There’s just under a year to go before the next chapter to the Jurassic saga hits theaters. As one of the favorite monster movies, the buzz grows louder with every update or sneak peek. The more we hear, the greater our confidence that this may turn out to be the triumph we have all been longing for since 1993, when the first Jurassic Park triggered the cinematic sensation that has thrilled generations of movie-goers and enriched the entertainment industry. The indicated $260 million budget – over $100 million more than Jurassic World – demonstrates the faith of its investors too. It is hardly surprising considering not only the last success but also the cast being assembled to support the conceptual promise of the direction the film is rumored to be taking.
News: Themes and Cast
Two particular words have been repeatedly used to describe it: “darker” and “scarier”. The fact that its prestigious director, J. A. Bayona, is of a mind with Jack Horner, the film’s palaeontology consultant, regarding the worrying relationship between man and animal, as well as the ideas already touched upon, like the ethics of cloning, splicing and the militarisation of creatures that can barely be controlled, are indications as to the possible narratives to be encountered. The title alone, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, recently announced and broadcasted by sources like Digital Spy, is ripe with juicy hints. Whose kingdom, humanity’s or dinosaurs’? If it is the latter, can it be reclaimed? “Nature finds a way,” Dr. Ian Malcolm sagaciously states at the very beginning of this 20-plus-year story. And whose side is she likely to take? Jeff Goldblum is indeed returning to reprise his role, the script adapted by Colin Trevorrow to the actor’s personal input and the original Michael Crichton books. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard will be in the spotlight once more, accompanied by stars like Geraldine Chaplin (A Monster Calls, 2016), James Cromwell (Star Trek: First Contact) and Toby Jones (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, 2014). Lucy, the girl in the official poster whose back we only see as she stares up at the Triceratops bones, remains a mystery in terms of significance or casting choice, but this is only another breadcrumb to follow on the franchise’s exciting trail.
A real-life theme park, Dinosaurs in the Wild, is being set up in the UK, NME reports, scheduled for Birmingham from 24 June to 24 August and then Manchester in October. The digitalised and animatronic adventure through palaeontological history uses, among other features, scripted actors and VR technology that grants a look through the eyes of the animals. The makers of the BBC series, Walking with Dinosaurs (1999), have worked their magic and produced a mesmerizing experience. Toys are a key source of merchandising revenue, Jurassic World sales generating approximately $100 million for Hasbro in 2016. Mattel Inc. has now seized the coveted toy license and is preparing to launch a new line alongside the new film in 2018. According to Jurassic Outpost, board games, vehicles, figures – plain and electronic, human and dinosaur – are some of the prizes to be snagged from store shelves. Video games involving dinosaurs are estimated to amount to over 100 titles so far. Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter Reborn (2015), for example, is the latest in a hunting simulation series of games, developed by Digital Dream Entertainment. Other industries, like online casinos, have joined the dino craze with entertainment of their own, Betway Casino offering Microgaming’s 5-reel Jurassic World video slot game, featuring free spins and bonus rounds all inspired by the franchise. Comic books are thriving in the digital age. 2015 in North America saw sales in this platform make $90 million out of the total $1.03 billion earned from print too. With a Jurassic World comic getting published in 2017 this trend is destined to keep flourishing. But it is not only direct connections to the franchise that result in success. Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur won the 2016 Glyph Award for its endearing illustration of the friendship between an inhuman girl and a dinosaur.
Films have often tried to emulate Stephen Spielberg’s vision. An upcoming addition to be released in 2018 goes by the name The Jurassic Games. Jurassic Park meets The Hunger Games in a virtual reality arena where only one of its desperate players can win. At the very least, it will strengthen the public’s fascination for the planet’s former dominant species. Feast your enthusiasm and imagination on the extensive array of inspirational distractions available and before you know it our favorite monsters will be back on the silver screen. Hail the “fallen”!