Back in 2015, Jurassic World came out of nowhere as one of the highest grossing movies of all time. It was the first movie in history to gross $500 million worldwide in its opening weekend and it went on to gross over $1.6 billion at the worldwide box office, damn near toppling Titanic as the longstanding second highest grossing film ever made. Later that year, Star Wars: The Force Awakens would come along to quickly overtake Jurassic World, but not by an awful lot. It had been over a decade since we had a Jurassic Park movie and over two decades since we had a good one. Plus, Chris Pratt was riding on the coattails of his Guardians of the Galaxy success from a few months previous. Everything came together perfectly. And let’s face it, dinosaurs sell. Dinosaurs are awesome. They’re huge, terrifying monsters that used to actually walk the Earth. That’s amazing! So, Jurassic World did amazing money at the box office and the studio couldn’t greenlight a sequel quick enough. It’s taken them a few years to get it right, but it’s finally here, coming to theaters this June. In the meantime, here’s 10 reasons to get excited about it!
10. The stakes are high
The stakes in the story of Fallen Kingdom are ridiculous. In the first one, the stakes were pretty high. There were a bunch of guests staying at the park when the dinosaurs turned on them and everyone’s lives were suddenly at risk. It raised moral issues as well, thematically, since Jurassic Park/World is basically just a zoo for dinosaurs being kept in captivity who get mad enough that they bust out and get their revenge on the bosses. This is exactly what the animals at the zoo or the wildlife at SeaWorld wish they could do. But on the whole, the conflict of the story was contained to the island. In the sequel, the threat is that the dinosaurs could get off the island and back to the mainland, where they’ll attack everyone as a bunch of unstoppable beasts and kill and kill until they rule the Earth once again. Chris Pratt heads back to Isla Nublar to prevent that from happening, so the external conflict will be more or less the same as the first one – humans versus dinosaurs on a remote island. But there’s also the added complication of their discovery that Isla Nublar has actually been an active volcano this whole time and it’s about to erupt. So, there’s that.
9. It’s important for a larger story
It’s fair to say that Jurassic World was a self-contained story that didn’t necessarily need a sequel. Obviously we all want more of it and the studio would never let such a profitable franchise die and we’ll never get tired of watching the dino carnage that takes place in these movies. But if they didn’t make a sequel, there wouldn’t necessarily be any loose ends that haven’t been tied up or story strands that haven’t reached a conclusion. However, that’s all about to change with this one. This one isn’t going to be a self-contained story. It’ll set things up and build worlds and storylines and character arcs that won’t be paid off for years. This is the start of a new era in the Jurassic movie franchise. Colin Trevorrow, director of the first Jurassic World movie and co-writer of this one, said of the motivations with the sequel, “We wanted to create something that would be a little bit less arbitrary and episodic, and something that could potentially arc into a series that would feel like a complete story.” This isn’t another episode of the series in the way that Jurassic World was – it’s a chapter in a larger story, and that’s exciting.
8. It’ll address the big issues
The movie’s co-writer (who also directed the first one and laid the groundwork for the Jurassic World trilogy) Colin Trevorrow has described the new movie as “a parable of the treatment animals receive today: the abuse, medical experimentation, pets, having wild animals in zoos like prisons, the use the military has made of them, animals as weapons.” That’s great, right? It’s not just a few hundred million dollars of a movie studio’s money being pumped into CGI dinosaurs and explosions and renting out Pinewood Studios. I mean, it is that, which is fine, because that makes awesome movies. But it’s also an allegory about the unfair treatment of animals in the world. Under the guise of a Hollywood blockbuster, this movie will address some really deep ethical and philosophical concepts. According to Trevorrow, the whole story of Fallen Kingdom was inspired by a line spoken by Dr. Alan Grant in the first Jurassic Park movie: “Dinosaurs and man, two species separated by 65 million years of evolution, have suddenly been thrown back into the mix together. How can we possibly have the slightest idea of what to expect?” If you’re going to answer that question, you’ll have to go pretty deep with your movie.
