Jurassic World: What We Know (2)

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Colin Trevorrow’s first blockbuster, Jurassic World, is due to hit cinemas in the busy summer season of 2015. It has some stiff competition from numerous franchises aiming to bring in the big bucks.

But how can a series that last released a film in 2001, the disappointing Jurassic Park III, bring those audience numbers flocking into the multiplexes?

The previous Jurassic World update here at Movie Metropolis showed off some incredible casting decisions. Click here to take a look.

However, since then many more details have emerged which seems to show some real progress in the film’s development. Let’s take a look.

Cast: B.D. Wong, Irrfan Khan, Vincent D’Onofrio

Perhaps one of the most disappointing details surrounding Jurassic World is the lack of original cast members. Colin Trevorrow spoke to his Twitter followers earlier this year and told them that all previous characters would not be returning for the fourth instalment, except one.

In March 2014, B.D. Wong was announced as returning. For those of you unfamiliar with his character, he played the small part of Henry Wu in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 original. Trevorrow stated that Wu’s character was much more fleshed out in the book and therefore his character would play a larger part in World.

Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi) was also announced as a key character in the upcoming film, playing the person who bought Jurassic Park off John Hammond and InGen. Vincent D’Onofrio (Men in Black) is thought to be playing the villain of the film, a high-ranking member of the Patel Corporation which now owns Jurassic Park.

Pictures: Concept Art, Set Photographs

In late March 2014, a marketing website claiming to be an official representative of the Patel Corporation released some rather impressive looking concept art from the man who created many of the environments for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Nathan Schroeder.

The pictures, shown in the slideshow below, clearly show an upgraded Isla Sorna, the setting for the first film, in full working order. A moment of sheer joy for many Jurassic Park fans if these are found to be 100% genuine.

Some unofficial set photos were leaked in February which also show some set building on Hawaii. These photographs are unofficial but now confirmed as Jurassic World sets.

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Jurassic World: What We Know

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It’s been over 12 years since the release of the highly anticipated and mightily disappointing Jurassic Park III, but Universal Pictures decided to finally announce a long overdue sequel to the prehistoric franchise.

Rumours have been rife since the first information was leaked earlier this year, some of it being discredited as nothing more than ‘fan-boy’ scepticism which Universal have been quick to reject, and some of it being accepted as fact.

With what seems to be an official release date looming not so far into the distant future, what exactly do we know about the series’ fourth instalment?

Click here to buy the Jurassic Park Trilogy  (UK readers only)

Director: Colin Trevorrow

Long before any plot details were confirmed or cast members were decided upon, Universal were keen to provide fans with the name of the person willing to take on a behemoth franchise like Jurassic Park. That name was Colin Trevorrow.

If you’re scratching your head wondering who on Earth he is, you are forgiven as his name has only been attached to one motion picture, the warmly received time-travelling comedy Safety Not Guaranteed. This may not be the greatest resume for someone who is tasked with resurrecting a franchise that has been lying dormant for over a decade, but blockbuster king Steven Spielberg has praised Trevorrow and his vision for wanting to create something fresh, new and from what I can gather, just a little bit left-field.

Cast: Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson

The Jurassic Park series has never been one to shout about how famous the leading cast members are, from Sam Neill to Alessandro Nivola, the franchise has relied on its powerful special effects to reel audiences in, rather than big name actors and actresses, and it seems like Jurassic World will follow in its predecessor’s footsteps.

Bryce Dallas Howard has been attached as the leading lady for quite some time and only last month was she officially confirmed as starring. Her acting credits include a brief stint in the Twilight series, Spider-Man 3 and Terminator Salvation. 

12-year-old Ty Simpkins was announced as a possible candidate to play one of the series’ growing child actors, joining the likes of Joseph Mazzello and Ariana Richards. Whether he proves to be as annoying remains to be seen. Ty’s acting credentials are impressive given his age with Iron Man 3, Insidious and War of the Worlds already under his belt.

