Thank God For Site B: Everything You Need To Know About Isla Sorna

If a recent set photo from Jurassic World Dominion is anything to go by, then it looks like InGen’s Site B will be returning in some form in the upcoming entry in the Jurassic saga. In this article we wanted to revisit the second island known to be home to the dinosaurs of this franchise, exploring what we know about this island and, crucially, how that may factor into the upcoming sequel.

Site B, also known as Isla Sorna, appears in both The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III, and is presented as a part of Las Cinco Muertes – an Archipelago which is 200 miles southwest of Costa Rica. This island is presented as the factory floor for InGen’s dinosaur cloning operations – featuring embryonic labs, an aviary, and an in-island waterway which provided InGen’s workers with access to paddocks and facilities all across the island’s topography. If we think of Isla Nublar as the public-facing side of the theme park, then Isla Sorna is the mechanical side which keeps things running – producing new dinosaurs whilst also providing a space where Scientists can do their work.

In the film canon, we get to see several parts of the island and its facilities. In The Lost World, we see large-scale game trails for Herbivores, alongside a worker’s village – providing space for InGen personnel to live and work on the island. This contrasts Isla Nublar, which was very much guest-centric, and shows how more personnel were likely to be positioned on this island at any time. We also get a glimpse at the large-scale InGen facilities which were present on the island in this film – including a building which is not too dis-similar from Jurassic Park’s visitor center, suggesting that there may have still been some facility for visitors on this island. I could picture Isla Sorna functioning very similar to the Hammond Creation Lab in Jurassic World – providing investors and would-be sponsors with a place to see the company’s work in action.

In JPIII, we get to see more of the island – including large-scale fences, more InGen facilities, and also the embryonic building which forms the core of the InGen laboratories on the island. This building has hints at other things including caging and storage, providing insight into how these dinosaurs may have been created during the years preluding the 1993 incident. JPIII also provides a look at the Aviary – and gives us an interesting look at how Phase II attractions for Jurassic Park may have first been developed at Site B – allowing scientists to perfect their attractions ahead of their introduction to the public. The presence of the Aviary also introduces us to Sorna’s waterways, which were used by InGen to transport dinosaurs and other supplies across the island and between the different facilities which were operating across its large expanse.

Since we last visited Site B in 2001’s JPIII, we haven’t seen much more of the island – apart from receiving hints at how it has functioned in some of Jurassic World’s extended material, such as the Masrani Global and Dinosaur Protection Group marketing. This has helped to pad-out how the island also functioned as a hatching ground for the Masrani Global attraction, but we are yet to see more of this beyond the vague hints at the island having since fallen back into a state of disrepair – devoid of any dinosaurs.

Make sure to check out our video below, which goes in-depth into the Island, and everything we know about it to date! Also check out Jurassic Vault – where some of the images in this article came from!

What this all means for Jurassic World Dominion is still very much up in the air currently, but I think it is safe to say that we are all excited to see how the island will factor into the upcoming sequel.

Join the discussion below and let us know your hopes for Isla Sorna, and if you think it will see some sort of resolution in Jurassic World: Dominion!

New Interview With ‘Jurassic Park’ Sound Designer Gary Rydstrom, and ‘Jurassic Park 3’ Cinematographer Shelly Johnson

Earlier this year we had the opportunity to interview cinematographer Shelly Johnson, who brought Isla Sorna to life in 2001’s Jurassic Park 3. The two hour interview explores Shelly’s work on the third movie along with diving into concepts and ideas that never made it to screen – along with some Jurassic Park 4 concepts too!

A new interview with Shelly which further expands upon our discussion has now released over at Soundstage Access. Check it out below:

The interview dives deeper into Jurassic Park 3’s recycling of old sets from The Lost World and what it was like taking over the Universal backlot shooting throughout the fall of 2000.

Brando at Soundstage Access also interviewed Gary Rydstrom who was the sound designer for Jurassic Park and who has signed on as the sound designer for the upcoming Jurassic World: Dominion.

In the interview Gary discusses his creative process designing the dino-sounds for the first Jurassic Park.

Thanks to Brando for sharing these with us, what a great couple of interviews! The interviews are both available on iTunes along with Spotify, so be sure to check out the Shelly interview and Gary interview there. Let us know what you think in the comments down below!

