Universal Pictures is showing off five minutes of Jurassic World: Dominion in IMAX theaters in front of showings of F9: The Fast Saga, and Screen Rant spoke with director Colin Trevorrow about the theater-only preview. The extended preview can be broken up into three parts – the prologue sequence in the Cretaceous period, the present-day scene with the T-Rex, and a three-scene sizzle reel to wrap it all up.
As the final installment in both the Jurassic World trilogy and the Jurassic Park franchise as a whole, there’s a lot riding on the story in Dominion, but tying everything together, while simultaneously making the concluding chapter an exciting adventure, is something Trevorrow is up for.
Throughout the IMAX preview, seven new dinosaur species appear, the famed mosquito makes its return, and audiences get to see where the story picks up four years after Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. But there’s more to it, and the director shared some extra details about what to expect from the film when it releases in 2022.
The thing that surprised me the most about the preview is the scale of the dinosaurs. This time the dinosaurs truly felt larger than life. Was that a specific thing you wanted to go for, and what did you do differently this time around?
Well, a couple things. One, you got to see it in IMAX – I think that probably helped. But I think the particular way that we shot the Cretaceous era – beyond the fact that our technology is advancing everyday. We shot it in a beautiful light that was the absolute, most ideal conditions for shooting the dinosaurs based on everything I’ve learned over the course of seeing the movies, and you obviously can’t have an entire movie take place in the same time of day, in the same conditions. We know dinosaurs look amazing backlit at magic hour with a long lens haze over all of it. It’ll look awesome in the rain at night. So being able to make something that really was a product of everything I’ve discovered over the time of making these movies was what we got to do.
With the Cretaceous period in the prologue sequence, why was it important to start there this time when all of the other movies kind of ignored it, except for the animation sequence in the first film? So why start with that and show that mosquito at the end?
Maybe because we hadn’t done it! That’s kind of the answer, right? It felt to me that if you’re someone who enjoys our films and you love dinosaurs enough, I can’t imagine that seeing the Cretaceous era wouldn’t interest you. And it was something I wanted in the end; I think there’s a self-indulgence in it. When I was a kid, I was a dinosaur nerd who wanted to see that world and now I’m lucky enough to be able to realize it. I went out and just grabbed the opportunity.
In that scene, right before the mosquito, the T-Rex is fighting another dinosaur. We’ve seen the T-Rex have a few duels before; it reminded me of the one with the Spinosaurus in Jurassic Park 3. Was that something that you had in mind in making it?
It probably reminds you because the T-Rex dies. That’s probably it. You know, obviously the T-Rex needed to die in this in order for us to tell the story of how, in that moment, the mosquito bit her and ultimately fell into amber and she was made again. But I wouldn’t want kids to be traumatized by seeing the T-Rex die, so I wanted to make sure that we immediately cut to her in the present day being chased by the cops.
On the timeline, how long after Fallen Kingdom does this film begin? We see the helicopter chasing after the T-Rex and then there’s Battle at Big Rock. So how does all of that fit together?
Everything in my mind has always been pretty much present-day. So Big Rock took place a year or so after Fallen Kingdom in 2019, when it came out, and the T-Rex has just been out in the Sierra Nevada forest where they all escaped to. It’s absolutely massive; it’s a whole section of the state. And so she’s just been living in there; they’ve been struggling to catch her for a very long time. So this is about four years later – it’s when the movie comes out, so 2022.
Can you give me a little context on the sort of sizzle reel that happens at the end of the preview? What are we seeing exactly? I noticed there was one that seemed to be taken from the perspective of a driver in a car.
Yeah, one is of a Gallimimus in a neighborhood. We wanted that footage to essentially be like an iPhone – someone in the front seat of their car. The second is actually from an alternate angle on the event in Battle at Big Rock, where the Allosaurus flips over the camper van they’re all in, but it’s taken by a neighbor, someone at one of the other camper vans watching the dinosaur flip it over. And the third one is the Mososaurus taking down a crab-fishing boat, because if there’s a Mososaurus out there, you probably shouldn’t be hanging giant crab fishing nets out because they’re delicious.
On that note of Battle of Big Rock, the other one you guys have is Camp Cretaceous, which has already tied into the first and second films. Will that also tie into Dominion at some point?
It will, yeah. I’ve been lucky enough to spend a lot of time with the writers of the show and I’ve shared everything from Dominion with them, and I’ve been pretty intimately involved in the seasons and what we’ve been building. So we wanted to make sure that when we look back on it all, that everything is going to weave together.
Aside from Steven Spielberg, you’re the only other person who’s directed two Jurassic films. Was there something that you wanted to do with the first film but weren’t able to, and now you’re doing it here with Dominion?
