1993), and it is and has been for many years, number two on my Top Ten, but The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) and Jurassic Park III (2001) did not have the same impact on me. It’s not to say that they’re bad, in fact I’ve come round to the third outing as my young stepson loves it and I can see why, but Spielberg’s initial foray into this fantastical Sci-fi world and Crichton and David Koepp’s ingenious translation of the book to the screen is just almost too perfect to emulate or improve upon.
So, either reboot it, but do so from scratch and not in the existing universe or think twice about adding to the franchise which is hard pressed to be improved upon. But saying that, there are ways on doing a bit of both and still maintaining the universe which was set up 20 years ago.
Is it a coincidence that the Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (2011) scribes have been drafted into to pen this sequel? Were there not themes and issues raised in the first film which suggested that dinosaurs, now re-introduced into the eco-system would not be constrained by man?
It is possible to take themes from the first movie and turn the franchise on its head, but it would be walking a fine line between a Godzilla (1954 – 1998) farce and ROTPOTA’s tenderness. We can’t keep returning to Jurassic Park or its’ sister island nor can we revisit what was clearly the weakest part of the trilogy, the T-Rex rampage across San Diego, nor can this be another King Kong (1933 & 2005), but is it possible to create a new twist on this well-worn genre?
What about Gareth Edwards, Godzilla remake also due out next year? Are these intended to go head to head? Why is Spielberg still bowing out of directing? To me, this is a lack of faith in the project. It will more than likely make a ton of money but will it win over new fans, let alone stalwarts like me?
Only time will tell and by next summer, two iconic monster franchises will be going head to head in the box office, both being fuelled by some fresh talent, so this could either be another disaster or a raging success.