On October 16th, little-known actor Nick Robinson was cast as Ty Simpkins’ older brother, although details surrounding his character are sketchy at this time.

David Oyelowo is also rumoured to be involved in talks to join the cast, but no official details have been released.

Story: Return to Isla Nublar

The Jurassic Park series has never been one to bother itself with a truly engaging script, relying more on its jaw-dropping special effects to impress global audiences.

However, Colin Trevorrow is planning to change all that with the help of writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver who worked on the brilliant Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

The plot is still tightly under wraps, but confirmation of a return to Isla Nublar from the original film was shown on Twitter by Trevorrow earlier this year.

Whilst the following is all speculation, it would seem like the film would be set in the near future with a fully operational Jurassic Park featuring the beloved dinosaurs from the previous three films, as well some new additions.

It seems that it is full steam ahead for this long-awaited sequel to one of the world’s most loved franchises. With a release date of June 12, 2015, Universal Pictures will be hoping that Trevorrow can pull it out the bag and create a memorable film rather than churning out a formulaic thriller which will no doubt be a huge disappointment to the series’ millions of fans.

Take a look at the Jurassic World slideshow below and leave a comment to share your thoughts.

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MM Top 5: Jurassic Park Jaw-droppers

With the resurfacing of rumours that Jurassic Park 4 will be in cinemas for summer 2015, I thought it would be more than fitting to centre this fortnight’s MM Top 5 topic on the blockbuster franchise as a kind of celebration. This edition, we’re going to be looking at Jurassic Park Jaw-droppers, and knowing how action packed the trilogy has been, it’s safe to say there were a lot of choices for me to decide between.

So, hold onto your butts as we explore the best scenes from one of the greatest franchises ever brought to film.

5. It’s a Birdcage: Jurassic Park III, 2001
Jurassic Park III

Jurassic Park III

Landing straight at number 5 is the only scene that is featured from the exceptionally underrated Jurassic Park III. When it was released in 2001, JP3 was critically massacred over its ridiculously short running time, poor character development and the fact that it was exactly the same story from the previous two films.

However, look deeper and you will find a good, solid summer action flick that combines the excellent special effects we’ve come to know the franchise for with the variety of dinosaurs that audiences wanted to see after the lacklustre offering in its predecessor The Lost World: Jurassic Park.

The scene we are looking at here is the first time that pterodactyls have featured in the series, apart from a quick cameo at the end of JP2. This sequence in particular really showcases the film’s unbelievable special effects and remains a highlight of a very short movie. When Alan Grant, played again by Sam Neill, realises the team are in a birdcage all hell breaks loose as one of the creatures flies down and snaps up Eric (Trevor Morgan). What ensues is a daring rescue attempt featuring some breath-taking sequences with the series’ newest dinosaurs, a man stuck on a cliff and lots of running – what more could you ask for?

Unfortunately, the impact the scene has on the rest of the film is minimal and it’s all over a little too quickly for my liking, meaning It’s a Birdcage can place no higher than 5th in this edition of MM Top 5.

4. Downtown Rampage: The Lost World: Jurassic Park, 1997
The Lost World: Jurassic Park

The Lost World: Jurassic Park

Steven Spielberg’s involvement, or lack of, in Jurassic Park III is down to his mixed feelings on its predecessor. Released in 1997, critics claimed that JP2 whilst still pushing the boundaries of special effects lacked the sense of excitement and honest humour that the original had in droves and Spielberg has recently commented that he felt the same way, that the film was rushed and one of his worst efforts behind the camera.

Whilst this may be true to some extent, JP2 still had its fair share of jaw-dropping scenes. Stampeding into 4th place is the much criticised ending sequence of The Lost World: Jurassic Park where a rampaging tyrannosaurus causes havoc in downtown San Diego. Critics felt that the scene was overly long and a rip-off of King Kong, but I felt it was much more than that. It really showed the T-Rex in another light, taking it out of its comfortable setting of Isla Sorna and placing it in an urban population, something which had never been done before in the series.

