Stop Complaining, ‘Jurassic World’ Almost Featured Dinosaur-Human Hybrids; Filmmaker Defends Genetically Modified Dino Concept
Posted on Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 by Peter Sciretta
Universal released the Jurassic World trailer yesterday (click here if you havent seen it yet) and while I enjoyed it it seems like some people were up in arms over the storyline reveal that the park owners had created a bigger, badder, and genetically-modified dinosaur. In May we exclusively talked to Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow about the genetically modified dinosaur and he explained himself quite nicely. I will include that after the jump.
But for those of you who still think the genetically modified dinosaur plot is stupid sight-unseen, it could have been much worse. A very early version of the script featured a storyline with dinosaur DNA genetically modified with human DNA to create Human-Dinosaur mutant creatures. Now that sounds horrible. See the original concept art of the Jurassic World Dinosaur-Human Hybrids, after the jump.
Why people have a problem with that in a movie universe where we were able to recreate dinosaurs on earth, I’m not sure. It’s not even the first time dinosaur DNA was genetically modified — the original 1993 Spielberg film hinged on the idea that they used frog DNA in the gaps of the dinosaur DNA.
Here is what director Colin Trevorrow said about Jurassic World‘s genetically modified dinosaur plot line:
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. … 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.
I think everyone is rushing to judgement too quickly. Its easy to judge but you don’t know how it fits into the plot quite yet — maybe its worth seeing more before rushing to a conclusion?
Also, so many people on my twitter timeline were making fun of Chris Pratt riding a motorcycle with a herd of raptors yet they had no problem with Raptors being smart enough to open doors in the original 1993 Steven Spielberg film. Their intelligence has been well established in the series and original film, so I don’t understand why the idea of Raptors being trained like how other zoo animals are trained is crazy, in a movie where there is a theme park filled with live dinosaurs we somehow recreated. /rant
As for the mutant freaks Trevorrow makes mention of, we almost got that movie. Below is an earlier report from Angie Han which shows concept art from a much earlier version of Jurassic Park 4 which involved human-dinosaur hybrids.
Angie Han’s original post from October 10th 2012 follows:
The trick for any sequel is to balance the old with the new. A good one should deliver more of what made the last movie a hit, but avoid retracing too many of the exact same steps. But that order gets harder to fill as the series churns out more and more installments, each less surprising than the last. Sometimes, it starts to look like all that’s left to do is simply take the franchise in a whole new direction.
Like, say, shifting the focus from dinosaurs to terrifying human-dino hybrids in a fourth Jurassic Park movie. Jurassic Park IV has been in development for about a decade now, with little progress to show for it. A new incarnation of the project picked up steam this summer when Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) signed on to script, but as of yet we have no inkling of what the new storyline might be.
Now, however, we have a pretty good idea of what Jurassic Park IV almost was. Reddit user sketchampm posted the following snapshots of concept art related to the a 2005 version of the script by William Monahan and John Sayles.
Jurassic World Dinosaur-Human Hybrids Concept Art
Back in 2005, William Monahan and John Sayles wrote a script for Jurassic Park 4 in which a secret genetics lab has been cross-breeding humans with dinosaurs. The result is an army of grotesque and intelligent humanoid dino freaks with problem-solving intelligence and the ability to fire automatic weapons. Yeah. Their storyline was scrapped but it apparently got much farther along in production than anyone realized.
Looks wild… and terrible. Weapon-wielding dino-men could be cheesy fun in the right context — a Syfy TV movie, perhaps? — but a Jurassic Park movie probably isn’t it. Hopefully, whatever Silver and Jaffa have cooking isn’t quite this silly. For more details from the script check out this 2007 writeup from AICN, which actually admired the over-the-top lunacy of the idea.