Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Jurassic Park IV


Jurassic Park is perhaps my favourite movie of all time. It managed to be both magical and terrifying. Unfortunately, it was followed by two sub par sequels (though the second one had cool characters like the hunter Roland Tembo played by the late Pete Postlethwaite). There have been many talks about the possibility of ‘Jurassic Park 4’ and Steven Spielberg even recently brought it up by saying that he’s considering it right after working on his Abraham Lincoln Biopic.

If It Was Up To Me Then Here's How I Would Do It.

I think the franchise needs to redeem itself after the sub-par sequels. Jurassic Park IV needs a fresh approach to make it exciting again. My answer is a 'Semi-Reboot'

Continuity wise, it would be set after the events of the previous three films. So there will be references to Isla Sorna, InGen, etc. However, the story would not be a direct sequel to the plot but it would retain the core theme of the series.

So what is a semi-reboot anyway? First of all, we need to identify the core theme/staple of 'Jurassic Park' - the idea/danger of Man playing God. Simple. Instead of messing around with that theme, we should find a new way of approaching the subject.

I have two ideas for a semi-reboot: Formula Changing or Mythology Expanding.

Formula Changing

Let's look at the ‘The Fast and the Furious’ franchise. Four movies in, the franchise was losing its steam so they moved the genre from ‘racing films’ to ‘action/heist films’ in the fifth entry. It still stuck to the core staple of the series: Fast cars.

If you break down the formula of JP into a simple line it would be 'People being chased by Dinosaurs on a tropical Island.' We're bored of that shit after three movies so we don't want another T-Rex chasing people in the jungle scenes. Let’s change the formula and set it somewhere else with a different type of dinosaurs that haven’t appeared in any of the JP movies


Think ‘Deep Blue Sea’ but with Icthyosaur, Plesiosaurs, Mosasaur, Liopleurodon, That Giant ass Shark, etc. It’ll rejuvenate the franchise while also stick to the core theme of JP. And it would also bring back that sense of wonder and terror found in the first movie.

But there is another idea which I think is much more cooler and it relates to the second type of semi-reboot.

Mythology Expanding

The promise of an expansion of the mythology was the main selling point of 'Bourne Legacy' (i.e. "Jason Bourne was just the tip of the iceberg"; "There was never just one"). 'Prometheus' was another film that expanded the mythology of the previous films by telling a completely different story. What I love about Prometheus was that, as much as I love Alien and Aliens, it made the plot of the Alien movies look insignificant compared to the whole Engineers-experimenting-with-life plot. And they spun that grander mythology from a simple desire to answer the mystery of the 'Space Jockeys' from 'Alien'.

I want an expansion of the mythology in Jurassic Park. I want a movie (or a series of movies) that tells us that the events in the Jurassic Park movies were just small parts of a larger story. I want a movie that says "You think you know everything about Jurassic Park but you don't know shit!"

My Jurassic Park IV

Remember the fat dude that betrayed InGen in the first movie? The fat dude that was trying to steal dinosaur embryos to give to a rival company but he got eaten by a Dilophosaurus. We never learn more about the rival company in the subsequent films. In the original novel, there was a company called BioSyn which was the rival of InGen so maybe they can appear in the new movie. But what they will be called in a new movie is not important. What is important is the possible implication of the existence of a rival company or companies wanting to do what InGen did.

Like I said earlier, Man playing God is the core theme of Jurassic Park. John Hammond was a misguided idealist with mostly good intentions but what if the power that Hammond wielded was in the hands of a crazy maniac? A crazy maniac who's not looking to resurrect dead dinosaurs for a theme park but to use Dinosaur DNA to mix with up with other animals to create some crazy monster superweapons or a perfect race (with him as God of course).

Bottom Line: Forget T-Rex chasing people in the jungle. Forget the friendly vegetarian dinosaurs. Forget John Hammond. Forget Jeff Godlblum (ok maybe not, I want Jeff Goldblum to appear again). Jurassic Park IV should be about some crazy evil genius fucker that's messing with genetics for nefarious purposes. InGen's genetic research have fallen into the wrong hands. Evil cult/terrorist/scientists are releasing their dino-like monsters into the public and it's up to our heroes to stop them.

It expands the mythology and universe of Jurassic Park by taking it to another direction. It also changes how you watch the first movie. That fat dude from the first movie was just a pawn in a larger global conspiracy. The new movie could open with a group of bad guys sneaking into Isla Nublar and retrieve the embryos that 'Newman' dropped.

Heck, you don't have to name the movie 'Jurassic Park IV'. I would call it something like Jurassic Park: Project Genesis or Jurassic Park: Rebirth. Even better, remove 'Jurassic Park' from the title - Project Rebirth/Project Genesis.


What do you think?

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