Lava flows and dinosaurs

A scene from Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, now on circuit.

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BY BILLY SUTER

WITH all of the wonder, adventure and thrills synonymous with one of the most popular and successful series in cinema history, the newly released Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, now on circuit worldwide, sees the return of favourite characters and dinosaurs… along with new breeds more awe-inspiring and terrifying than ever before.

Three years have whizzed by since theme park and luxury resort Jurassic World was destroyed by dinosaurs out of containment. Isla Nublar now sits abandoned by humans while the surviving dinosaurs fend for themselves in the jungles.

When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event.

Owen is driven to find Blue, his lead raptor, which is still missing in the wild, and Claire has grown a respect for these creatures she now makes her mission.

Arriving on the unstable island as lava begins raining down, their expedition uncovers a conspiracy that could return our entire planet to a perilous order not seen since prehistoric times.

Directed by J.A. Bayona (The Impossible, The Orphanage), Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is written by Jurassic World’s director, Colin Trevorrow, and its co-writer, Derek Connolly. Producers Frank Marshall and Pat Crowley once again partner with Spielberg and Trevorrow in leading the filmmakers for this new installment.

The accomplished group is joined by co-stars James Cromwell (Babe) as Benjamin Lockwood, a wealthy entrepreneur who was Dr John Hammond’s partner in creating Jurassic Park;a nd Justice Smith (The Get Down), as Franklin Webb, Claire’s whip-smart hacker in the Dinosaur Protection Group, who is more comfortable being the “guy in the chair” at home base than in the middle of action.

Then there’s Daniella Pineda (The Detour) as Dr Zia Rodriguez, a genius paleo-veterinarian whose abilities in this archaic sub-specialty have never been tested on live dinosaurs; Rafe Spall (Prometheus) as Eli Mills, Lockwood’s right-hand man who recruits Claire and Owen to bring the dinosaurs to a private reserve; and Ted Levine (Shutter Island) as Wheatley, a tough-as-nails mercenary that Mills puts in charge to run the ground operation at Isla Nublar.

Chris Pratt and creature in Jurassic World: Forgotten Kingdom.

Also here is Toby Jones (the Captain America series) as Eversoll, brought in by Mills to supervise the operations at Lockwood estate after the rescue mission; Geraldine Chaplin (A Monster Calls) as Iris, housekeeper of the estate and keeper of family secrets; and Isabella Sermon, who makes her debut as Lockwood’s infectiously optimistic granddaughter, Maisie, a 10-year-old who has lived at the mansion her entire life..

Series stalwarts BD Wong and Jeff Goldblum reprise their roles as, respectively, D. Henry Wu and Dr Ian Malcolm.

Wu, a corrupt geneticist whose name is synonymous with InGen, is as near-sighted as ever in his pursuit of scientific breakthroughs.  For his part, eccentric mathematician Malcolm first predicted doom for Hammond’s Jurassic Park a quarter of a century prior.

His unparalleled grasp on chaos theory and those who abuse power will prove invaluable… especially as Owen and Claire uncover a most deadly endgame.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was filmed in the United Kingdom and on the Hawaiian islands.

It may seem difficult to believe, but when the filmmakers behind 2015’s Jurassic World began its development, they had no idea that their labour of love would become one of the top-five grossing movies of all time.

For Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow, the relaunch of the series that has captivated him since he was a boy has long been imagined as a trilogy.  Alongside co-writer Derek Connolly, he has taken great pride in bringing the cautionary tales of Michael Crichton and world creation of Steven Spielberg to a delightfully dangerous and unexpected new level.

Once the global press tour wrapped and riveted audiences celebrated this landmark achievement, it was time to take a deep breath… and then get back to work.

“About two weeks after Jurassic World came out, I had been living in Los Angeles with my family for the year and had to drive back to our home in Vermont,” recounts Trevorrow.

“I asked Derek if he would ride with me, so we could use that cross-country trip to talk about where the story could go next.  I had a very basic set of ideas I wanted to present to him – in a place that we could think freely and just get weird with what the future could be.”

Buoyed with confidence at the film’s rip-roaring success and executive producer Steven Spielberg’s confidence in their narrative arc, the pair hit the road to discuss what was next for former raptor trainer Owen, operations manager Claire and the thousands of displaced dinosaurs roaming the land and flying above Isla Nublar.

“This time around, Steven said, ‘Show me what you think this can be, where you think these characters should go and where we should take them,’” shares Trevorrow.  “So we drove to Vermont and, on the way, came up with the story that is Fallen Kingdom.”

While Jurassic World took the park that was only a promise and brought it to awe-striking, terrifying life, Trevorrow knew the next chapter could and should tackle much darker themes.

A standout moment in Jurassic World: Forgotten Kingdom.

The storyteller who first made a splash with the celebrated Safety Not Guaranteed has long been curious by what it means to exist within paradoxical time.

“These dinosaurs were of this Earth 65 million years ago, and now they’re in a place that is completely foreign to them,” he says.  “I thought there was a way we could tell a story that would identify the human angle.  How would you feel if you were brought into a world that you didn’t belong to… just for the satisfaction of others?  That was a realm we hadn’t gone to before, and it was something we knew these movies would benefit from.”

As the writing partners designed this second act, they strategised where they could take the audience.

Through the greediness of investors playing God and park guests throwing caution and cash toward reason, Jurassic World had been unceremoniously obliterated.

The writers knew there was fertile ground to explore off island, and they’d been quietly planting the seeds for years.

“What would be the result of that destruction; what would be the step beyond it?” asks Trevorrow.  “Fortunately, there were a lot of clues we planted in the first movie; in the film itself, on maps and on the website – in places people wouldn’t think to look for hints about the next two movies – there’s information embedded in all of them.”

There will never be a Jurassic film without our star T Rex, if the filmmakers have anything to say about it.

“The T Rex is back,” Trevorrow says.  “We’ve been following this same character since the beginning; she’s the same T Rex that was in Jurassic Park and in Jurassic World.  She is iconic, not just because she’s a T Rex, but because she’s this T Rex.”


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