Summer, 1993. 9-year-old me goes to the movies with his family. Their target? Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. Young Steve is entranced. He gets dinosaur everything for the next year.
Winter, 1995-96. 11-year-old me receives Michael Crichton’s The Lost World as a Christmas gift. He eagerly devours the book and loves every word. His young mind dreams of the eventual movie.
Summer, 1997: 13-year old me-goes to see the film version of The Lost World: Jurassic Park with his family while on vacation in Florida. The theater is so crowded that they have to sit in the front row. He left with a strained neck and severe disappointment.
Summer, 2001: 17-year-old me reluctantly sees Jurassic Park III with his family. His expectations are so low that this resounding meh of a movie is deemed acceptable. He never watches it again.
The first Jurassic Park film is a classic that has stayed with me from the day I saw it. I have also associated Wayne Knight with Dennis Nedry, so Seinfeld’s Newman always had an extra layer of evil to him. To this day, whenever I’m feeling a little rich and spend a little money on something, I will say, “I spared no expense,” like John Hammond.
“Clever girl,” “Hold on to your butts,” Jurassic Park is still a significant film to me over 20 years later! So it’s been disappointing that there has never been a sequel that I’ve found up to snuff.
There have been discussions about a fourth movie in the franchise since the third one left the theatres. Insane ideas have been floated for it, such as the utterly batshit idea of dinosaur commandos, but nothing has made it as far as casting, until now.
Jurassic World is set to come out next year, starring Bryce Dallas Howard and the red hot Chris Pratt. Based on the trailers for Guardians of the Galaxy and his great work on Parks and Recreation, Pratt is positioning himself to be a heck of a leading man. He’s goofy, he’s fun, and the guy can apparently do a zillion crunches when the role calls for it. Bryce Dallas Howard starred in The Village, Lady in the Water, Spider-Man 3, and Terminator Salvation. Wait, that’s not a good list at all. Ummm, she was also in The Help. That was nominated for stuff! Yeah, that’s the ticket.
Vincent D’Onofrio is going to be in it, and he’s pretty stellar. Presumably, he’s just going to play his Law & Order character, because that’s how these things work. The most important casting, however? The return of BD Wong to the franchise. BD Wong you guys! It’s clear that they spared no expense.
There’s very little known about the plot to this point, beyond the fact that:
- There will be dinosaurs.
- BD Wong played a scientist in the first movie, so there will be some sort of connection there.
- Jeff Goldblum will not be involved, which is simply tragic.
No Goldblum? No Spielberg? No Richard Attenborough?! I don’t know, guys. Jurassic Park is a key part of my childhood. There’s a certain spectacle and majesty that Spielberg and composer John Williams brought to that film that simply can’t be replicated.
Jurassic World will never have that chance with me. This could be a kickass dinosaur movie, but it doesn’t have a shot at a 9-year-old with a big imagination.
So, what does this movie need to do to succeed? It just needs to be a kickass dinosaur movie. It’s all well and good to tie it in to the original, but don’t get bogged down in the process. Just have some fun, some cool dinosaurs, and a scummy character like the lawyer or Nedry getting his just desserts from a dinosaur, and boom, you’ve got a stew going, baby.
Oh, and bring Muldoon back from the dead as Robocop or something. Muldoon rules.