Add to this the fact that the animal was looking for its baby, a maternal instinct never picked up on before, and you have one stressed out carnivore. The best part of this scene for me is when it runs alongside a packed city bus, slamming into one side which causes the vehicle to hurtle towards a crowded video rental store, with disastrous results. Truly exciting stuff.

Unfortunately, Spielberg’s rushed ending is really obvious here as it went through many drafts before this sequence was chosen and that’s a shame. It felt like it was tagged on to the end of the film and would’ve made much more sense if it had been placed at the end of Jurassic Park III. For that reason, Downtown Rampage places at number 4 in this fortnight’s list.

3. Over the Cliff: The Lost World: Jurassic Park, 1997
The Lost World: Jurassic Park

The Lost World: Jurassic Park

The second sequence from JP2 takes the bronze medal this fortnight and what a scene it is. Featuring Julianne Moore, Jeff Goldblum and Vince Vaughn hanging on for dear life as an angry pair of tyrannosaurs push their state-of-the-art trailer off a cliff, it is an adrenaline pumping thrill ride.

Filmed on the side of a multi-storey car park, Over the Cliff is one of the best scenes in a rather limp and disappointing sequel to the 1993 blockbuster. Perhaps the best section here is the cracking glass, with the camera holding steady on Sarah Harding’s (Julianne Moore) terrified expression as she realises that it could break at any time, sending her plummeting into the stormy sea below.

However, the most terrifying part is before any of this happens as Julianne’s character holds on to a cupboard which suddenly opens, causing her to fall on an already cracked piece of glass. For first-time viewers, it is mind-blowing and brilliantly filmed, and for repeat watches, it remains an unescapably terrific sequence which breaks up the monotony of the second film considerably. Perfectly placed and perfectly shot, Over the Cliff rolls into 3rd place.

2. Welcome to Jurassic Park: Jurassic Park, 1993
Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park

For some years before its June 1993 release, audiences had been expecting a film adaptation of Michael Crichton’s bestselling novel and after the announcement of Steven Spielberg as director, fans realised that their dreams of seeing dinosaurs acting realistically on screen were about to come true.

Just what they were in for though was something they couldn’t have imagined. The first 30 minutes of Jurassic Park features only very brief glimpses of dinosaurs and teases the viewer brilliantly right up  until the big reveal, which features here as our silver medallist.

As the Jurassic Park emblazoned jeeps grind to a halt in a seemingly normal field, the first we know of anything untoward are the faces of Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum). After this we are treated the most iconic scene of the 20th century, bar none. The very first time we see a brachiosaurus in all its glory is an absolutely astounding feat, not only in the progression of special effects, but in the capabilities of actors who made audiences around the world believe that this animal was there, stood right in front of them.

The line ‘Welcome to Jurassic Park’ will no doubt go in history as one of the finest moments in cinema history and even those of you who aren’t Jurassic Park fans will no doubt see from the clip that it is silver screen perfection.

1. Raptors in the Kitchen: Jurassic Park, 1993
Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park

We have arrived at the golden boy for this fortnight’s edition of MM Top 5, and what a jaw-dropper this sequence is. When Jurassic Park was released in cinemas in the summer of 1993, audiences were expecting a sublime mix of action and special effects, which they got. However, towards the end of the film a small lull formed which needed to be eradicated by a truly outstanding action piece.

What viewers got could’ve been a disaster, but due to the expertise of Steven Spielberg, the special effects gurus at ILM and the fantastic John Williams, it worked beautifully. The Raptors in the Kitchen scene flung those annoying children right into the centre of the carnage and whilst they had been in danger in the film before, no-one truly believed that anything could happen to them, they’re kids after all right?

