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film news

What Does Jurassic World 2 Need to Do to Improve on its Predecessor?

Posted by Harry Hughes on Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Universal Pictures recently confirmed that the eagerly anticipated follow-up to 2015’s hugely successful Jurassic World, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom would be hitting cinema screens on June 22, 2018. The hype wheels are already in motion and there have been some major revelations, such as Jeff Goldblum’s return to the franchise as Ian Malcolm. Goldblum was the star of Jurassic Park and The Lost World, and his reappearance will surely appease nostalgic fans. With Jurassic World raking in over $1.6 billion worldwide and holding the status of the fourth-highest grossing film of all time, what can the follow-up from director J. A. Bayona do to improve on the popular reboot of the franchise?

Although Jurassic World was hugely successful commercially, it received mixed reviews. It only managed to achieve a painfully average score of 72% on Rotten Tomatoes, and according to Mark Kermode of the Guardian who awarded it 3/5 stars, the film lacked any bite or a palpable plot. Others were slightly less scathing, however, with IGN’s Daniel Krupa giving the flick a fairly impressive score of 8.3/10. The review did note, however, that the movie worked as a standalone blockbuster rather than a foundation for a massive franchise. Now that we know that the 2015 film is that primary building block, might Krupa’s opinion be different? The varied reviews certainly suggest there is plenty of room for improvement with the sequel, but the filmmakers may decide to stick with the winning formula that brought in the big bucks with Jurassic World. They should also heed the warnings of history, though, as The Lost World, the sequel to Jurassic Park in 1997 only made $618 million at the box office while the original raked in over $1 billion.



Luckily for the makers of Jurassic World 2, they won’t be starting completely from scratch. The ending to Jurassic World seemed rather final, but there was a twist that left the story open to continuation. Yes, the disastrous Indominus Rex creation was a complete failure which ended up destroying the theme park, but staging the sequel in the same location as before probably wouldn’t have worked anyway. The follow-up needs to move to somewhere completely fresh, and that’s where BD Wong’s Dr Wu character comes in. Some will remember that just as Jurassic World was reaching its chaotic climax, Wu disappeared in a helicopter with a case full of dinosaur embryos. The scientist was responsible for creating the Indominus Rex, and it was suggested that he had the ability to make other hybrids. The sequel, therefore, is likely to follow him somewhere else and see what other anarchy ensues. Perhaps the dinosaurs will spill out into the wider world and justify the name change in the franchise’s title.



To make sure that mass audiences flock to Jurassic World 2 as they did to its predecessor, Universal are already ensuring that there are numerous representations in other media to attract as many people as possible. One of the reasons that Jurassic World was so successful was that it tapped into the booming online casino market, as there was already an award winning Jurassic Park slot machine from Microgaming. Now developers have created a newer Jurassic World slot game, which is available at a number of operators and contains symbols based on characters and creatures from the film. New players can also get 11 free spins on the game with a £200 deposit bonus, as detailed by Oddschecker.  There is also a Lego Jurassic World console game, which received a score of 7.6/10 from IGN.



One of the highlights of the 2015 reboot was the raptor team that park ranger Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) had trained to work as a unit. The ferocious predators were released in an effort to help hunt down the Indominus Rex, and although they switched sides temporarily, they were ultimately the movie's main heroes. Fans will be desperately hoping to see these raptors again, as they were a refreshing twist on the terrifying antagonists of the old films. But now that the Indominus Rex has been vanquished, Colin Trevorrow and co-writer Derek Connolly will need to come up with a bigger and better baddie. Trevorrow, who directed Jurassic World, has already said that the new film will be “even more suspenseful and scary than its predecessor”, which certainly sounds promising seeing as though the first movie had its terrifying moments.

Fans will also be excited about seeing returning stars. Pratt and co-star Bryce Dallas Howard who played Claire Dearing had exceptional chemistry in the reboot, and it has been confirmed that they will both be returning for the sequel. Pratt especially has shot to fame in recent years since making a name for himself in Parks and Recreation, and has reached the stage that he is now one of the hottest properties in Hollywood. The news that Jeff Goldblum will be reprising his role as Malcolm is perhaps the best news that fans could hope for, though. The iconic character will most definitely provide both a comedic and a nostalgic element to the new film.

There is a lot of potential for Jurassic World 2 to improve on its predecessor, but there is also a risk that it will fail miserably. It is so important that the writers focus on an interesting and engaging script, rather than just pack it full with more dinosaurs and more action. This is what happened with The Lost World, and they would be wise to analyse the sequel from twenty years ago and be careful not to fall into the same traps. 

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