Jurassic World Dominion is the latest instalment in the long running franchise and I recently had a chance to speak to director Colin Trevorrow about the project…
Matt: It’s nice to see the lead characters from Jurassic Park mixing with those from Jurassic World. Was that always the intention when you started development on the script?
Colin: For this, yes. When we first began, it was more of a pipe dream and a possibility but for me, it took two Jurassic World movies to justify it. Once they did come in contact with each other, our legacy characters wouldn’t drown out the new characters. We had to make sure they had a level of familiarity and an audience that cared for them too and so when it finally happens, hopefully it feels earned.
Matt: This is the 6th film in the franchise and obviously, we’ve learned a lot along the way about the dangers of dinosaurs and essentially “playing God”. What’s your approach to keeping things fresh and entertaining?
Colin: It’s a different kind of film than we’ve seen before. It’s not just people going to an island that may or may not be safe. Dinosaurs are in our world and that provides a new set of challenges. For me, I thought it was important to tell a story about the greater dangers of genetic power when treated irresponsibly.
We’re all living with the consequences of choices that we’ve made as humans, specifically over the past 30 years since Jurassic Park came out, and so for us to heed the warning that Ellie Sattler gave us in the first film that now this is out, there’s no controlling this power. I think we’re really seeing through her storyline what that means.
Matt: Visuals effects have a big part to play in a movie like this and, for example, I remember one scene in where Chris Pratt is lassoing a dinosaur. How easy is pulling that together as a director?
Colin: What was most important is that something was really happening there. When Chris Pratt was lassoing a dinosaur, someone on a horse with someone ahead on another horse holding a Parasaur that he actually roped. So what you’re looking at when the rope tightens around the neck is real. With all the animatronics, all the puppetry, and all of the 112 sets, we wanted to make sure everything was real except for what we couldn’t make real… which was not a lot.
Matt: The music here is from Michael Giacchino but it still uses John Williams’ iconic theme in certain places. How do you decide when to slot that memorable tune in?
Colin: We do it very carefully and we’re cautious about how we do it. It is so iconic but I think it would be too easy just to hear it all the time. Michael is such a brilliant composer that I just want to hear his score and get as much creativity out of him as possible. Once we have it, we look at the whole thing and work out where to weave something in which would be the most emotionally effective so it doesn’t feel like we’re squandering or wasting it in any way.
Matt: Jeff Goldblum again gets some memorable one-liners like “it’s always darkest… just before eternal nothingness.” Is he as much of a larrikin behind the camera as he is in front of it?
Colin: We were all living together during this movie. Every Sunday, actors and I would sit together and look at what we were doing that week and people would bring ideas to the table. There were a lot of lines that actors came up with themselves throughout the movie. What I love about it is that even through writer Emily Carmichael and I constructed this story, there’s a sense that everybody is a different person and that it’s not written by the same people all the way through. They all feel like individuals which is a really hard thing to achieve as a writer.