The other day we heard rumors about the plot of Jurassic World, the fourth installment in the Jurassic Park franchise. At the time they were unconfirmed hearsay from an unnamed source, but as it turns out, these were actual details that the production, currently under way in Hawaii, would have rather kept in the dark. Oops. When the details came out, they caused quite a ruckus, and director Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) cleared the air somewhat.
Talking to Slashfilm, Trevorrow went out of his way to assuage fan concerns over the news and clarify the situation surrounding next summer’s blockbuster. What he has to say is interesting, but be warned, stop reading now if you don’t want to encounter any SPOILERS for Jurassic World.
Trevorrow, and apparently the entire crew, is totally bummed that these details leaked out. He talks about how the secrecy is not something they’re doing to be dicks or anything, but because he’s trying to recreate the feeling of sitting in a movie theater and watching something unfold in front of you without knowing everything before hand. He says:
Last week was discouraging for everyone on our crew–not because we want to hide things from the fans, but because we’re working so hard to create something full of surprises. When I was a kid, you got to discover everything at once, it washed over you and blew your mind. Now it only takes one person to spoil it for everyone else. I hope whoever leaked it is actively trying to undermine what we’re doing. Because if they’re trying to help, they’re doing it wrong.
That last bit is my favorite.
He does confirm that the rumors are true. Presumably, much of this is knowledge that we’ll learn in the early scenes of the film. Jurassic World takes place 22-years after the events of the first film, when John Hammond’s (Richard Attenborough) vision has been fully realized on Isla Nublar. More than 20,000 visit every day, arriving by a high-speed ferry from Costa Rica. This is a serious tourist destination with luxury hotels, clubs, golf courses, and all the amenities you can ask for. And, you know, dinosaurs, which are probably responsible for at least some of these visitors.
There have been rumblings of good dinosaurs fighting bad dinosaurs, and Trevorrow chimed in on this subject. He says:
There’s no such thing as good or bad dinosaurs. There are predators and prey. The T-Rex in Jurassic Park took human lives, and saved them. No one interpreted her as good or bad. This film is about our relationship with animals, how we react to the threat they pose to our dominance on earth as a species. We hunt them, we cage them in zoos, we admire them from afar and we try to assert control over them.
He continues, shedding some more light on the main character of the movie:
Chris Pratt’s character is doing behavioral research on the raptors. They aren’t trained, they can’t do tricks. He’s just trying to figure out the limits of the relationship between these highly intelligent creatures and human beings. If people don’t think there’s potential in those ideas, maybe they won’t like this movie. But I ask them to give it a chance.
The thing that caused most chagrin amongst fans was the news that there was going to be a new species of dinosaur, one created in a lab by combining the DNA of T-Rex, Velociraptors, snakes, and cuttlefish, and may be able to camouflage itself. Trevorrow says:
We were hoping audiences could discover this on their own, but yes, there will be one new dinosaur created by the park’s geneticists. The gaps in her sequence were filled with DNA from other species, much like the genome in the first film was completed with frog DNA. This creation exists to fulfill a corporate mandate—they want something bigger, louder, with more teeth. And that’s what they get.
I know the idea of a modified dinosaur put a lot of fans on red alert, and I understand it. But we aren’t doing anything here that Crichton didn’t suggest in his novels. This animal is not a mutant freak. It doesn’t have a snake’s head or octopus tentacles. It’s a dinosaur, created in the same way the others were, but now the genetics have gone to the next level. For me, it’s a natural evolution of the technology introduced in the first film. Maybe it sounds crazy, but most of my favorite movies sound crazy when you describe them in a single sentence.
For all of the concern, Trevorrow wants to assure fans that things are going to be okay and that it will all come together in the end. And if it doesn’t, he says you can blame him. Jurassic World opens in theaters June 12, 2015.