Jurassic becomes first major live-action film franchise to average $1 billion per film

Star Wars, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Harry Potter and Fast and Furious are all major live-action Hollywood franchises that not only entertain and shape generations of moviegoers, but also dominate at the global box office. But despite all those franchises’ success, there is only one live-action film franchise (with 2+ films) that averages $1 billion worldwide per film and it might shock the average person of which franchise that is: Jurassic Park.

That is right, the Jurassic Park franchise, which currently stands at 5 films (with the 6th film, Jurassic World: Dominion currently in production for a June 11, 2021 release), is the only live-action movie franchise to reach this amazing feat. With the Covid-19 re-release of Jurassic Park and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom this Summer in multiple countries and some theatrical showings of Jurassic World, the franchise global total has finally crossed the $5 billion mark ($5,069,589,335 to be exact as of this writing).

One might argue that the re-release of those films to push it over the top is unfair, but most major film franchise’s see re-releases from time to time, including other big ones like Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So how does this all break down for the Jurassic films compared to the others? Well lets start with Jurassic Park.

Before 2015, the Jurassic franchise consisted of only three films, Jurassic Park (1993), The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) and Jurassic Park III (2001). The worldwide grosses of those three films are $1,033,756,460, $618,638,999 and $368,780,809 which totals $2.02 billion, or about $673.7 million per film. So how did the franchise go from averaging $673.7 million to $1 billion? In 2015 the release of the fourth film in the series, Jurassic World demolished box office records at the time on the way to a massive global haul of $1,670,400,637. Three years later the fifth film, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, while not as massive as it’s predecessor, was still one of the biggest film’s of all-time with $1,378,012,430. Add those all up and you have a franchise that makes it to the $1 billion per film average.

So if you are still surprised or asking “Well what about Star Wars or Marvel, they have to be at or close to an average of $1 billion also”. Those are indeed massive franchises with at least one film in each that has made over $2 billion individually, but overall still behind Jurassic in terms of averages. Star Wars has 11 theatrical films that average $937.4 million per film and if you include 2008’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars as the 12th film, the average drops to $859.8 million. The Marvel Cinematic Universe currently has 23 films that average $982 million. Some other major franchises that are near the top of the list include the Harry Potter/Fantastic Beasts films ($923.8 million average), Pirates of the Caribbean ($904.9 million), The Hunger Games ($742.0 million) and (Fast and Furious ($654.9 million).

But there has to be a catch right, is Jurassic REALLY the highest grossing franchise in Hollywood on average? Yes, and well, also no. It is the highest grossing live-action film series per film, but it is not the highest grossing film series per film overall. There is one other franchise that can claim that title: Disney’s animated Frozen films. Currently sitting at two films, the series is averaging a very impressive $1.37 billion per film.

While Jurassic might be the only current $1 billion per film live-action franchise it will be interesting to see if a series like Star Wars or Marvel can ever reach those heights too since they are not that far off. It will also be something to watch if Jurassic can maintain that level with the series adding Jurassic World: Dominion next Summer. If Dominion can earn at least $1 billion itself it will obviously stay in the exclusive $1 billion per film club. Based on past results, the movie going audiences love for new films in the series it is a no-brainer that the new film would reach those heights. However, the wrench in the whole thing is the current world climate with the Covid-19 pandemic and the complete uncertainty of the film landscape going forward. Will the virus be gone, or at least contained enough that normalcy resumes? Will theaters be open at 100% capacity? Will some theaters even fail to re-open after their financial losses, especially in a very big box office market in China? There are a lot of rough waters that a blockbuster like Dominion will have to navigate.

The other thing Jurassic has proven and earned is the right to exist as a franchise. Not everyone loves all the films, and people will always question certain choices by the filmmakers and not everyone will always agree with with the direction the movies take. Like any other film series though, some absolutely love every aspect of it, and there are people that hate everything too. You can’t please everyone and every series will have its positives and negatives. But you can’t deny that there is a global thirst and want for these films. It is a franchise that if a new film is released, people will flock to see it. You might see people on social media or even national movie critics ask things like “Why are they making another?”, “Jurassic is not a franchise”, “It is time to let the series die”, “No one asked for another Jurassic movie”, yet what they fail to realize is that how well these films do, people do want more films and they don’t want the series to end. If you don’t want to watch another Jurassic film, then don’t, no one is forcing you to, but it is still going to have a major turnout, excitement and box office haul.

