Here’s What You Can Expect From the ‘Jurassic World’ Sequel
Jurassic World just had the biggest opening weekend of all time, so yeah, there’s going to be a sequel. And yeah, there’s no way Universal is going to going to wait 14 years like they did after Jurassic Park III. They’re not even going to wait four years like they did after the first two movies. They are going to fast track this thing like you wouldn’t believe. Expect a Jurassic World sequel in two years, maybe three.
But what can we expect to actually see in a sequel? Evidence to answer this question exists not only in Jurassic World itself, but in the franchise’s bizarre off-screen history.
Here’s what we do know about the non-existant sequel: Colin Trevorrow says he won’t be coming back to direct, but he will be involved in some capacity (probably as a producer, maybe as a writer). Chris Pratt has also revealed that he’s contractually obligated to appear in sequels and we can safely assume that Bryce Dallas Howard will also make a return. As for those annoying kids? Who knows? Hopefully not.
Beyond that is pure speculation. However, Jurassic World leaves a few key plot threads dangling and a very important human villain very much alive. In the age of blockbusters that go out of their way to set up sequels at every opportunity, we cannot imagine these elements not coming back into play in a big way.
No More Theme Parks
After the events of Jurassic World, it’s literally impossible to imagine a sequel that revisits the idea of a dinosaur theme park. That’s two times now that an amusement park full of living, breathing dinosaurs has resulted in a whole bunch of living, breathing people getting devoured and torn apart. In fact, we’d love to see a sequel that focuses entirely on InGen’s desperate legal battles as they get sued by the families of every single visitor and employee who was in the park when things went wrong. Give it to Steven Soderbergh.
It’s also hard to imagine a sequel returning to the now-ruined Jurassic World, since the whole “return to the island full of dinosaurs and run around the ruins” approach felt uninspired in The Lost World and downright stale in Jurassic Park III. The last thing Universal wants to do is emulate those movies. After all, Jurassic World feels like a direct sequel to the first film and nothing else. Parts two and three don’t exist in this nostalgia-fueled dojo.
So that means Jurassic World 2 (or whatever they end up calling it) will most likely take the dinosaur action back to civilization. It’s the only option that makes sense and Jurassic World not-so-elegantly establishes this as the next step forward. We’ll get back to this in a bit.
Get Used to “Good Guy” Dinosaurs
In Jurassic Park, director Steven Spielberg does his dinosaurs a great service by treating them like animals, not monsters. Still, we can’t help but apply human labels of good and bad to these things. The T-Rex that eats the cowardly lawyer and saves the humans from becoming raptor food in the climax? Good guy! The raptors who kill cool characters and menace Tim and Lex? Bad guys!
Jurassic World takes this a few massive steps forward by introducing Chris Pratt’s raptor team, who are volatile and deadly, but ultimately heroic. To the film’s credit, they do prove hard to handle and they do kill a bunch of humans when the Indominus Rex overthrows Pratt as the alpha of the pack (this freakin’ movie). However, the ending gives them that grand hero turn where they team up with Pratt and the T-Rex to take down the Indominus and save the day (this freakin’ movie, part two). Then the surviving dinos literally give each other nods of approval and go their separate, honorable ways (this freakin’ movie, part three). When the credits roll, the T-Rex and the raptors are good guys, measurable on a pure human scale. Their menace has been dulled and their status as terrifying creatures has been diminished.
The cynical reading of this is that “hero dinosaurs” offer more merchandising opportunities than than dinosaurs that just chase and eat people. After all, if audiences fell in love with raptors when they were just tearing people apart, imagine how much they’ll love them if they get to save the day! Fans, especially those tasked with making sequels to movies they love, often forget the difference between servicing a story and crafting fan-service. It’s similar to Star Wars fans making Darth Vader the face of the entire series. Yeah, he’s iconic, but you do remember that he’s a mass-murdering fascist, right?
The damage is done. Expect to see a lot more “good guy” dinos fighting “bad guy” dinos in the next movie.
More Genetic Modifications
You may have missed it in the chaos of the film’s final half hour, but B.D. Wong’s demented geneticist Dr. Henry Wu escapes the island unscathed on a helicopter full of dinosaur DNA samples. This was no accident – there’s no way Wu doesn’t show up in the next movie and there’s no way his mad scientist machinations won’t play a key role. This is where you start to see the influence of Marvel bleeding into every other tentpole movie. You’ve got to start layering those future plot devices nice and early!
By introducing the genetically modified Indominus Rex, Jurassic World has officially expanded the scope of this series in every possible way. Future filmmakers don’t have to play with the boring old dinosaurs we already know about. They can cook up whatever they want. Bigger! Faster! More teeth! In fact, the sequels will probably be all about regular dinosaurs being pitted against the latest and greatest test tube dinosaurs. It wouldn’t surprise us at all if the sequel finds Chris Pratt leading his elite raptor squad on a mission to downtown Manhattan to take down a winged T-Rex that has been devouring commuters.
It may not get that silly (or will it?), but Dr. Wu is alive for a reason. His experiments will continue elsewhere, something will go horribly wrong, and that horrible wrongness will kickstart the plot of the next movie.
Prepare For Total Lunacy
If you though Vincent D’Onofrio’s rambling about militarizing dinosaurs and using them to fight wars sounded a little familar, that’s because it was almost the plot of the fourth Jurassic Park film. Seriously.
In the 14 years between Jurassic Park III and Jurassic World, Universal and an army of screenwriters attacked Jurassic Park 4 from every angle. The most infamous concept came from writers William Monahan and John Sayles, who penned a screenplay that became the stuff of internet legend. This totally-real-and-not-made-up script focused on a team of genetically modified raptors who were trained to carry weapons and fight terrorists. Each of them had a nickname and a speciality and they went on globetrotting adventures, battling European criminals and South American drug lords.
And we’d put good money on this becoming the basis for the next movie. All of the groundwork is there. Hero raptors with their own names. A mad scientist with a bunch of dino DNA and no ethics. An major corporation with an interest in the militarization of dinosaurs. If anything, Jurassic World felt like it was dipping its toe into these insane concepts, testing the waters to see if audiences would accept the complete and utter lunacy that Monahan and Sayles cooked up.
It would not surprise us in the least if Universal sees that $209 million opening weekend and gravitates straight for this concept – “Everyone liked the raptors and they liked the Indominus Rex! Let’s combine the two and make bank again!”
For better or worse, Jurassic Park 5/Jurassic World 2/Jurassic Squad is going to be a weird one. It will probably be filled with genetically-modified hero dinosaurs and set far away from a theme park. God help us all.