7. Everything is new
They’re aiming for something that feels totally fresh and new with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Every one of these movies beforehand has revolved around people going to a dinosaur theme park and getting chased around by dinosaurs until they win in the end. The makers of Fallen Kingdom have decided that we’ve had enough movies with that same premise and they want to do something a little different with it. Franchise godfather Colin Trevorrow believes in the risk-taking talents of his newly chosen director J.A. Bayona: “We’re moving it into new territory. J.A. Bayona is an incredible director and I know he’ll push the boundaries of what a Jurassic movie is. I think it’s important that we take risks. A franchise must evolve or perish.” So, they’ve chosen to evolve. He had previously hinted that this franchise “isn’t always going to be limited to theme parks” and said that it won’t be about “a bunch of dinosaurs chasing people on an island,” because “that’ll get old real fast.” Now, it does seem from the trailers that it is just about a bunch of dinosaurs chasing people on an island. But Trevorrow wouldn’t lie. He couldn’t get away with it! We’re in for something we’ve never seen before, and that’s exciting.
6. Jeff Goldblum is back!
Jeff Goldblum has been on a role recently. He was a huge star in the ‘90s, and then he sort of faded away, but now, he’s back with a vengeance. He had a great turn as the wonderfully eccentric Grandmaster character in Thor: Ragnarok, and he returned to one of his other iconic roles from the ‘90s a few years ago with the long belated Independence Day sequel Resurgence. This year, he’ll be doing the same thing in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. The man who immortalized the line, “Life finds a way,” will be returning to the franchise in his role as chaos theory expert Dr. Ian Malcolm. According to both Goldblum and director J.A. Bayona, it will just be a small part, maybe even as small as a cameo appearance. Goldblum said, “It’s small…who knows, they may cut me out entirely! But if I stay in, I’ll be a sprig of parsley or a little garnish, hopefully with some impact!” Bayona added, “He’s more like a cameo – he doesn’t have a major role in the action, but it’s definitely a very meaningful one in terms of the story.” Either way, Jeff Goldblum is back in a Jurassic Park movie and that’s exciting! It’ll be interesting to see how he feels about the park finally being fictional and then failing as the dinosaurs turned on everyone, yet again, in his signature sarcastic style. He might do one of those slow hand claps. See, just thinking about what this appearance will be is tantalizing!
5. It’ll be scarier
Jurassic World was pretty darn scary. Remember when the security guys go after the Indominus Rex in the jungle and they all get killed and that one guy gets dragged away? It was terrifying! But according to the filmmakers behind Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the sequel will be even scarier. That’s why the original movie’s director Colin Trevorrow wanted J.A. Bayona to take over from him, because Bayona has experience doing horror movies. Proper hardcore horror movies. He did that chilling Spanish horror movie The Orphanage, which was the one that made Trevorrow seek out the director’s services. So, this is not just a dinosaur adventure movie. It’s a horror movie that happens to be about dinosaurs and adventures. Trevorrow has said that Fallen Kingdom was built as a horror film from the ground up. “It’s just the way it’s designed,” he said. “It’s the way the story plays out. I knew I wanted Bayona to direct it long before anyone ever heard that it was a possibility, so the whole thing was just built around his skillset.” Bayona also directed the disaster movie The Impossible, and the whole “built around his skillset” extends to that, too. Trevorrow describes Fallen Kingdom with this elevator pitch: “The Impossible meets The Orphanage with dinosaurs.” So, it’s a disaster movie crossed with a horror movie crossed with a dinosaur adventure movie. Awesome!