So what do you think of the Jurassic franchise being the only live-action film franchise to average $1 billion per film globally? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

The Lost World of ‘Jurassic Park: England’

It was a digital landscape that sometimes we think time wishes it could forget. Before Facebook or Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr, even before Myspace. It was an age when the internet wasn’t quite in its infancy, but more of an awkward transitional phase, as everyday it seemed new sites, forums and chat rooms came and went.

Today the graveyards of Archive.org are littered with the remnants of this now bygone era and provide a fascinating insight into the Jurassic Park fandom. Full of forgotten fanfics, early rumors of a “Jurassic Park 4” and maybe if you’re lucky some old screencaps and fan art, there is one page in particular that stands out. A place many once heard of and few probably remember, it was only recently that it was rediscovered.

Almost lost forever and forgotten by most, Jurassic Park: England (or “JP:UK” as it was also known) was a website chronicling a labor of love undertaken by British fan Andy Simpson and his quest to create a patch of prehistoric paradise in his own garden. Seemingly inspired by “Jurassic Park: The Ride” and then then recent Jurassic Park III, you can guarantee no expense was spared.

With some reports estimating that Andy spent about £4,000, the attraction included a 20ft. river safari through primeval overgrowth, smoky banks and of course a 15ft. recreation of the infamous “King Kong gates” that loomed over guests in the movie. All of this ending in a home theater where guests could join its creator in a private screening of his favorite films.  “I’ve seen Jurassic Park over 300 times!” Simpson told reporters back in 2001. “I watched the films over and over ’cause each time I’d notice new things to re-create.” he also commented.

 

The attraction itself was by no means easy to build. According to Andy, besides the two years and countless hours needed to construct the massive attraction, it was also required to meet certain standards from the local council in order to entertain guests. Luckily for him however, “Jurassic Park: England” came just short of the required dimensions for some serious urban planning. As, if that wasn’t enough to consider, Simpson had to reach out to Steven Speilberg and Universal themselves for their blessing to use the Jurassic Park name and iconography. With little in his favor and probably as much chance as the cast of Jurassic Park had escaping the jaws of a hungry t-rex, Universal and Speilberg’s company actually reached out to the teenage fan, providing him with everything he needed to properly represent what they created.

Unlike the fictional park, which was only previewed to six selected guests, “Jurassic Park: England” opened to 40 and was met with critical acclaim for such a humble attraction. People gasped with delight as they were towed through the torch lit river and amazed as they came face to face with simulated dangers waiting along the banks. Simpson went on to be featured in countless news outlets including radio, tv, magazines and newspapers. In addition his site showcasing the ride briefly went viral with thanks from an avid community of fans.

 

What happened to “JP:UK?” Well truth be told, nobody really knows.  In a time before social media as we know it today, it was easy for it all to fall into obscurity. The last time anyone heard from Simpson was in 2008 when he last updated his webpage. Perhaps somewhere in a British suburb, in an overgrown garden adorned with plastic skulls are the ancient ruins of this once proud attraction. A real lost world, waiting to be rediscovered, to be explored and maybe even entertain guests once again.

It’s hard to think that anything this huge could be forgotten, but if it’s one thing dinosaurs like the ones in Jurassic Park have to teach us, it’s this: Even the biggest things can be lost to time and reclaimed by the Earth. That’s why it’s important that we make our mark and tell the world who we are. The dreamers, the innovators, the people who do the impossible, keep pushing forward, shine bright and leave your legacy.

This article was written with love and with cooperation from “Big Razzie” and “Jurassic Outpost”.

‘Jurassic Park’ Trilogy Comes to Peacock Streaming

Hold on to your butts! Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and Jurassic Park III are now available to stream on Peacock TV (no expense required)!

Peacock is the new streaming service from NBC Universal that launched today! You just have to create an account with email and password and the first three Jurassic movies are yours to enjoy. A ton of other shows and movies are available for free, but Jurassic is the most important obviously.

Xfinity and Cox customers may be eligible for a free upgrade to Peacock Premium, which includes additional content not available with the free account. RUN over to Peacock to see some dinosaurs!

An Interview With Shelly Johnson, ASC – Cinematographer of Jurassic Park 3

We’re excited to drop our new interview with the cinematographer of Jurassic Park 3, Shelly Johnson! I was lucky enough to speak with Shelly not too long ago about his time working on Jurassic Park 3, along with many other features he has shot.

Shelly was first brought onto the third Jurassic Park movie by Steven Spielberg himself, who had seen Shelly’s work on the Dreamworks Television series, The Others.

