For the last couple of years, there has been plenty of buzz surrounding a proposed fourth installment of the Jurassic Park franchise. There have been numerous scripts written (some of them found their way to the web) directors being attached to the project, and rumors of franchise veterans returning for the next installment. And who can blame people for spreading these rumors like wildfire? The Jurassic Park films all made their fare share of money. And they were all fun movies. Sure, they are not academy award winning pictures, but there was just something about them. They represented a child’s fantasy come to life: Dinosaurs walking the Earth again. They were exciting and hard to resist. It was just plain cool to see giant dinosaurs rampaging on these secret islands, and especially cool seeing the T-Rex killing in San Diego! So surely there would be an audience for the next installment, should it be made.
There are plenty of places the next film could go. As I watched all 3 of the Jurassic Park films, I found little parts that could set up a good sequel. How about this: In the first film, one of the park employees (played by Wayne Knight) steals some dinosaur embryo’s to sell. If you’ll remember, on the night when things went haywire, Knight’s character was making his escape. But the car got stuck in the mud, and when he went out to take care of it, he was killed by a spitter. The scene ended with the special canister of embryo’s rolling on the ground and being covered in mud. When I first saw that, I said “Oh that’s going to be the sequel idea.” Think about it, the buyer was rich and really wanted the Dino DNA. So maybe he sends a team out to the island to recover the canister or get new embryo’s. Chaos ensues. Or how about the end of the third film? The Pterodactyl flying next to the helicopter over the ocean. What if some Dino’s managed to escape the island? Maybe a pterodactyl picks up a baby carnivore or a Dino egg to bring to its new nest (on the coast on the mainland, maybe South America? Florida?) The Dino grows up terrorizing people but no one could kill it, it becomes an urban legend and some team goes down to investigate it. Remember that the Dino’s found a way to reproduce. “Nature always finds a way” was the line, I believe. So they could work that in, maybe two dino eggs made it to mainland. I guess what I’m saying is that there are all sorts of places they could go with this. Sure, it could end up being B movie quality. But it could also be good with the right pieces in place. That is what I am hoping for.
Well, there was enough information out there to lead us to believe that JP4 was going to happen. Steven Spielberg was involved at one point in time. There were rumors (that were later proven FALSE) that Joe Johnston was going to come back and direct the next installment. And Laura Dern, who played Dr Ellie Sattler in the original and third installment, confirmed that she was contacted by Spielberg. She said that she was told Eliie Sattler would play a major role in the next film, and that she would be in to play the character again. So fans had good reason to be excited. Until the rumored script ideas began leaking onto the web. I won’t dignify these rumors with too much exposure here on Movie Guys, but I will say this: One idea revolved around a group of genetically modified soldiers cross breeding with dinosaurs, another had the military attempting to control the dinosaurs to use them for military purposes. I shudder to think of that. I hope it really was nothing but rumor. All that said, I still wanted to see a fourth Jurassic Park. I loved seeing the dinosaurs roaming the screen. I’ve always loved dinosaurs, whenever the Discovery channel or TLC airs a program with animated re-enactments of Dino life, I watch. So Jurassic Park was a dream come to life for me. I’d see another JP film no matter how bad I heard it was. Because Dinosaurs are just plain bad ass!
Well, it appears I won’t be getting to see another one. At least, not for a while. Steven Spielberg’s long time producing partner Kathleen Kennedy spoke briefly at the press junket for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button about the long rumored film. And she basically shot down any chance of seeing this movie any time soon.
“No… I don’t know. You know, when Crichton passed away, I sorta felt maybe that’s it. Maybe that’s a sign that we don’t mess with it.”
I will say that out of respect to Michael Crichton, any attempts to make another film should be put on hold. But don’t scrap the project all together. In fact, I can’t think of a better way for Hollywood to honor Michael Crichton’s memory than to make a GOOD Jurassic Park film. Obviously, Jurassic Park had a special place in Crichton’s heart. It was the first novel that he wrote an outright sequel to (which was used for the next JP film, Jurassic Park: Lost World ) But I guess, since it is so hard for someone to make a GOOD sequel to a classic film, maybe they should just scrap the project.
But maybe there is hope. In the Jurassic Park movies, dinosaurs were brought back to life long after the species was thought dead. Maybe the franchise can be brought back, long after we think it is dead…