Jurassic Park is a film series that many assumed had long since been extinct. The first film is a bona-fide classic, and still one of the best films in Steven Spielberg‘s impressive pantheon of movies, as well as a landmark progression in special effects. The sequel, Jurassic Park: The Lost World was less successful critically, though massively profitable, so naturally a third movie was made, this time without a subtitle as there was no corresponding Michael Crichton book to base it on. Jurassic Park III came much later and wasn’t much of a hit, resulting in the franchise going dormant for the last twelve years.
During that time however, much like another Spielberg franchise,(cough, Indiana Jones, cough) there have been a lot of talks over the past decade of bringing the dinosaurs back to the big screen (in this case actual dinosaurs instead of Harrison Ford). Though the subject matter has long been extinct, dinosaurs are never going to go completely out of fashion, so a new Jurassic Park movie was always going to be on the cards. However, they’ve spent this whole time having many scripts written and subsequently not feeling strong enough about the final result. It’s difficult to create a story in a world that has already told it’s stories, but such is the nature of the Hollywood machine that somebody would eventually spit something passable out.
This year, the original, incredible Jurassic Park is getting a 3D re-release in theatres, as well as an IMAX retrofit. While it is definitely pretty exciting to be given the opportunity to see Jurassic Park in cinemas again – watching it in poorly implemented 3D is not the answer. This move, aside from for money will hopefully reinvigorate the buzz around the Jurassic Park franchise, so that audiences can become excited for Jurassic Park IV, which has been scheduled to reach us in June 2014.
Even though it has been 12 years since the last Jurassic Park film, this announced release date is incredibly ambitious considering that they hope to release the fourth film in a year and a half when they don’t even have a director, a script, a cast or any kind of synopsis. In the new age of digital megabucks filmmaking it’s certainly possible to crank a film out in that time, though the results are often more negative than one would hope.
Personally, I’m open to another Jurassic Park film, though I hope they spend a lot of time ensuring that they get a strong story in place, and aren’t just making it for the sake of it, much like Spielberg’s unnecessary Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, which upset a lot of long-time fans of the series and did no favours for anyone’s careers. Let’s not nuke the fridge again guys.
I remember about six years ago when Jurassic Park IV was proposed before. I read the script they were originally going to go into production with before it all (thankfully) fell apart. I’ll just say that I sincerely hope none of the elements of the old leaked Jurassic Park IV script make it into this iteration of the production. That old script reeked of desperation and creative bankruptcy, and frankly – sheer fucking lunacy. Here’s a bullet point rundown of the plot points:
Dinosaurs have officially made it to the mainland and bred uncontrollably, wiping out large amounts of the human population. Survivors are in walled cities and advanced military bases, while the dinosaurs rage around the landscape, consuming everything in their path.
Due to their constant interactions with humans and our modern weapons, they have learnt to evolve, with the smarter, smaller dinosaurs even learning to wield human weapons in primitive forms so that they can defend themselves.
Humanity is desperate, so a top mercenary is sent to the original Jurassic Park island to obtain all of the dinosaur DNA data. However, all of the facilities have been irreparably damaged by dinosaur rampages, nature and time. So, instead he must find the original shaving foam can that the trusty fat hacker dropped into the stream after being killed in the first film. This shaving foam can contains all of the information of the dinosaur DNA. Yes folks, that shaving foam can is apparently not only still intact, but they know EXACTLY where it is. How? Why? My head hurts…
Super mercenary/best soldier in the world finds the shaving foam can, somehow, still intact, in a relatively short amount of time. Needle in a haystack it ain’t.
He is then subsequently attacked from underground by GIANT….burrowing spiders. Oh. He is airlifted to safety. Ok then.
Scientists then take the DNA from the shaving foam can and use it to create human dinosaur hybrids that can help fight back. Even going so far as having our super fucking awesome main mercenary teach a squad of velociraptor-human hybrids how to use firearms and wear SWAT armour. Yes, you read that right. You literally couldn’t make this shit up.
As you can see, it’s a good thing that, that film never saw the light of day, but the fact that it was entertained as a genuine solution, even for a brief few month period is a terrifying prospect for the potential quality of a future instalment in the Jurassic Park series. Yes, we get it, you want money, but come on guys! That’s not just nuking the fridge, that’s launching it into the stratosphere, having it burn up in the atmosphere, come crashing down to earth and have our protagonist casually walk out of it with a fully made sandwich.
Jurassic Park IV is set for release on June 13 2014 and will be shot in 3D (naturally). Steven Spielberg and Frank Marshall (The Bourne Trilogy, The Sixth Sense, War Horse) are producing, with Joe Johnston (director of Jurassic Park III and Captain America: The First Avenger) rumoured to be taking the director’s chair again. No word on script, though we are promised that it will take the series in an “entirely new direction” (which means don’t expect to see Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern et al appear). Obviously the film will have a relation to the history of the series, though assuredly it will be somewhat tangible. Let’s hope entirely new direction doesn’t involve dinosaur SWAT teams. Start praying to your deities folks.