Why Jurassic World Dominion's Epic Prologue Was Cut From The Movie

65 million years ago, dinosaurs ruled the Earth as the dominant form of life on this planet. Unless you're a weirdo like myself and obsessively watched all those BBC "Walking with Dinosaurs" specials from back in the day, the somewhat less-than-realistic "Dinosaur" movie from 2000, or "The Land Before Time" animated movies/shows, or the recent Apple TV+ series "Prehistoric Planet," that's likely a version of the world most audiences haven't seen depicted on the screen. It seemed as if that would change in a big way with "Jurassic World Dominion," however, when Universal Pictures released an extended clip of a standalone "prologue" sequence that showed dinosaurs living out their lives like a prehistoric nature documentary ... except for the fact that it never actually played during "Dominion" when audiences flocked to theaters this summer to watch the trilogy-capper.

Those who follow /Film closely (as you should!) would've known that this discrepancy caused quite a bit of confusion at the time, considering the resources that were committed to bringing this sequence to life so vividly. Viewers were instead left to speculate as to whether this (along with that drive-in movie scene with the T-Rex that you may have seen plastered all over official marketing materials) was originally meant to be included in the theatrical cut of the film at some point, until plans changed.

Well, speculate no more, because that's exactly what seems to have happened. In a recent interview, Trevorrow finally snuffed out this little mystery — you know, kind of like how all the dinosaurs were snuffed out by that asteroid. Too dark? Sorry.

Life, uh ... didn't find a way

Even though some lucky audiences last year were able to see this stunning IMAX "prologue" sequence in theaters, this footage of dino-heavy action was noticeably missing from the final cut of "Jurassic World Dominion." It probably wouldn't have helped save the film, mind you, but it sure would've been cool to see! Director Colin Trevorrow explained this glaring omission once and for all, however, when he talked to The Wrap. After being told that it was a beautiful and "Malick-ian" scene, the filmmaker responded:

"Maybe too Malick-ian for a big summer movie. It was the beginning of the movie, it's the first five minutes of the film and something I'm very proud of. In our negotiations for how long this movie could be, and it's still a pretty long movie, we realized that it was going to have to go. Universal supported my request to just give it to everyone for free and let people watch this prologue as a way to bring them into the world that we were creating. Hopefully, and I could almost say assuredly, someday you will be able to see it again."

Say what, now? "Again"? That would seem to point towards its possible inclusion as a bonus feature in the film's home release or — dare we say it — a potential director's cut down the line. Luckily, The Wrap thought along similar lines and asked Trevorrow point-blank if he meant we'd eventually see a director's cut. According to him, "We'll see. We'll see how things go. Fingers crossed."


Now, Trevorrow's recent quotes line up with what he's stated previously. In an interview with IGN back in November of 2021, the director first mentioned his original intentions for this sequence. "Initially we had considered that this would be part of the film," he said at the time. Though the runtime issue is a valid concern, it's frustrating to know that this prologue could've actually helped set up the rivalry between the T-Rex and the Giganotosaurus featured in "Dominion" — especially since that new big bad of the threequel barely factors into the film as it stands. Trevorrow agrees, calling the prologue an "origin story" for the T-Rex:

"It's extremely important for me, as a storyteller, because I believe the dinosaurs are characters, and so this is the origin story for the T-Rex. I wanted it to be told, and so Universal was totally down with experimenting with sharing five minutes of finished move as a 'prologue' six months in advance."

Confusing and misleading marketing term aside, it is cool that we were able to see it in some form ahead of time, at least! But between that begrudging omission and Trevorrow's own indication in another interview that "...there's about 14 minutes of this movie that aren't in the theatrical version," the tea leaves certainly seem to be pointing towards an even longer director's cut down the line. We wouldn't necessarily expect to see this get the theatrical re-release treatment that "Spider-Man: No Way Home" will, but at least fans can likely look forward to even more dino-action at some point in the near future.

"Jurassic World Dominion" is currently playing in theaters.