65 Directors Aimed To 'Make Dinosaurs Scary Again' [Exclusive]

Dinosaur movies tend to be extremely popular at the box office, enough so one would expect them to have a shared universe by this point. Perhaps it's because the "Jurassic Park/World" franchise had held such a vise-like grip on the sub-genre these past 30 years, studios are hesitant to greenlight their own films about giant, prehistoric reptiles walking the Earth. Even when they do, they frequently employ animation to make the dinosaurs a little less daunting (including the carnivorous ones), like in Pixar's "The Good Dinosaur" or Disney's "Dinosaur."

Phooey to that, says Scott Beck and Bryan Woods! The "A Quiet Place" co-writers are ready to make dinosaurs terrifying once more with their new writing and directing effort, "65." The movie stars Adam Driver as a traveler who crash-lands on Earth 65 million years ago, pitting him and the sole other survivor (Ariana Greenblatt) against a whole lot of dinosaurs hankering for a tasty human sandwich. Naturally, when /Film's BJ Colangelo recently interviewed Beck and Woods about the film, she asked how "Jurassic Park" influenced their approach. Stating their goal was "to make dinosaurs scary again," Beck explains:

"We want to transport audiences back 65 million years ago and show them what it actually could be like if you're all alone on planet Earth, there are no other human beings around, and there's this raw, powerful nature of what Earth was at that time, but also the threat of dinosaurs and predators coming after you at any single moment."

Beck also points to the difference in setting between "65" and "Jurassic Park," as well as the latter's not-so-scientifically-accurate dinosaurs. "'Jurassic Park' takes place in modern-day and some of the dinosaur designs, as much as we love them, they start feeling a little cute and a little too precious."

'Let's not stop at Jurassic Park.'

One can follow Scott Beck's meaning. As effective as the "Jurassic" films can be at showing just how horrifying it would be if dinosaurs got loose in the present-day world, the fact their human characters are playing on their home court (assuming I'm using that sports analogy correctly?) makes it a little less unsettling. That and, more often than not, the human villains in those movies pose as great a threat to the dinosaurs as vice versa, right up until they get their just desserts at the mouth of a meat-eating dino.

With "65," however, Beck feels like the prehistoric setting allowed him and Bryan Woods to "lean into the horror aspect of what dinosaurs could feel like." He compares it to being on a safari when "all of a sudden you're thrown into the wilderness, you have to find a way to survive, and there's nothing that's really there to protect you." At the same time, Woods assures the pair have no notions about being able to top the "amazing achievement" that is Steven Spielberg's original "Jurassic Park":

"If we're doing anything, we're just saying, 'Let's not stop at 'Jurassic Park.” Scott and I kept joking, 'Why are there not as many dinosaur movies as there are comic book movies? We'll watch 10 a year if we're allowed to.' So for us, it was just fun to do a dinosaur movie, not be stifled too much by 'Jurassic Park,' and have fun with it."

That extends to the dinosaur designs in "65," which Woods says exist at the nexus between what we now know dinosaurs looked like (à la "Prehistoric Planet") and "scary." We shall see if they managed to successfully split the difference when "65" attacks theaters on March 10, 2023.