4. Life finds a way
Chris Pratt shared the first poster for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom on Instagram with the caption, “We are 80 days into filming!! I can’t tell you much except…This movie is gonna be freakin’ awesome! Who’s excited?” We are, Chris! We are! Okay, let’s analyze. For starters, eighty days is a long, long shoot. Even the biggest studio movies usually only take half that to shoot. But the length of the shoot is always based on how complex the script is and how elaborate the set pieces and the scenes are and the size of the spectacle of it. So, basically, if an 80-day shoot is what we have to go by, then we’re in for one hell of a movie. But anyway, let’s focus on the poster. It’s a simple poster, revealing nothing more than the title and that familiar logo, but there are some important subtle things at play here. For example, the fiery embers darting across the page were early hints at the plot points of the impending volcanic eruption. And there’s also that tagline: “Life finds a way.” That’s a reference to the Ian Malcolm quote from the first movie, where he explained chaos theory to everyone and sounded like a nut, but turned out to be absolutely right. Enticing!
3. Chris Pratt makes everything amazing
In just a couple of short years, Chris Pratt went from being the pudgy dope on Parks and Recreation to being a highly sought-after sexy A-list movie star. But he’s always been the same guy at heart – the fun-loving, really likable, relatable, funny, natural, charming guy. He makes everything he’s in really great. That’s partly due to the fact that he picks great scripts to be in. Guardians of the Galaxy and its sequel are game-changing, darkly comic, slyly witty superhero movies with a lot to love in them and they shaped the future of the MCU from 2014 onwards. The Lego Movie is a kids’ animated film that appeals to audiences of all ages and is actually genuinely good. And, of course, there’s Jurassic World, which was awesome (and its sequel probably will be, too). So, the movies he’s in are generally quite amazing – he just makes them more amazing with his charm and his humor. And even the movies he’s in that are mediocre, like the multicultural remake of The Magnificent Seven or that sci-fi romance Passengers where he starred alongside Jennifer Lawrence, he makes them at least watchable. So, long story short, the mere mention of Chris Pratt is enough of a reason to get excited about an upcoming movie.
2. It’ll be darker
Jurassic World was a fun, flashy adventure movie with big spectacles and set pieces. It had good humor and, despite some scares and thrills, it was relatively lighthearted. It was so breezy and fun that the one dark moment – the part where the tourist rep gets picked up by a pterodactyl and then tossed into the water tank where she’s devoured by an aquatic prehistoric shark – stood out as being really, really dark to the point where there was a big controversy and articles were written about it and the filmmakers were asked to explain themselves. You won’t be getting any of that with Fallen Kingdom – because the whole thing will be that dark. That’s the plan, anyway. Director J.A. Bayona has compared the sequel to The Empire Strikes Back and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, which were darker than their first ones. He said, “It will be darker and scarier than the previous film. Obviously when you have Chris Pratt, it will also be very funny. But it will be darker. It is a second step in a trilogy, and the second step is always dark as in The Empire Strikes Back or The Wrath of Khan, which are the examples you always get.”
Dinosaurs will never fail to be cool. It’s always been the main draw of the Jurassic Park franchise and why people have kept coming back to see the movies again and again for more than two decades now. And since that’s the main appeal of the films and the studio and the filmmakers recognize that, there’s going to be a ton of dinosaurs in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. If the trailer is anything to go by, the movie will have dinosaurs coming out of its ass! According to reports and what we see in the trailers and the Lego sets and what have you, the movie will feature the following awesome dinosaurs: Indoraptor, Baryonyx, Dilophosaurus, Carnotaurus, Mosasaurus, Velociraptor, Allosaurus, Pachyrhinosaurus, Compsognathus, Edmontosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex (of course), Apatosaurus, Stygimoloch, Brachiosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Metriacanthosaurus, Triceratops, Pteranodon, Gallimimus, Stegosaurus, Protoceratops – well, you get the picture. It’s lots of them. Dinosaurs are huge, menacing, terrifying beasts that roar and smash things up and claw the hell out of things and what makes all of this even cooler and more interesting is the fact that they used to actually walk the Earth! These aren’t just movie monsters – these are real life monsters that used to roam the very land you’re standing on (or sitting on). That’s the number one reason to get excited about Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.