From bowing out of one juggernaut sequel to appearing on the shortlist for another, Deadline brings word that Juan Antonio Bayona has emerged as the early frontrunner to helm Jurassic World 2 for Universal.
Indeed, it’s understood that Bayona’s name has cropped up before, but his commitment to Paramount’s World War Z 2 put paid to that plan. Now, following an abrupt departure due to the studio’s accelerated production schedule, the director may be on the verge of replacing flesh-munching zombies with hybrid dinosaurs.
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No word yet on the other directors that have caught Universal’s attention; all we know for sure is that The Impossible‘s Bayona is one of the candidates to pick up the torch from Colin Trevorrow for the 2018 sequel. But while the latter director has been appointed at the helm for Star Wars: Episode IX, Trevorrow remains attached to the budding Jurassic World trilogy, with plans in place for him to pen the script alongside Derek Connolly, the scribe that helped whip the 2015 box office juggernaut into shape.
What that means is the studio is likely weighing up two options: one, lock down a director in the vein of Bayona early for both sequels, or two, ape the Star Wars format and have a different filmmaker come in for each installment. Truth be told, we’re more inclined to side with the latter proposition.
Currently, Universal has tentatively slated Jurassic World 2 for a release on June 22, 2018. Given the extensive visual effects work needed for a CG-laden blockbuster of its ilk, though, you can readily expect the studio to lock down a successor to Colin Trevorrow sooner rather than later.