As movie-going audiences brace themselves for a return to Isla Nubar on June 12th, director Colin Trevorrow has been discussing the highly anticipated franchise re-launch with Yahoo. Amid a surge of reboots and cohesive movie universes, fans are more keen than ever to understand exactly where new chapters of beloved stories fit in with the overall narrative, and Trevorrow has confirmed his intention to make Jurassic World a direct sequel to the very first movie in that franchise – 1993’s Jurassic Park.
Though Jurassic World does not ignore the movies that followed – 1997’s The Lost World: Jurassic Park and 2001’s Jurassic Park III – it does essentially change their status from sequels to spin-offs, since they both take place on Isla Sorna, or ‘Site B’. Trevorrow’s film is the first to take us back to the original park which, 20 years on, has been re-developed and re-opened as a world-class tourist destination, overseen by one Claire Dearing – played by Bryce Dallas Howard.
While the main thrust of the movie is to take the original ambition and arrogance of John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) in Jurassic Park and build on it – with scientists striving to create bigger, scarier dinosaurs to please the crowds – Trevorrow and his screenwriting collaborator Derek Connolly have carefully woven lots of call-backs to the original film into their new story, to strengthen those narrative links. Trevorrow explained the intention to Yahoo.
“It’s the difference between going back to your old elementary school and walking the halls, versus going back and seeing your teacher, who is now 20 years older. I think the more sentimental feeling is when you’re alone walking the halls and having memories. That was what I wanted to bring back.”
Legendary producer Frank Marshall expanded upon the importance of that direct link to the first film.
“It was Colin’s pitch that we needed to go back to what we did in the first movie and enter the [Jurassic Park] park in wonderment and joy and happiness, delivering what [Hammond’s] original dream was. And then it can go wrong.”
In this respect, Jurassic World fits right in with the current trend in new films that play on nostalgia – including Star Wars: The Force Awakens – which essentially sees filmmakers who were influenced by the original movie in their formative years take up the storytelling mantle for the franchise. Whether or not the result is a worthy sequel will be revealed when Jurassic World is released on June 12th.