“I got a call from Larry Franco who’s the producer of Jurassic and said, Hey, you know, we were just in Steven’s office, and he showed us some footage from the show and said that we need to talk to you about doing Jurassic. And so why don’t you come down and you’ll get to meet Joe Johnston, and you guys can discuss it. He said, unfortunately, we can’t show you the script, but it’s Jurassic 3 and you get the idea.”

The collaboration with Joe Johnston led to a long and varied career, shooting films such as Captain America: The First Avenger, The Expendables 2, The Wolfman, and the upcoming Bill & Ted Face The Music and Greyhound.

Shelly went into detail about the role he plays in crafting a movie, and the complex lighting setups he used on Jurassic Park 3:

“My plan was to have this very kind of indirect light, filtered through the fog and as they got deeper in the canyon and got a little darker until it got to the bottom when there’s no sun at all. Maybe a little bit of that in the cliffs up there, but they would be in indirect light. Our largest set piece was a set of cliffs on the river at the bottom of the canyon that was all at Falls Lake, which is a permanent Lake on the Universal backlot, kind of a pathway up the hill there, and they’ve got a permanent green screen structure on one side of it.”

Along with sharing the technicalities of a shoot this large, we discussed the infamous and slightly troubled production the movie had, which stemmed from the original shooting script being thrown out weeks before filming was set to begin.

There was never an ending written while they were shooting, but an ending sequence had been planned at one point in time which would have involved a rescue helicopter getting attacked by a Pteranodon – something Spielberg had been wanting to see with a passion. The scene ultimately ended up in Jurassic World, along with the motorcycle Raptor chase.

“At one point, I’m not sure if it was written or not, there was a big discussion and some illustrations of a Pteranodon attacking a helicopter, like a big helicopter, a black Hawk. And when they fly away at the end of it they were going to attack and pick their way through the windshield, kind of like they did with the little helicopter in part four.

We were kind of waiting for it because as they fly out, that’s where it was. The last thing was this attack and they had to get out of it. And it ended up getting cut because of the expense, everything, you’re at the end of the movie now. And that was the sequence we had least worked out, where everything else we had sets for and had worked it out and it just didn’t seem like it was going to be viable.”

We talked about some of the concept posters for Jurassic Park 3, that were seen on the Jurassic Park 3 DVD release, showing titles such as Extinction or Breakout, with one even showing a human fetus in the logo in exchange for the T. rex.

After Jurassic Park 3’s release, many ideas for the fourth Jurassic were thrown around and as we know Joe Johnston was attached to direct the movie for quite some time.

Shelly discussed some of the things he had heard about the fourth movie from Joe and the similarities between the concepts he had heard and what ended up in Jurassic World.

Jack: “Joe Johnson was attached to direct Jurassic Park 4 for quite some time after Jurassic Park 3 was released. After you and he had built that sort of solid working relationship on the third, were you automatically on that with him or did you discuss Jurassic Park 4 with him?”

Shelly: “We did discuss it, yes, I’m not sure I would have automatically been, nothing’s automatic with him.  I sort of have to earn my way onto every project, but it was definitely in the discussion. He played so much of that close to the vest, I don’t think there was much he could talk about.

But he told me what was out there, he told me that there was a story of creating an army of Raptors as kind of this invincible army, which you kind of see in part four. You see Chris Pratt out there training the raptors and you see the military contractors realizing the profit potential

I know that four went through a whole slew of iterations, and I think that the finished version, what they ended up shooting was very different than the film that Joe was considering making way back then.”

Shelly also shared with me how he would have liked a new Jurassic to look, if he were shooting it.

Jack: “After your work on Jurassic Park 3 and the prospect of, of lighting and shooting another, had you had time to think about what direction you would have liked to take it in? Obviously, it depends on what Joe wants and what the script was like, but had you had an idea about the way you wanted it to kind of look or what you wanted to explore?”

Shelly: “Yes, if I could do it again, I think that the moodier stuff in that movie is where it starts to kind of hit a tone that makes the Island feel a lot more mysterious, less of a tropical paradise and much more of a mysterious and scary place. And I would have liked to have kind of gone for that tone, even with the Kirby story and that little nod to comedy that Alexander Payne put in there. You know, I think it’s still work in a very, a very more threatening environment. So, I would have loved for it to have gotten a little darker.”

