Joe Johnston Speaks of Return to Jurassic Park

1/15/2010 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Tim Strain

Are you ready to go back to Jurassic Park? Me neither.

Joe Johnston, the monster behind “Jurassic Park III” and the highly troubled upcoming adaptation of “The Wolfman,” has said in an interview with that the wheels have been set in motion to make “Jurassic Park IV,” and that it will be the first in a new “Jurassic Park” trilogy.

“Well, there is going to be a Jurassic Park IV,” says Johnston. “And it's going to be unlike anything you've seen. It breaks away from the first three--it's essentially the beginning of the second Jurassic Park trilogy. It's going to be done in a completely different way. That's pretty much all I can tell you.”

Why he feels audiences need, or want, to be subjected to another episode of “Survivor: Dinosaur Isle,” is a relevant question. The first installment is, of course, a contemporary, classic adventure, incorporating special effects that 17 years later still put most CGI-ridden actioners to shame.

Even Steven Spielberg was unable to capture the magic a second time, and audience reception and box office receits reflect this. “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” destroyed its predecessor’s opening weekend gross, but poor word-of-mouth saw the film die a quick death, finishing with about $226 million, a far cry from the first movie's $357 million.

The third was even more underwhelming. While its overall take of $180 million would be a success for most films, it sold less than half the tickets that “Jurassic Park” did, and was out-grossed by similarly forgettable dreck such as “Rush Hour 2,” “Pearl Harbor,” and “The Mummy Returns.”

So, why the sudden renewal of interest? One of the negative aspects of the success of “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight” may prove to be that given enough years of separation, studios will believe that audiences are ready for more installments of its most famous creative entities after previous failures. As Dr. Grant says in “III,” it’s reverse Darwinism: survival of the most idiotic.

All hope has not been lost quite yet, though. “Jurassic Park IV” has been talked about since before the release of the third, and nothing has come to fruition. Spielberg, who served as Executive Producer of “III,” allegedly began writing a script for part four in 2003, and casting rumors had Keira Knightley joining series vets Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum. All these rumors have long been dispelled.

Johnston did not say that he had officially been signed on to direct “IV.” His involvement may be contingent upon the success or failure of the upcoming “The Wolfman,” starring Benicio Del Toro and due in theaters (finally) February 12, 2010. The film has been in production trouble since Day 1. It has gone through costly reshoots (some reports the film is more than $30 million over budget), composer Danny Elfman has been replaced, the release date has been shuffled several times, and even though the movie is less than a month away from release, it is still being edited. And despite all the extraneous money being dumped into the project (its price tag is well over $100 million at this point), Universal seems content with barely marketing the film. It has disaster written all over it, which may be a good thing for “Jurassic Park IV,” a project that deserves to die.

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  1. Mark Deland said...

    I like it: quoting from Jurassic III to dis Jurassic IV!

  2. jurrel said...

    C'mon, why bother digging up the grave of a long lost franchise whose fate deserves to be left to our memories. Indeed, it has disaster written all over it, which may be a good thing for “Jurassic Park IV,” a project that deserves to die.

  3. Admin said...

    But Jurrel--what about the dinosaurs? And how the masses love them? Shouldn't Hollywood cater to the masses?

    Loved your post.

    Ever the cynic,

  4. Anonymous said...

    Shame on the author of this article! Such ingnorant brainless turd shouldn´t have right to give his /her opinion publicly...