Yeah, a couple things. One is we wanted to get the dinosaurs off of the island, which we’d been on for four movies, was something we needed the movie to do. I love what J.A. did with that movie and I was really into the idea of them being displaced, and put out into a world they didn’t understand and wasn’t welcoming of them at all. I was really fascinated with the opportunities this movie presented. And also, this movie is much more of a science thriller. We haven’t really been able to talk about genetic power and the danger inherent in it; what these dinosaurs existing on our planet right now really represents and how it all ties into the dangers we face today. So that’s what we got to do, and obviously I got to be able to work with Laura Dern, Sam Neill, and Jeff Goldblum in order to tell that story. It was all a bit of a dream. Can’t believe it happened.
On that, bringing back the original film’s characters, I was wondering if you can give me any details on that? How long they’re in the movie and what the context is of them coming back.
I feel like we’ll want people to come see the movie to see the context of it, but they are in the whole movie. They are major characters and they go on an adventure together, and they collide with our modern characters. It is a celebration of everything that Michael Crichton created, and what Steven created, and what the other directors contributed to this over the years. I really felt like it was an opportunity to bring everything together and, hopefully, clarify why we’ve been telling this story for so long. That’s what it was really all about.
What was perhaps the biggest challenge for that, in concluding not only the Jurassic World trilogy but tying together the entire series as a whole?
Well, the challenge was: I don’t think anyone was going to buy a story of all of these people deciding to go to a place full of dinosaurs together, ‘cause they don’t know that they were in the movies! They need a really good reason. So building a story that would lead to an organic collision of these characters was some black diamond screenwriting. Luckily, Emily Carmichael came in ready to do the real work. She and I – we worked extremely hard and diligently to build what we’ve made here. I’m very proud of what she contributed.
The press release for the preview mentioned there are seven new species in this preview. Are there more than seven in the film overall, and how do you decide which new species to use?
The fact that I get to decide what new species to use in these movies still shocks me that I have that responsibility. It’s the best part of my job that I get to do that. There are seven [in the preview]. Some of the ones that are introduced in this prologue, you do see in Dominion. And there are some major new ones that are only in Dominion. The Giganotosaurus – as you can imagine, I wouldn’t do the audience like that by just showing the Giganotosaurus taking out the T-Rex and never seeing it again. So that’s going to be a major player going forward. It’s a pretty badass dinosaur, that thing.
Is the Giganotosaurus going to have a bigger role in the film?
We’re definitely introducing a major character in the Giganotosaurus, that’s for sure.
A hybrid version of it, perhaps?
No, that’s a real dinosaur. No hybrids in this movie.
We’ve seen a few hybrids so far, including in the animated series. So if there aren’t any in this film, what was the decision to not have another one?
I just felt like we’d done it. We had hybrids in the first two movies and we have them in Camp Cretaceous. I don’t know, it didn’t feel tonally right with this movie. This movie is much more of a science thriller than the others. I really wanted to focus on dinosaurs that really existed. That’s what made me fall in love with this franchise in the first place. And I love there’s a generation that’s super into the hybrids. A lot of young kids who came up watching Jurassic World really love them, and I love that we got to do them. But real dinosaurs are awesome; they don’t need to be hybrids to be awesome.
This is obviously going to be quite emotional for people considering Jurassic Park is one of the most beloved properties in entertainment history. Can we expect anything that kind of pulls on audiences’ heart strings?
I mean, the audience has to tell me that. I hope that the movie is an emotional experience as a movie, not just because we’re seeing these characters that we know and love but what they go through together is emotional.
What are you most excited about with this movie?
You know, for the longest time – this Cretaceous sequence you’re seeing is the thing I was most excited about. So the fact that people get to go see this right now in IMAX is pretty thrilling for me. I’m really fired up about it. And I’m grateful that Universal and everybody were down with doing it, because it’s not just like we’re showing the first five minutes; we’re showing a pretty major piece of what we’re doing. Beyond that, just being able not only to see these characters on-screen again but to be able to really stick the landing with them and understand what they’ve been doing in this world, what they’ve learned, how they’ve changed – all of that I think fans of the franchise will want to come and see. Along with that, just send them on an adventure.
Since this is an IMAX only preview, when will we see a trailer online for everyone?
I don’t know yet, but this is what we’re doing for everyone – hopefully many people will be able to see this as possible. But I promise there will be trailers galore. I just can’t wait for everyone to come and see the movie next year. It’s going to be a blast.
- Jurassic World 3 (2022)Release date: Jun 10, 2022
Xtreme Cast & Character Guide: Where Else You Can See The Actors