An even moodier Jurassic Park is music to my ears, and it’s great to hear that from the cinematographer himself. Jurassic Park 3 has some of the most beautiful and well-shot sequences in the franchise, specifically the atmosphere that Shelly created in the aviary. It would have been great to see how far he could have pushed that in Jurassic Park 4.

Shelly was also kind enough to answer some fan questions submitted to us, including: ‘what attacked the boat in the opening sequence?’, ‘how late into production did the Spinosaurus replace the Baryonyx?’, ‘were the Velociraptors going to attack the Spinosaurus at any point?’

The interview is available to listen both on our YouTube and as an episode of Podcast which streams through iTunes, Google Podcasts, Podbean and other feeds.

I’d like to thank Shelly for taking the time to speak with me and for sharing such fantastic and detailed behind the scenes stories of his time working on the franchise!

Be sure to give Shelly a follow on Instagram and head to his website for some detailed breakdowns of his lighting setups.

Happy Jurassic June!

‘Jurassic World Evolution: Return to Jurassic Park’ Launch Trailer | Out Now!

Welcome back to Jurassic Park! The brand new classic Jurassic DLC based upon the first three films is now available on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC — check out the launch trailer below, and read on for more details!

Join Dr. Alan Grant, Dr. Ellie Sattler and Dr. Ian Malcolm on Isla Nublar, in an all new storyline where you’ll rebuild and open the greatest attraction on earth, Jurassic Park. Use your skill as an expert park manager to overcome intriguing new challenges, and show the world you’ve got what it takes to handle the heat when life finds a way!

For anyone who may have missed our previous announcement, this fantastic new expansion pack contains a whole host a brand new story missions, classic buildings inspired by film, dinosaur skins you’ll most definitely recognize and much more! Don’t forget, Jurassic World Evolution: Return to Jurassic Park comes alongside free update 1.12, with features that have been highly requested from the community like new Ranger team functions and a restroom requirement for guests.

Jurassic World Evolution: Return to Jurassic Park launches today on Steam, Playstation 4 and Xbox One for £15.99 ($19.99, €19.99).

Perhaps the most exciting bit of news is that Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum have returned to voice the roles of Dr’s Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler, and Ian Malcolm respectively. They’re intregal to this altnernate cannon story where after the fateful events of the first film, they return to the islands and help Hammond rebuild. This time it will be flawless.

Stay tuned, as our review will be coming as soon as we’ve spent enough time with the game and completed its story!

Will you be picking up the ‘Return to Jurassic Park’ DLC, and what do you hope it adds to Jurassic World Evolution? Sound off in the comments below, and as always, stay tuned for the latest news!


Jurassic World and Soft-Canon: a Counteractive and Convoluted Conundrum

This article is a guest contribution by Thomas Fishenden.

When it comes to the Jurassic Park franchise, it is safe to say that there has been a lot of world building over the duration of the five installments which Universal Studios have produced. It is certainly safe to say that a lot has been added to the franchise over the years. The films have added new locations and new animals and characters, whilst the secondary materials – such as the viral marketing – have aimed to add in more continuity between the sequel installments. Canon, however, has not always been maintained – and there have always been issues which have plagued the Jurassic franchise and the continuity it shares between its various outings. We have seen Universal and Colin Trevorrow take steps towards addressing these issues in recent years – but unfortunately, a recent announcement during the press for Jurassic World: The Live Tour has us concerned about the future canonical consistencies within the franchise.

In the past, Colin Trevorrow has stated that he is the overseer of the franchise – and would oversee issues, such as Canon, moving forwards to ensure better continuity and cohesion across the property in the future. This had many of us excited, as it seemed to indicate that both Colin and the studio behind him were willing to take meaningful steps towards building a much more coherent cinematic universe. Indeed, it appeared that the Jurassic franchise would take a similar approach to other great franchises like Star Wars and Marvel, building outwards with meaningful connections to the very core pillars which first established the franchise. For a while, this seemed to hold true – with inconsistencies around the geography of the Isla Nublar report in both Jurassic World and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom openly addressed by the director, who proceeded to work with the team behind the viral marketing and surrounding canonical materials (Chaos Theorem) to build a meaningful explanation which alleviated the canon-breaking implications that the change in island geography had. Furthermore, the team working behind the scenes had the opportunity to build upon the background of the franchise – adding in new implications for the canon which alleviated some of the strained connections that the narratives of the more recent films had. It is safe to say that the Dinosaur Protection Group website, and other subsequent ventures, did a lot to build upon the canon in meaningful ways – addressing the concerns of long term fans and creating much more of a cinematic ‘universe’ than we had ever seen for the franchise before.

