Do you hear the sound of something ominously massive stomping towards you? That's the sound of Jurassic World threequel, Jurassic World: Dominion, on a collision course with the big screen.
In the wake of the groundbreaking Jurassic Park series and two blockbuster Jurassic World movies, Dominion is set to resolve the spectacular saga. Scroll down to find out more.
It concludes the Jurassic World saga
In 2015's Jurassic World, the titular dinosaur theme park had been open for several years. However, once the dangerous hybrid the Indominus Rex escaped, the operation promptly fell apart at the seams. With the park closed again, the island of Isla Nublar returned to nature as the mighty T-Rex reclaimed her throne. In 2018's Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, a rescue operation was launched to rescue the dinosaurs from Isla Nublar, after it was discovered the area was harbouring an active volcano.
However, this expedition was merely a ruse to transport dinos off the island and ship them back to the USA, where they could be sold to the highest bidder. A brand new 'Indoraptor' had been bred for use as a weapon, and was about to be sold itself. But following a catastrophic breakout, the Indoraptor was killed and the remaining creatures escaped to run amok across America.
Enter Jurassic World: Dominion...
Colin Trevorrow returns to the director's chair
Having vacated the position on Fallen Kingdom (that film was helmed by The Impossible's J.A. Bayona), Trevorrow is back to take charge. Although Trevorrow usually shares the screenplay credit with regular collaborator Derek Connelly, this time, Pacific Rim: Uprising writer Emily Carmichael is onboard. As before, Trevorrow also acts as executive producer with Steven Spielberg, whose pioneering Jurassic Park kicked all of this off.
Trevorrow has said that Dominion will focus on the dinosaurs that were sold prior to the Indoraptor's reveal in Fallen Kingdom. This means a world in which more and more people have become attuned to the idea of breeding dinosaurs – previously, it was InGen scientist Henry Wu (B.D. Wong, who returns in Dominion) who held sway over this area.
In addition, Trevorrow says the movie won't be occupied by scenes of America overrun with giant lizards. Although the final shot Fallen Kingdom leaned towards such a thing ('hero' raptor Blue looking out over a recognisable landscape), Trevorrow wants things to be relatively more matter-of-fact.
He explained that he wants a situation where "a dinosaur might run out in front of your car on a foggy backroad, or invade your campground looking for food. A world where dinosaur interaction is unlikely but possible—the same way we watch out for bears or sharks. We hunt animals, we traffic them, we herd them, we breed them, we invade their territory and pay the price, but we don't go to war with them".
The film also purports to resolve the head-scratching reveal at the end of Fallen Kingdom, where young girl Maisie (Isabella Sermon) was revealed to be a clone, and therefore had a kinship with the dinosaurs. (She's the one who let them escape at the end of the movie.)
In Jurassic World, the irony was that people weren't that impressed with dinosaurs anymore. In Dominion, Trevorrow says the philosophy is to right that wrong.
Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard return as Owen and Claire
Introduced as a bickering former couple in Jurassic World, Owen and Claire have subsequently been through a lot together. The former trained the raptors in the Isla Nublar Jurassic World complex, eventually forming a bond with the aforementioned Blue. Claire, meanwhile, was the target-driven overseer of the park whose job went to hell in a handcart once the dinosaurs escaped.
In Fallen Kingdom, their roles were reversed: it was Claire who sought to rescue the creatures from the island that was about to explode. Owen, however, was cagey, and keener to let nature take its course. Naturally, he ended up accompanying Claire and disaster ensued.
Pratt and Howard's chippy chemistry has been an enjoyable grounding element amidst all the roaring dino action. And they're set to reprise their roles in Dominion, which Howard says will be pretty spectacular.
In a 2018 interview with Cinemablend, Howard said she wanted to make a movie that will "blow your mind in terms of being like, 'Whoa, this is where this technology can go. This is what the world could really turn into if this technology fell into the wrong hands.' So basically seeing a world with dinosaurs everywhere".
Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum are back
Nostalgics, rejoice: the original Jurassic Park trio are assembling to once again take on the dinosaurs. Sam Neill's Dr. Alan Grant will make his first appearance since 2001's Jurassic Park III, as will Laura Dern's Dr. Ellie Sattler. (Dern's recent Oscar win for Marriage Story is sure to give Dominion a prestigious boost.)
And returning from his unforgivably brief appearance in Fallen Kingdom is Jeff Goldblum's chaotitician Dr. Ian Malcolm. He has been the moral compass throughout the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World movies, sagely warning of the consequences of breeding dinosaurs. At the end of Fallen Kingdom, during Malcolm's congressional testimony, his worst nightmares were confirmed: "Welcome to Jurassic World."
Neill has remained cagey about the reasons for Grant's return in Dominion: "That’s a good question. I can’t give anything away, but a real-life dinosaur is a compelling thing to someone who has devoted his life to them." Echoing Ian Malcolm's words from The Lost World, Neill adds: "There will be screaming. We know this."
A significant Jurassic Park face also returns
No, we're not talking about B.D. Wong's nefarious Henry Wu. We're instead referring to Dr. Lewis Dodgson, who appeared way back at the start in Jurassic Park. He was the person who had an agreement with treacherous employee Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight) to ship dinosaur embryos off Isla Nublar. The mode of extraction: a shaving cream can with a hidden compartment. Of course, it didn't work out for Nedry: he was violently killed by a spitting dilophosaurus and the embryos were lost.
In Michael Crichton's original Jurassic Park novel, it was established that Dodgson worked for Biosyn, the rival organisation to that of John Hammond. The character didn't appear in 1997 movie sequel The Lost World, with villainous duties instead passed to Hammond's nephew Ludlow (Arliss Howard). It's not yet clear how or why Dodgson is returning in Dominion, but he is being played by a different actor: The Amazing Spider-Man's Campbell Scott, who replaces Cameron Thor.
Filming has recently resumed in the UK
Like so many Hollywood productions in 2020, Dominion has fallen foul of the COVID-19 pandemic. The movie began shooting in February in Canada, before transferring to the UK. Like predecessor Fallen Kingdom, the movie is making use of the famed Pinewood Studios, in particular, the vast 007 Stage that was first developed for 1977 Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me.
Distributor Universal Studios has recently announced that production has restarted. The cast and crew are adhering to strict safety protocols and hygiene measures, making Dominion one of the first big-budget movies to get back on its feet. Many others, like Matt Reeves' The Batman and Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible 7, are aiming to go the same way.
It's due for release in 2021
Jurassic World: Dominion stomps on to the big screen, pandemic conditions permitting, on 11th June 2021. Let us know @Cineworld if it's on your must-see list.