In 2014, big-budgeted movie productions live under constant fear of unauthorized leaks: camera-phone set photos that reveal a mysterious new villain, pirated footage, and Wikileaks-level plot descriptions that pop up on the Internet. One preventative strategy is complete radio silence, the kind of omerta that director Christopher Nolan demands on his films, like this fall’s Interstellar. Then there’s Colin Trevorrow, the director of the 2015 Jurassic Park sequel, Jurassic World. His approach to the Internet spoilers that broke last week was to engage with a journalist, lament that unfortunate development, and then confirm and clarify the details. Um, thank you?
Yesterday, SlashFilm.com published an email exchange with Trevorrow, who bemoaned the breach — “I hope whoever leaked it is actively trying to undermine what we’re doing. Because if they’re trying to help, they’re doing it wrong.” — but confirmed their substance:
1. Jurassic World picks up 22 years after the original Jurassic Park.
2. It takes place in a luxury zoo/park on Isla Nublar that allows 20,000 visitors each day to see dinosaurs roam the earth.
3. But people are already growing bored by the experience, and the park is looking for ways to spice — and splice — things up with a new genetically-enhanced dino. “We imagined a teenager texting his girlfriend with his back to a T-Rex behind protective glass. For us, that image captured the way much of the audience feels about the movies themselves. ‘We’ve seen CG dinosaurs. What else you got?’”
4. The new breed of dinosaur is “bigger, louder, with more teeth,” but it’s not some “mutant freak.” “We aren’t doing anything here that Crichton didn’t suggest in his novels,” wrote Trevorrow. “It doesn’t have a snake’s head or octopus tentacles. It’s a dinosaur, created in the same way the others were, but now the genetics have gone to the next level. For me, it’s a natural evolution of the technology introduced in the first film.”
5. Chris Pratt plays a scientist conducting behavioral research on raptors.
Trevorrow, who directed the indie Safety Not Guaranteed, is startlingly upfront for a man responsible for such a huge cinematic property, so much so that I almost want to doubt him. But there’s no doubting his earnest disappointment and good intentions: “Last week was discouraging for everyone on our crew — not because we want to hide things from the fans, but because we’re working so hard to create something full of surprises,” he typed. “When I was a kid, you got to discover everything at once, it washed over you and blew your mind. Now it only takes one person to spoil it for everyone else.”
The director confirmed that most of the details leaked last week were indeed accurate. The movie will take place 22 years after the original Jurassic Park, and will be set on the same island of Isla Nublar, which now boasts a "fully functional" dinosaur park that sees 20,000 visitors a year. Trevorrow describes the park as "the realization of [Jurassic Park's fictional tycoon] John Hammond's dream," but also says that because our relationship with technology has changed so much since 1993's Jurassic Park, some of the new guests are "already kind of over" being able to see live dinosaurs in the flesh.
But Trevorrow also shot down one of the the leaked report's key details that suggested that lead character Chris Pratt would be training a group of "good guy" dinosaurs to fight against a larger dino-antagonist. "There's no such thing as good or bad dinosaurs, says Trevorrow. "There are predators and prey. This film is about our relationship with animals, how we react to the threat they pose to our dominance on earth as a species." Pratt's character, he admits, is performing behavioral research on the movie's Velociraptors, but the (inaccurately large) theropods "aren't trained," and "they can't do tricks."