One Jurassic World Dominion Dino Was Too Famous For CGI

Over the past few years, the "Jurassic World" trilogy has swung for the fences. While not every big swing has been a hit, the series hasn't been afraid to take a tried-and-true franchise in unprecedented directions. But even after blowing up Isla Nublar and trapping Bryce Dallas Howard in impractical heels, writer-director Colin Trevorrow apparently still knows where to draw a line when it comes to respecting the original "Jurassic Park." And that line is keeping the dinosaur that scared the pants off us as kids as close to the one we remember as possible.

Trevorrow sat down for an interview with ahead of the release of "Jurassic World Dominion," where he spoke about bringing the Dilophosaurus to life. If you're not good with dinosaur names, let me refresh your memory: Wayne Knight, in the pouring rain, getting black venom spit on him by a frill-necked dinosaur that seemed deceptively cute just moments ago.

For me, watching "Jurassic Park" as a kid, no moment was scarier than the karmic Dilophosaurus kill scene. It's not particularly gory — we just see the Jeep rock as the small but vicious critter goes in for the attack — but it's full of startling and indelible imagery that's excellent nightmare fuel for young minds. When nefarious programmer Nedry (Knight) ends up stranded during a storm, he hears a cute little chittering noise that turns out to belong to a curious little Dilophosaurus. After Nedry berates the critter, it suddenly reveals its predatory side: a huge, shaking neck frill and a black wad of goo straight into the villain's eyes. It's freaky, fun, and unforgettable.

You never forget your first Dilophosaurus attack

Trevorrow clearly didn't forget it, either. "Jurassic World Dominion" is set to bring the species back, and the filmmaker told that Dilophosaurus is the one dinosaur that's still made entirely from practical effects. "It was really important to me that we only use animatronic," he explained. "There is no digital model of the Dilophosaurus, and it's something that — actually, there's no other dinosaur that we don't have a model for." So why did Trevorrow opt to recreate the insidious beastie from scratch rather than rendering it with special effects? Because, of course, he was just as stricken by the version used in "Jurassic Park" as the rest of us were.

The filmmaker says that he knew he needed to make the character "feel the same," since "our collective memory [of the Dilophosaurus] is so clear." He explained that it, even more than most dinos used in the films, is "connected to something in our childhoods that really runs deep." T-rex purists might disagree, but I think Trevorrow is right on the money with this. Not only did I go through the rest of my childhood under the false impression that Dilophosaurus was the scariest and most deadly dino out there, I also couldn't so much as look at a yellow raincoat without flashing back to the sequence. If "Jurassic World Dominion" can bottle even half of that magic, it'll be worth the stress of making an exception for practical effects.

Plus, it seemed to be the only way Treverrow could sleep at night. "I feel like if I'd made a digital Dilophosaurus, even I would have had a big problem with it," the filmmaker admitted. "So sometimes I just consider myself a fan who's in here making sure that we don't do anything to offend us."

"Jurassic World Dominion" hits theaters June 10, 2022.