Jurassic World Dominion director Colin Trevorrow explains how the blockbuster film sets up the franchise’s future. The dinosaur action movie is the sixth and the final film in the long-running series that began with Jurassic Park in 1993. Although Jurassic World Dominion was not well-received by critics, ranking as the lowest-rated film of the franchise on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie proved to be a massive box office success, garnering over $1 billion worldwide. It is the second-highest grossing film of the year behind Top Gun: Maverick‘s $1.4 billion haul.
In the lead-up to Jurassic World Dominion‘s release, it was generally assumed that it would be the final installment in the dinosaur franchise. The marketing, plus the presence of legacy stars Laura Dern, Sam Neill, and Jeff Goldblum, all hinted at the end of an era. In January, franchise producer Frank Marshall acknowledged that Jurassic World Dominion concludes the story started with the original 1993 film, but kept an open mind for continuing the franchise in the future. Trevorrow echoed that sentiment in July, stating that he felt that a new filmmaker may have more to say in the world that author Michael Crichton, director Steven Spielberg, and writer David Koepp created decades prior.
In a recent interview with Empire, Trevorrow explains that Jurassic World Dominion lays the groundwork for the franchise’s future. The director admits that he was taken aback by Jurassic World Dominion‘s marketing as it implied that his film was the conclusion of the franchise, though he never saw it as such. Read all of what the director says below.
“I specifically did something different than the other films in order to change the DNA of the franchise. The previous five films are plots about dinosaurs. This one is a story about characters in a world in which they coexist with dinosaurs. For the franchise to be able to move forward – because it’s inherently unfranchisable, there probably should have only been one Jurassic Park – but if we’re gonna do it, how can I allow them to tell stories in a world in which dinosaurs exist, as opposed to, here’s another reason why we’re going to an island?
“This movie clearly takes a real interest in creating new characters that a new generation is going to latch on to – Kayla Watts [DeWanda Wise], and Mamoudou Athie’s character Ramsay Cole, who I think, in the Extended Edition, you really feel his purpose in a greater way. And Dichen Lachman’s character [Soyona Santos], who just gets arrested at the end. There’s more to come.
“I never knew that this was the ending of the franchise until I saw the marketing. Those guys are brilliant at what they do, but for me I think it might have been clearer if they’d said, ‘The end of an era’, as opposed to all of it. Because regardless of the cynical approach – of course they’re gonna want to make more money, which is what Jurassic World was about – a new dinosaur fan is born every day. Kids deserve these movies, and young filmmakers grow up on these stories – much like Peter Pan and The Wizard Of Oz and worlds we’ve returned to constantly.
“What I get fired up about is, if a table has been set here for another mind to do what I did with Steven [Spielberg] and sit down and say, ‘Listen, I’ve got an idea’, I would love for that person to sit with me, or Steven, and just be like, ‘I got it!’”
Where Can Jurassic Park Go After Dominion?
Trevorrow rightly understands that if the Jurassic World franchise was constrained to just the two main islands, then the series would have nowhere new to go. This makes his decision to destroy Isla Nublar in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom more understandable. Opening up the dinosaurs to the rest of the world not only offers the franchise an endless opportunity of new locales to feature dinosaur sagas, but also the chance to feature characters that would never have ventured to Jurassic Park or Jurassic World in the first place. In moving away from the parks themselves, as well as the characters who inhabited them, the Jurassic World franchise could flourish in the future by focusing on different aspects of its world.
The director specifically mentioned some of Jurassic World Dominion‘s new characters, such as DeWanda Wise’s loner pilot, Kayla Watts, as a focus for new stories in the franchise. With Watts having pulled herself from a self-imposed funk by going out on a limb to assist Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) in their rescue of Maisie, she may play a larger role in Jurassic Park‘s future by leading an effort to track and transport hostile dinosaurs. Jurassic World Dominion may have opened up the rest of the world to dinosaurs, and now all that’s left is for a new filmmaker to step in and take the franchise in a new direction.