In the original Jurassic Park film, Jeff Goldblum’s Ian Malcom has a saying that can mean both the unquantifiable endurance of existence and the ultimate inability of man to manipulate the order of the natural world. In short: “Life finds a way.”
During the course of the movie, this verbal totem can sometimes mean cute baby dinosaurs, and their even cuter baby dinosaur tracks, and other times it means those dinosaurs, now full grown, are ripping out your jugular, your stomach — and you are alive when they start to eat you. During the course of last weekend’s San Diego Comic Con (and the week leading up to it), Stephen Spielberg and Captain America: The First Avenger director Joe Johnston (who also directed Jurassic Park III) revealed that there is, still, indeed, a possible Jurassic Park IV in the works. Spielberg, director of the first and second installments (and producer of the third), who previously hinted that he has a writer in mind, noted that it would likely not be made for 2-3 years, which, at this point, probably translates as “until some obviously better project comes along.” Johnston, for his part, mentioned that the film would most likely not be a reboot, but would use elements from the first three movies to make a brand new trilogy. In this instance, the “life” Ian Malcolm discussed is a metaphorical mama velociraptor, and she… remembers.
Another Ian Malcolm quote also comes to mind when pondering this news, which you can read in the header, but we may as well have some fun with this, right? Since both directors were basically mum about a plot, other than it being tied to the originals in some nebulous fashion, the movie could practically be about anything. Well, anything involving dinosaurs who crave manflesh. So, in the spirit of fun, here are the best ideas I could come up with for a new Jurassic Park (translation: ideas that would actually get me to a theater on opening weekend and pay my occasionally-hard-earned cash for a third unnecessary sequel to my favorite movie of all time, that I would otherwise, likely, ignore as though I have the visual acuity of a T-Rex).
Interestingly enough, Joseph Mazzello has been working more and more (and still continuously with Spielberg) in the past couple years, and now Deadline is reporting that he has joined the growing cast of G.I. Joe: Cobra Strikes. So, this first movie pitch may not be entirely groundless. The others, though, are pure malarkey.
Jurassic Park IV: The New Generation
This tale begins 20 years after the first movie, with the recently, finally, deceased John Hammond bequeathing all of his estate and holdings to his adult grandkids, Tim and Lex Murphy. The two siblings haven’t spoken in years due to a fallout regarding how each dealt with their experiences on Isla Nublar. Lex did her best to move past her terrifying ordeal, all but pretending she was never that girl from that island, and barreled full steam ahead into the future of computers and technology — she is now the lead designer of her own video game studio. Tim, however, followed in the footsteps of his childhood hero, Alan Grant, and became the world’s foremost paleontoligist, using his past experiences to devise groundbreaking new theories, he also lived amongst the surviving dinosaurs on Isla Sorna — filming the survivalist excursion for his Discovery Channel reality show, “Do You Think He Saurus?”
When the siblings discover that their grandfather might have died by nefarious means, and that he had even grander plans hidden away on Nublar, they try to settle their differences and discover the truth by returning to the island that made them who they are. The island that nearly ruined their lives. Naturally, when they reach Isla Nublar for the second time, they are shocked to find it is far less uninhabited than anyone realized.
Jurassic Park IV: Euro Trip
The easiest way to make a new trilogy would be to
clone copy what has come before, using the same script and same characters, same plot points, etc., from Jurassic Park but transporting all the dinosaurian action to the European theater, ala Euro Disney (or, Euro Itchy & Scratchy Land*). This time John Hammond is Italian real estate tycoon Giovanni Giordano, played by the great Giancarlo Giannini, who convinces Cambridge evolutionary biology professor Alana Gray, and her research assistant/doctoral student Ellis Saunders, to test ride a new amusement park that he says is, how you say, right up their alley. Rachel Weisz and, current Doctor Who, Matt Smith star as Alana and Ellis, respectively, while Vincent Cassel co-stars as leather-clad Iain Lancome, reporter/photographer for La Recherche.
The sequels, The New Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park VI, would also naturally hew close to their original counterparts, as well. This means Cassel would return and star in the next sequel (maybe with Monica Bellucci in the Julianne Moore role?), while Weisz would have to wait to return for the sixth, with Matt Smith only making a small cameo. Yeah, okay, maybe we should see how the initial Eurotrip works out first, eh?
Jurassic Park IV: Saving Tyrannosaurus Rex
My final entry combines two of Spielberg’s greatest loves, World War II and dinosaurs (obviously), as we track the story of fictional SS geneticist, Duncan Schneider (played by Michael Fassbender). Herr Schneider, never a Nazi at heart, defects from Germany upon discovering that his mentor, Josef Mengele (Christoph Waltz, reuniting with his Inglourious Basterds co-star), has devised a method for reverse engineering extinct species from their descendants’ genes. For dinosaurs, Mengele is the first person in history to make the connection to modern birds, and stumbles upon dino DNA with Schneider’s help. Naturally, Mengele, the Nazis, and Hitler plan on using dinosaurs on the battlefield, harnessing their sheer physical power to inflict severe damage to Allied troops — not to mention the psychological warfare at hand, because Third Reich weaponized dinosaurs would look insanely cool (and apparently I am not the first person to think this). Schneider and his new allies, both British and American scientists and soldiers, race against time to thwart (the unaffiliated) Dino D-Day and prevent the alteration of history as we know it.
This movie would also have the creation of the first atom bomb as a subplot, being the Americans’ last ditch effort to end the dinosaur threat before Germany can utilize them on a mass scale. Not only is that a fun twist on real world events, but it would also provide even more tension for both Fassbender’s team and the on-the-edge-of-their-seats audience members.
Then again, they (or, anyone, really) could always just adapt “Dino Riders” and make the greatest worst film of all time.
It is the most likely evolution of the genre, after all. But no matter what the next Jurassic Park movie entails, if it entails at all, as long as they put John Williams’ score to some use, it can’t be all bad. And I write that as the closing credits of the first movie (which I watched while writing this) begin, and the music swells to bursting. Instant karma, that is.
* For some reason, I couldn’t find a clip of the “Euro Itchy and Scratchy Land” moment. Le sigh.
Rob Payne also writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force, co-hosts the internet radio show We’re Not Fanboys, and can poison tar can spit on his face on the Twitter @RobOfWar. He stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as he could, and before he even knew what he had, he patented it and packaged it and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now he’s selling it. He’s selling it!
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