Whilst the Dinosaur Protection Group faded into obscurity after the cinematic debut of Fallen Kingdom, it appeared canon would continue to grow and expand within the franchise. This brings us to Jurassic World: The Live Tour. Press Events for the tour (see Chris’s coverage from an event in April of this year) got fans excited – with a clear focus on developing a story which could fit within the confines of a pre-established Jurassic World narrative. Indeed, whilst some of the live show would build upon the back of the blockbuster film, showcasing the Indominus rampage on Isla Nublar, the clear majority was stated to be a brand-new story exploring a top-secret InGen Facility in Chile. The story follows Doctor Kate Walker, who was working with dinosaurs in a similar behavioral capacity to Owen Grady, and has essentially been pitched as the other half of the IBRIS project which we see on screen within Jurassic World. This, again, is a project which has always been relatively secretive on-screen, so fans were excited to be able to learn even more about this new piece of lore which was sure to build upon the fundamental ideals explored within the first Jurassic World film. Anticipation was high – and this was only exasperated further by the debut of Battle at Big Rock, which explored more new characters within the same universe, after the events of Fallen Kingdom.

Unfortunately, however, it seems that the story continuity will not last.

Fast forward to the start of November, when the Live Tour is kicking off with its worldwide premiere. Colin was interviewed by the Social Media team working on behalf of Feld Entertainment., and in an Instagram story on the official tour account, Colin was asked where the events of the show fit within the timeline of Jurassic World. His response was as follows:

“We have something we call soft canon – which is that it happens, but it also exists within its own space. You know, Feld’s writers and creators made a new and original story which exists within the context of Jurassic World and I think people are really going to love it.”

This statement is great when we consider how passionate Colin is for the franchise, and it is nice to see how excited he is about the live show – but it also poses a very real problem for the franchise moving forwards. That statement of ‘soft-canon’, and the careful phrasing of this show ‘existing within the context of Jurassic World’, has set alarm bells ringing for many fans – suggesting that the show may not be a meaningful fit within the pre-determined canon of the franchise, as was previously implied. Soft-canon itself is an alarming phrase, considering its what ‘Jurassic World Evolution’ is described as — something that is not canon at all, but adheres to the rules of the universal while carving out its alternate reality.

This becomes problematic as a universe which is built without canon in mind can very quickly crumble and implode if not handle with a degree of oversight and brand management. Disney know this all too well – and it is the reason why the Star Wars Expanded Universe is now referred to as ‘Legends’. Here, Disney told too many stories which conflicted with one another and posed potential problems for the canons of the franchise so they had to restart this from the ground up and discount any of their old stories as being non-canon unless reintroduced into modern films or properties. Whilst this soured many Star Wars fans, Disney could get away with this because of the sheer scale and scope of Star Wars and its fan-base, with many more pre-established stories already under the franchise’s belt. Jurassic, in contrast, is a relatively new and expanding franchise with a smaller fan base, and so the movements made to grow the brand really need to be considered and thoughtful to connect with audiences and build a meaningful and consistent fan base. Therefore, the term ‘soft canon’ being thrown out so early in the growth of the franchise has both I and many other Jurassic fans concerned about the future direction of the franchise.

It should also be noted that Star War’s non-canon ‘legends’ media only consists of expanded fiction that came out prior to The Force Awakens. Everything since then has been carefully cultivated to fit within the ever expanding galaxy, working with their brand team, writers, and directors as to not contradict the films, but add to them all while telling their own stories. Why Jurassic cannot do this, especially given their stable creative team, and smaller universe size, is a frustrating mystery.

