Jurassic World plot details leaked onto the Internet last week (by way of a scooper for JoBlo), sending Jurassic Park fans into a tizzy. Some of the details that leaked turned out to be spoilers that the filmmakers would have preferred not be released before the film. I got an exclusive opportunity to talk with Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow from the set of the Jurassic Park sequel about the recent information leaks, to clarify some of the misconceptions and address some of the fan concerns. The conversation will surely calm many of you who were worried about some of the material in the recent leaks. You can read our full Colin Trevorrow Jurassic World interview after the jump.
The following interview was conducted over e-mail with Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow this week while he was on set shooting the movie. Be warned, Colin talks about some of the contents of the recent leaks in this conversation.
/F: What do you feel are the biggest misconceptions from the leaked rumors about the Jurassic World story versus the real screenplay?
CT: That’s the thing about leaks, sometimes they aren’t misinterpreted or false. They’re real story elements that the filmmakers were hoping to introduce to the audience in a darkened movie theater. But unfortunately, in 2014, you read about it on a computer. 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. 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. 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.
/F: So the rumors are true?
CT: Yes. Jurassic World takes place in a fully functional park on Isla Nublar. It sees more than 20,000 visitors every day. You arrive by ferry from Costa Rica. It has elements of a biological preserve, a safari, a zoo, and a theme park. There is a luxury resort with hotels, restaurants, nightlife and a golf course. And there are dinosaurs. Real ones. You can get closer to them than you ever imagined possible. It’s the realization of John Hammond’s dream, and I think you’ll want to go there.
/F: How long has elapsed since the third film and how has the world we knew from those films changed in that time?
CT: This film picks up twenty-two years after Jurassic Park. When Derek [Connolly] and I sat down to find the movie, we looked at the past two decades and talked about what we’ve seen. Two things came to the surface.
One was that money has been the gasoline in the engine of our biggest mistakes. If there are billions to be made, no one can resist them, even if they know things could end horribly.
The other was that our relationship with technology has become so woven into our daily lives, we’ve become numb to the scientific miracles around us. We take so much for granted.
Those two ideas felt like they could work together. What if, despite previous disasters, they built a new biological preserve where you could see dinosaurs walk the earth…and what if people were already kind of over it? 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?” Next year, you’ll see our answer.
/F: What are the relationships between the main characters and the dinosaurs? Are there “good guy” and “bad guy” dinosaurs in the movie?
CT: There’s no such thing as good or bad dinosaurs. There are predators and prey. The T-Rex in Jurassic Park took human lives, and saved them. No one interpreted her as good or bad. This film is about our relationship with animals, how we react to the threat they pose to our dominance on earth as a species. We hunt them, we cage them in zoos, we admire them from afar and we try to assert control over them.
Chris Pratt’s character is doing behavioral research on the raptors. They aren’t trained, they can’t do tricks. He’s just trying to figure out the limits of the relationship between these highly intelligent creatures and human beings. If people don’t think there’s potential in those ideas, maybe they won’t like this movie. But I ask them to give it a chance.
/F: Will there be crossbred dinosaurs or new species created for the movie?
CT: We were hoping audiences could discover this on their own, but yes, there will be one new dinosaur created by the park’s geneticists. The gaps in her sequence were filled with DNA from other species, much like the genome in the first film was completed with frog DNA. This creation exists to fulfill a corporate mandate—they want something bigger, louder, with more teeth. And that’s what they get.
I know the idea of a modified dinosaur put a lot of fans on red alert, and I understand it. But we aren’t doing anything here that Crichton didn’t suggest in his novels. This animal is not a mutant freak. 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. Maybe it sounds crazy, but most of my favorite movies sound crazy when you describe them in a single sentence.
/F: What makes Jurassic World different than the previous three Jurassic Park films?
CT: That’s something you’ll have to tell me after you see it. We’re trying to tell a bold new story that doesn’t rely on a proven formula, because the movies we watch over and over again are the ones that surprised us, that worked when they shouldn’t have.
I understand the risks of leaving the safe zone. We’ve all been disappointed by new installments of the stories we love. But with all this talk of filmmakers “ruining our childhood”, we forget that right now is someone else’s childhood. This is their time. And I have to build something that can take them to the same place those earlier films took us. It may not happen in the same way everyone expects it to, but it’s the way I believe it needs to happen.
Honestly, the biggest misconception on this movie is that there’s some massive conference room at the studio where all these cynical story decisions are made. There is no committee. Universal has given us the resources to tell the story we want to tell, on the scale we want to tell it. Will this one be different from the other movies? You bet it will. And I’m not going to pass the buck if it doesn’t work. This one’s on me.
Jurassic World will hit theaters on June 12th, 2015.