Show us someone predicting that 'Safety Not Guaranteed' director Colin Trevorrow was going to direct 'Jurassic Park 4' and we'll show you a liar…or, considering the subject of matter of 'Safety Not Guaranteed,' we'll show you a time traveler. Many 'Jurassic Park' fans will look upon this news and have no idea what to think -- after all, Trevorrow's last film made a couple million at the box office and 'Jurassic Park' is one of the biggest franchises of all time.
But here's the thing: Trevorrow is an inspired choice for the director's seat. Here are five reasons why.
'Safety Not Guaranteed' is a Really Great Movie
Let's get this one out of the way first -- Colin Trevorrow is a great choice for 'Jurassic Park 4' because he's already made one great movie. Sure, 'Safety Not Guaranteed' is a gentle, character-driven romantic comedy that literally has nothing whatsoever to do with dinosaurs rampaging across the Earth thanks to mankind's hubris, but why should that matter? The most important thing that it established about him is that he's a filmmaker who knows how to put a story together and to make us care about what's going to happen next. That may seem like a stupidly simple thing to say (isn't that storytelling 101?) but considering the sheer number of working directors who can't tell a story to save their lives, he's already one step ahead of the competition.
He Can Build Great Characters
Think about the characters from the original 'Jurassic Park.' Everyone remembers Sam Neil's Alan Grant. Everyone still quotes Jeff Goldblum's Ian Malcolm. Everyone still parodies Richard Attenborough's John Hammond. Sure, the dinosaurs were the stars of the show, but we were invested in the story because those characters were so great! Now, try to recall an interesting new character from 'The Lost World.' Try to to remember anyone interesting from 'Jurassic Park III.' Tough, huh? Now (if you've seen it), try to recall the cast of 'Safety Not Guaranteed.' Did you first recall Aubrey Plaza's quietly lovable intern? Mark Duplass' mysterious and pained loner? Jake Johnson's arrogant reporter? That movie is ALL great characters. With a studio budget, anyone is going to be able to deliver great looking dinosaurs, but it'll take someone like Trevorrow to inject character back into this franchise.
A Different Approach for the Franchise?
It's no secret that Universal has toiled for the better part of a decade to get 'Jurassic Park 4' off the ground and it's no secret that the production has fallen apart and rebuilt itself more times than we can count. The announcement of Trevorrow in the director's seat could mean one of two things. The pessimistic among us will say that it's Universal grabbing a fresh young filmmaker that they can manipulate and control because he has limited clout in the industry. However, the optimists could look at this as Universal throwing their hands up in the air and saying "You know what? Let's just give this to someone young and enthusiastic and see what happens!" Trevorrow is not a safe choice and that makes it all the more interesting.
Fresh Blood For Blockbusters
We literally have no idea what Colin Trevorrow's blockbuster dinosaur movie will look like…and that's amazing. Now, if they had announced a solid contender like Jon Favreau or (shudder) Len Wiseman, we could immediately start making assumptions about 'Jurassic Park IV's tone and style. We could start to imagine how that filmmaker would mesh with the material, but we can't do that with Trevorrow. We're about to watch a talented indie filmmaker cut his teeth on a massive studio blockbuster (under the watchful eye of Steven Spielberg, of course) and we don't know what to expect in the slightest. How exciting is that? And if 'Jurassic Park IV' is a hit, it may very well open the door to more young, exciting filmmakers being given the keys to major franchises and letting them do their thing…unless you're one of the pessimists (see number three on this list).
He's Not Len Wiseman (or Someone Similar)
Hey, at least he's not the guy that directed 'Underworld,' 'Live Free or Die Hard' and the 'Total Recall' remake! Okay, so it's awfully mean to single out one guy, but think of the hacks who could've been given this job and thank your lucky stars that at least Universal is taking a chance on someone interesting. At worst, Trevorrow promises an interesting approach. Whether interesting turns out to be worth watching, we shall discover in due time.
'Jurassic Park 4' is, somehow, still scheduled for a June 13th, 2014 release date. We're sure you're going to hear a lot about it in the meantime.