Several months ago I wrote an article asking ‘Where is Jurassic Park IV’. Suddenly, everything started to happen. Producer Kathleen Kennedy stated the forth film in the dinosaur franchise was hitting cinemas in Summer 2014. Then, Universal announced its director for the prestigious job, Colin Trevorrow, director of Safety Not Guaranteed. And, just a week ago the aforementioned director tweeted the first location shot of JP4, simply entitling the shot Nublar.
This was enough to get any fan of the franchise tingle with anticipation. It was going to happen. On the 20th anniversary of Spielberg’s original everything looked like it was finally coming together after so long a wait.
But then, disaster. Yesterday, Universal revealed that the release date for JP4 would be delayed. We weren’t given any specifics, just the statement that the studio wanted “to bring audiences the best possible version” of the film. With everything on hiatus the sequel now enters a stage of purgatory where many movies have struggled to find their way out.
There are a number of theories about why JP4’s release date was delayed. The simple one being nothing has been done yet, (no cast for one) and the release date was simply too ambitious. Universal underestimated how much time and effort it takes to make a film, of this magnitude.
Another theory surrounds the script. Now, there has been so much said about the potential JP4 scripts. The most infamous containing the dinosaurs armed with guns, trained to fight the first set of Ingen dinosaurs. However, some whispers have suggested that whatever this new script is about, it was far too ambitious to film. All we know is that the characters, whoever they may be go back to Isla Nublar, the island in the original Jurassic Park. So, Trevorrow went on location, ready to film and Universal pulled the plug because they were simply overwhelmed with how much it might cost and what resources they would need.
At the moment, these are all just theories. I haven’t sat in any of the Universal meetings and am still on hold at Kathleen Kennedy’s office. It’s just frustrating, because I know that at the end of all this there is a great film. There is defiantly room in the market for more T-Rex and Velociraptor action and so much potential for more dinosaurs and plots to grace our cinemas. I was confident they had it right this time.
Even through all the speculation and feeling the inevitability of JP4 never happening, when the news broke of Trevorrow’s directing duties and Spielberg stating that the script was going to be great at Comic-Con, it was possible again. But, now, I feel JP4 might just stay in this purgatory and we will just have 3D and special edition re-releases of the three original films.
The question of what the future release date is now will be a problem. They had a great slot in Summer 2014. So far, not too much has been pencilled in for that period. Except Universal’s 21 Jump Street 2 which replaces JP4. Universal can’t move it to the middle of 2015 because that Summer belongs to Disney and Star Wars, Avengers 2 and Pirates 5. So, where next? I await with anticipation the next press conference regarding the future of one of my most anticipated films. However, I don’t hold too much hope.