Jurassic Park is arguably one of the best science fiction films of all time. Steven Spielberg‘s monster masterpiece changed cinema forever after a few special effects guys on some very unassuming looking computers invented the concept of modern computer graphics in film. After two sequels that never quite reached the heights of the first movie, the franchise took a 14-year break, ultimately shafting its ideas for a fourth entry. Some very, very strange ideas, at that.
In case you have yet to come across this infamous piece of Hollywood history, the completed but unproduced script for Jurassic Park 4 follows hero Nick as he goes to Isla Nublar, gets kidnapped and imprisoned in a medieval Swiss castle (complete with yodeling), and gets forced into training dog/raptor/human hybrids who are armed with automatic machine guns. AMAZING, RIGHT?[brightcove video_id=”4575037173001″ brightcove_account_id=”3653334524001″ brightcove_player_id=”rJs2ZD8x”]
Of course, the fourth Jurassic Park film we would eventually get ended up quite different from this. Smashing all box office records, Jurassic World was a blockbuster hit that provided a solid yet slightly formulaic return to the world of InGen. And yet, there were parts of the story–the hybrid dinosaurs and Chris Pratt’s raptor BFF–that hinted at a wilder version of Jurassic World and a different timeline where the fourth installment of Jurassic Park looked very, very different.
With the release of the first poster and title announcement of the franchise’s upcoming fifth entry, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, it got us thinking about the now notorious script for Jurassic Park 4 What that unbelievable never-produced gem could tell us about the future of the Jurassic Park franchise.
As it turns out, a decade-old script that sounds like a late night grindhouse special could suggest quite a lot about the next stages of one of the most successful franchises on earth. See, many of the most memorable plot points from Jurassic World seem to have evolved from John Sayles’ eccentric Hong Kong-style dinosaur exploitation thriller. Chris Pratt’s ex-military “charmer” shares more than a few similarities with the script’s protagonist, Nick, and his role as the alpha velociraptor trainer is almost torn directly from Sayles’ pages.
The villain in the piece is an ex-military man desperate to monetize his reptilian super soldiers much like Vincent D’Onofrio’s Hoskins and his nefarious scheme to sell Pratt’s raptor team to the military. It’s not just character beats, though, as Sayle’s script is based heavily around the idea of hybrid dinosaurs, adapted by the same sort of wild science that B.D. Wong utilized to keep Jurassic World’s dinosaurs exciting… which eventually led to the park’s doom. Even specific scenes have ended up in the finished movie, with a set piece very similar to Jurassic World’s final ambulance chase through the park, when the raptors begin to communicate and turn on the human protagonists, appearing in the original draft.
So if we know that they’ve already taken from this unexpected source, what could that mean for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom? Well we have a theory. From the moment that the title Jurassic World was announced, it immediately hinted at something bigger than the very first film’s park, or even the islands of the sequels. Though we now know that “Fallen Kingdom” was the moniker of the new park created by the man who bought InGen’s research, with that park all but gone it opens up the World in the film’s title for interpretation again.
Sayles’ original script is set in a world where John Hammond’s dinosaurs have actually become an international threat, opening at a little league game that quickly gets overtaken by a flying hoard of pterosaurs. Could this be the route that J.A. Bayona’s sequel will take? An Earth where our entire world is in fact the Jurassic one? Though the new poster has very little information, the choice of tagline based on Jeff Goldblum‘s fan fave chaos mathematician’s iconic quote, “Life finds a way,” hints that these dinosaurs are no longer being controlled. With a history of the franchise taking from John Sayles’ script, it really isn’t too much of a jump to imagine horror director Bayona taking what could be an incredible leap into an epic new phase for the Jurassic Park franchise.
Other than that new poster, so far we’ve seen one Fallen Kingdom set photo of a little girl looking up at a huge triceratops skull in a creepy cavernous museum. Could this be another link to the wild world of Sayles’ script? Nick’s first expedition with his raptor hybrid hit-team is to save a little girl who’s been kidnapped. Could Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom see Chris Pratt or even returning alum Jeff Goldblum teaming up with some more super smart dinosaur hybrids to save this mysterious girl from whatever Bond-like villain is collecting dinosaur skulls? Could this foreshadow the new world that Bayona will introduce? Maybe one where it’s humans who are extinct rather than the huge monsters whose skeletons reside in the museums of our past?
How do you feel about the newest moniker for the most monstrous of movie franchises? Are you putting in any stock in these fantastical fan theories? Just shocked that this Sayles’ script is even a real thing? Tear into the comments and let us know!