Jurassic World Franchise Stops Other Dinosaur Blockbusters From Happening, We Need A Dino Revolution

By Jeffrey Rapaport | Published

jurassic world: dominion

Dinosaur-themed movie enthusiasts, unite–you have nothing to lose but your chains! While I admit Marx/Engels might not have written those exact words, the fact remains cinema could sure use a dinosaur revolution—that is, a wave of films freed from the influence, if not oppression, of Jurassic World and the Jurassic franchise writ-large. I implore you: imagine the films, concepts, and innovation that would result. 

Jurassic World Has Cornered The Market

If only, in principle, the incredibly compelling allure of dinosaurs–the prehistoric magnetism–could be made available to a broader creative pool. The Jurassic franchise has, I’ll speak frankly, monopolized the narrative surrounding these incredibly old, super-cool creatures, for too long and too carelessly.

Mention “dinosaurs” and “movies” to nearly anyone, and they’ll quickly, unavoidably think of one specific franchise, after all.

Spielberg Made A Classic

And I can’t really blame them. Steven Spielberg’s best film might legitimately be 1993’s Jurassic Park, partially because it’s based faithfully on Michael Crichton’s novel, which lent it strong source material–the kind of thing lacking in any Jurassic World film.

But we’re a long way from Bob Peck’s character, the unforgettable game warden in Jurassic Park, uttering the iconic line: “Clever girl”–before being torn apart by raptors. 

Instead, we’re left to dig through trash.


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Films like lat year’s 65 can’t seem to escape the long, T-rex-shaped shadow cast by the Jurassic monopoly. And, yes, I’m aware this latest dinosaur film wasn’t exactly a hit with critics. To me at least, it seems like yet another movie conceived of and green lit by faulty algorithms.

You know, producers exclaiming–“It’s…Adam Driver…in space…fighting dinosaurs.” No wonder the film barely made a profit and earned universal critical disdain. 

However, don’t confuse my criticism for gloating; I’m actually bemoaning 65’s unsuccess–because if it had done better, then maybe titles beyond the Jurassic World stranglehold would emerge from Hollywood. 

Jurassic World Keeps Dinosaurs In Family Friendly Mode

jurassic park

And at least in my mind, the question naturally arises: what sorts of dinosaur-themed films are we denied due to Jurassic’s cinematic monopoly? 

It’s both easy and fun to imagine the possibilities. 

For instance, almost anything unconstrained by the family-friendly confines of the dominant franchise is tantalizing indeed. Simply picture a decidedly R-rated dinosaur film, much darker than Jurassic World, in which the beasts are rendered with unflinching accuracy, and each bite into unfortunate victims is depicted in all its horrible glory, revealing the true monstrosity of dinosaurs–that would be something. 

In fact, given how horrific dinosaurs would be to see and interact with in real life, it’s worth considering the merits of an earnestly attempted horror movie about them. 

How About Dino Horror?

It’s natural and tempting to envision the R-rated dino film mentioned above fusing with some horror ethos. After all, the genetic experiments at the heart of the original Jurassic Park, including Crichton’s novel and guiding Jurassic World, could easily have been conveyed as terrifying scientific experiments. My point is that the potential is there to reimagine the process of cloning dinosaurs in a new and compelling way, in which horror sensibilities could be employed to significant effect. 

A Dinosaur In Every Home?

Another potentially engaging narrative approach: a sci-fi/fantasy film in which these prehistoric beasts amount to more than remnants of the past; instead, they’re integrated into human society, perhaps amidst an alternative timeline or universe. 

Something Other Than Dinosaurs?

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There’s also the simple but fruitful potential for narratives, however simple or complex, treating lesser-known dinosaurs outside the Jurassic World scope or, even more richly, prehistoric life other than dinosaurs.

For instance, I would love to see a film involving creatures from the Cambrian Explosion, featuring Anomalocaris, a shrimp-like predator. Similarly, how could a movie involving the Devonian Period, known as the “Age of Fishes,” be?

Such a film would doubtlessly constitute a thrilling underwater saga, reveling in enormous, terrifying ancient fish. And I can’t leave out the Carboniferous Period, in which oversized insects roamed gargantuan forests. 

Ultimately, I’m confident an exciting array of possibilities exists. The key will be breaking the chains of Jurassic World forever.