Making of Jurassic World

A couple weeks ago, I met up with co-writer and producer Colin Trevorrow in an empty hotel lobby to talk about Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. I had planned a traditional interview, but it being the night after the film’s Hollywood premiere, Trevorrow seemed excited to finally dive into spoilers. So my interview plans took a sharp right turn and I threw out most of my non-spoiler questions.

In our conversation, Trevorrow explains the very ambitious ending of this film, the movie’s big twist, offers multiple teases as to what we might expect from Jurassic World 3, and much more. I have one bit of the interview that I will hold off for tomorrow, but the rest is here for your enjoyment. And, of course, major spoilers lie ahead.

Colin Trevorrow Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Interview

Colin Trevorrow Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Interview

Peter Sciretta: Let’s start at the beginning.

Colin Trevorrow: Okay.  

Peter: When did the idea behind this film come about?  

Colin: Well, we had a beginning, a middle and an end.  And we knew the end of the middle.  The end of this movie…is this a spoilercast or not?  Do we talk about it?

Peter: We can do that.

Colin: Whatever you think?

Peter: Yeah, let’s do it.

Colin: Okay, cool.  We knew that we wanted to structurally to bring this into like a just a tight, constricted, claustrophobic funnel of a vice and then let it all explode and open up really wide.  And we also knew that we wanted to take the idea of not just a cloned dinosaur, but the emotional needs that would go into realizing that you are of another time and of another place and are displaced and struggling with that identity.  And all those things that hopefully we get to think about in the future.  And just the idea that these dinosaurs are animals.  And that they have rights and that there’s a question as to whether they deserve to live, whether we have a responsibility to them.  All those ideas we felt were the right place to go in the middle.  

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Peter: It’s interesting because, for this franchise, we didn’t really start caring about the dinosaurs until your films, I think.  A little bit in the first one and this one a lot.  

Colin: Right.

Peter: Traditionally they’ve been just monsters. Now we’re the kind of the monsters.

Colin: I mean, like I half agree.  Like I feel like as fans we cared about them.  And I think I just I took that love and just transferred it into the story.  ‘Cause I, we love the T. Rex and we love those Raptors, even though we know they’ll bite your head off and it felt like it’s a natural progression to apply that fan love to the characters and to the world.  I also think that no franchise can continue or garner anyone’s interest unless it’s a character-based franchise.  Unless you actually care about what’s gonna happen to those people from one movie to the next.  Jurassic had never really had that.  It wasn’t the way that it was built.  You would take one lead from a previous film and put them in the next film and get them into a bad situation and they would run away.  And I knew that there’s no way that we could do three movies of that again.  The audience would abandon us.  And so we turned it into a character franchise with humans and dinosaurs.  

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Peter: So when you initially went in to pitch to Frank and Steven for the first one, did you have this whole idea for this trilogy arc?  

Colin: No.  I made no presumptions at that point.  That I was focused on just how we would reintroduce it to a new generation and how we would rebuild something without replicating it completely and that was the focus there.  Once we made the film and we got to start asking the question of whether anyone would ever wanna see another, which I would never assume, we really started talking about it.  And I actually, I’m one of those people who feels like there could have just been one Jurassic Park.  And I spend most of my waking hours trying to convince myself that that’s not true.  That we deserve not as creatives, but that this story deserves to be told on this scale.  And I managed to convince myself.  I drunk my own Kool-Aid.

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Peter: Well I think that’s something that’s interesting about your films.  I think people write them off as another mindless big blockbuster, but they are about something. The first film’s even about corporations and making a sequel even when it’s not necessarily a good idea.

Colin: Yeah. It’s funny, I observed that too, that people are certainly identifying a thread of anti-authoritarianism in my stories.  The first one is a pretty anti-corporate film while being funded by a giant corporation.  And about a very corporate character breaking out of that construct and embracing nature and the second film is clearly about animal rights.  And the effect that we’re having on the environment.  And the ecology of the planet.  I was raised by Hippies in San Francisco and Oakland.  Like, this is who I am.  And it’s just sort of, I think because I make these giant blockbusters people kind of assume that I am one way.  But I wrote this shit out of Vermont, man.  Like I live on a farm.  Like I’m not trying to burn it down.  But I think it’s a responsibility to put some of these ideas in these films.  They reach so many people.

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