After hiding in the massive chef’s kitchen at the resort, the children Lex (Ariana Richards) and Tim (Joseph Mazzello) were forced into playing a cruel game of cat and mouse with a pair of hungry velociraptors, a species of dinosaur that hadn’t played any major part in the film until this point. The acting from the kids here is sublime and we really feel a sense of panic at being stalked by these terrifying beasts. The tension is cracked up to its peak as the dinosaurs get ever closer to their prey, tasting them in the air and waiting to strike.

As a scene, this is the only one which could standalone and make your heart beat out of your chest and hold on for dear life as you share the peril these poor children have to go through. This is a truly unbelievable, mesmerising couple of minutes that cemented Jurassic Park’s place as one of the greatest blockbusters of all time.

So, there we have it, Jurassic Park Jaw-droppers have been ranked. What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear from you, so please leave a comment in the box below, I reply to them all. Also, don’t forget to vote in our fortnightly poll and share your opinion on which of the top 5 you think is best.

JP4 to feature underwater dinos!

Exciting news for all Jurassic Park fans out there, more information regarding the long awaited sequel to 2001’s Jurassic Park III has been announced.

Jurassic Park 4 will reportedly feature underwater dinosaurs and return to the Isla Nublar location of Steven Spielberg’s 1993 original.

Colin Trevorrow’s sequel – which is due to open in cinemas around the world in July 2015 – is also expected to be shot and released in 3D, making it the first film in the long-running franchise to utilise the popular format.

According to movie news website JoBlo, the sequel will see John Hammond’s (Richard Attenborough) original vision for a dinosaur theme park fully realised. If you cast your memories back to Jurassic Park and its 1997 sequel The Lost World, you will remember that Hammond had many other ideas for the park, including an amphitheatre located in San Diego.

At the resort, described as Sea-world like in style, on Isla Nublar, dinosaurs such as the famous velociraptors and tyrannosaurus’  will be tamed and muzzled, while in one sequence a giant underwater prehistoric creature will allegedly jump out of a man-made lagoon and eat a strung-up great white shark.

Earlier this year it was announced that a dinosaur unseen in the previous three films will provide the main threat in the film when it breaks free and rampages across the park. It is still unknown which dinosaur that will be. There are also no reports on whether the Spinosaurus from Jurassic Park III will return to the series.

What are your thoughts on this unusual premise for the upcoming chapter in the JP franchise? Leave a comment in the box below.

New dino for JP4

Jurassic Park 4, which is due to be released in June next year, will feature a previously unseen dinosaur — but the dinosaurs won’t have feathers, it has been announced this week.

The film’s consulting paleontologist Jack Horner, who has worked on all three of the previous Jurassic Park films, has stated that the movie will feature a brand-new dinosaur but kept the details completely hidden by saying: “I can’t actually tell you who that will be.”

The original film, released in the summer of 1993, was adapted from a novel written by the late Michael Crichton and won an astonishing three Oscars, something completely unheard of for a sci-fi/horror/adventure film.

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JP3: Feathered Velociraptor

Jurassic Park 4 has however, already caused controversy among several leading palaeontologists, who are shall we say, more than annoyed that the dinosaurs will not feature feathers, as there have been numerous pieces of evidence, since the first film was released in 1993, that suggested many of the creatures did indeed have feathers. This was documented in Jurassic Park 3, back in 2001, when the famous Velociraptors were modified from the first two films to feature a crest of feathers. Since then, it has been noted that Velociraptors were in fact covered in soft, downy feathers.

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Velociraptor: Feathered

Colin Trevorrow, who previously worked on the Sundance Festival hit Safety Not Guaranteed was announced as director of the fourth installment of the franchise earlier this year and  published on Twitter earlier this month: “No feathers. #JP4”.

Which new dinosaur would you like to feature in Jurassic Park 4? Do you think the film should feature the feathered dinosaurs we now know existed? As always, leave a comment in the box below.