The one true mark of success in Hollywood is money, and to that end Jurassic World Dominion was a massive success. However, while the general consensus as to its quality was, let’s say, much less successful, apparently some of the choices made leading to that were made in service of the future of the franchise.
No, that doesn’t make much sense, but it’s coming from a person who would know. Colin Trevorrow, the film’s co-writer and director, explained in an interview with Empire that the unfathomable decision to not make the core story of the film about dinosaurs was his way to expand the franchise so that other filmmakers could make more Jurassic films in the future.
“The previous five films are plots about dinosaurs,” Trevorrow said in an factual statement. “This one is a story about characters in a world in which they coexist with dinosaurs. For the franchise to be able to move forward—because it’s inherently unfranchisable, there probably should have only been one Jurassic Park—but if we’re gonna do it, how can I allow them to tell stories in a world in which dinosaurs exist, as opposed to, here’s another reason why we’re going to an island?”
That quote is like the Zapruder film of movie interview quotes so let’s break it down. First of all, Trevorrow basically admits that every single Jurassic film after the original was just a remake of the original in some way, and that maybe those movies shouldn’t have existed. Having gone through the entire series before seeing Dominion, I don’t think he’s entirely right—a few of the films do try things in different, fun ways—but it’s an interesting point.
Next, when Trevorrow says, “This one is story about characters in a world in which they coexist with dinosaurs,” he’s basically saying the movie isn’t about dinosaurs. Which, again, is accurate. The movie is about locusts. And the larger implication here, that the Jurassic franchise needed to evolve, is also a good one. The bad idea was choosing to do it in a film that comes after five movies that are about dinosaurs. Evolve it in the seventh movie. Finish this series out strong. Jurassic World Dominion does not do that.
But apparently, there’s a reason for that too. In the same interview, Trevorrow says that he never though of his film as the “conclusion of the Jurassic saga” which it was sold as. In fact, he didn’t know until he’d already finished. “I never knew that this was the ending of the franchise until I saw the marketing,” Trevorrow said. “Those guys are brilliant at what they do, but for me I think it might have been clearer if they’d said, ‘The end of an era’, as opposed to all of it. Because regardless of the cynical approach—of course they’re gonna want to make more money, which is what Jurassic World was about—a new dinosaur fan is born every day. Kids deserve these movies, and young filmmakers grow up on these stories—much like Peter Pan and The Wizard Of Oz and worlds we’ve returned to constantly.”
But then why unite the new characters with the original characters? Plus you’re the third film in a trilogy, and sixth in a franchise. We’re not sure we believe that Trevorrow didn’t know his film was a culmination, but the reset of the point stands. The Jurassic franchise is likely to continue no matter what (possibly with new characters like DeWanda Wise’s Kayla Watts and Mamoudou Athie’s Ramsay Cole, according to Trevorrow), and maybe this film walked so those could fly. But we’ll believe it when we see it.
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