Whilst I appreciate that it is hard to canonise a Live Tour (other properties like ‘Marvel Universe Live’ opted to tell entirely separate stories), I think straddling the line between canon and ‘soft canon’ is an attempt for Jurassic to have its cake and eat it too. Whilst it’s a humble attempt at developing upon the IP, I feel that it misses the mark and misses what fans have truly been clamoring for – which are stories which will have larger impacts on the overall franchise whilst enabling them to connect with these characters and these stories in much more meaningful ways. The attitude of utilizing ‘soft canon’ poses a worry for fans, as it brings into question upcoming properties like Camp Cretaceous, and where they will stand in terms of both canon and impact on the other properties within the franchise. Whilst there is certainly an argument for these being more children’s tailored properties, it is important to note that even in that regard a canonical middle ground is achievable. Take, for example, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. This property found a way to tell stories within a pre-existing universe whilst not damaging canon. In fact, Clone Wars could build upon the pre-established in interesting and meaningful ways – connecting with both older and younger fans alike. This was due not only to the creative vision of Dave Filoni, but also due to the creative oversight and brand consistency which Disney and the Star Wars team had in place – and something which Jurassic seems to be sorely missing at this moment in time.

For the Jurassic World Live Tour, the format itself doesn’t entirely mesh with real world antics – so we understand that the action and context that which the story plays out may not be 1:1 to canon. But there is no reasons the overarching story itself of Dr. Kate Walker, InGens facility in Chile, and the events that subsequently played out cannot be canon. A simple “The story is canon, the action within and execution of it is soft canon” would be far more understandable. It was stated numerous times that Colin Trevorrow was involved from the start to make sure the story is hard canon. So what happened?

Make no mistake – I, and many others, are excited for new stories to be explored within the Jurassic universe. Many of us have clamoured for more from this brand for years, so the fact that we are finally getting this is exciting, and is a true testament to the creative passion of individuals like Colin Trevorrow. But, with that said, oversight is important too – and it’s important that this is built into a brand with solid foundations so that these stories can continue to be told for years to come. With that in mind, an organisation like Chaos Theorem or someone else altogether really need to be empowered to get more involved in the day-to-day canon of this universe, so that we can finally have something which feels cohesive. Continuity has always been a matter of discussion for Jurassic – and in some ways, poor continuity adds to the charm of these films. But, if Jurassic is to ever grow into a franchise with the power to do more than beat back other big names at the box office, then it is crucial that canon is considered, and that the time is taken to build a rich universe for these stories to take place within.

What do you all think? Where do you stand on canon in cinema, and is it important to you that these side projects tie in? Sound of in the comments below!


Uniting the Franchise: How Jurassic World 3 Should Incorporate Dinosaur Designs from ‘Park’ Films

Art by Neemz.

2021 is swiftly approaching. Jurassic World 3 is already shaping up to be an event unlike anything we have seen since the original Jurassic Park. With Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum all returning for major roles in the upcoming film, it is easy to see that we are in store for a movie with some serious callbacks to the film that started it all. With the return of old human characters, Jurassic World 3 is posed in the perfect position to be a film that showcases the original aspects of Jurassic Park side by side with the new ideas put forth in the Jurassic World movies. We can talk about the human characters until the sun goes down, but at the end of the day, the highlight of Jurassic has always been the dinosaurs.

One complaint that we see time and time again is how different some of the dinosaurs look in the newer films. While some fans view these differences as a major drawback, it’s time to take a hard look at how these perceived differences actually present a unique opportunity to showcase exactly what these dinosaurs are: genetically engineered, theme park…creatures. In other words, these dinosaurs are simply lab-created animals melding natural science and science fiction.

So today, let’s take a look at some specific examples of these differences. Let’s start with a classic: the mighty Stegosaurus. We first got a glimpse at the creature on Isla Sorna in The Lost World Jurassic Park. This Jurassic Park era Stego was on the more athletic side. As you can see below, it featured a straight tail and narrow head, which featured a beak of some sort. Its athleticism was put on full display when it sensed a threat in Sarah Harding approaching its infant.

Now, let us compare that to the Jurassic World era Stegosaurus. The new creation featured a heavier retro build, with a drooping tail and a wider head (with lips instead of a beak). Their coloration is slightly different, and their skin texture is entirely different than their park counterparts. We’re first introduced to them roaming Nublar’s Gyrosphere Valley in Jurassic World, presumably engineered under Masrani’s supervision to achieve certain goals.

In a universe where scientists have been cloning and creating new dinosaurs for over twenty five years, these differences can be explained by genetic manipulation. Perhaps the old Stegosauruses were just too agile and destructive with their more athletic build and size. Maybe the Jurassic World scientists realized a beefier build appealed to the parks older demographs who imagine dinosaurs with more outdated views. Questions like these are exactly the kind of lore I believe are ripe for answering in Jurassic World 3. Before we move on to how exactly the movie can present those answers in a natural way, let’s take a look at another dinosaur example.

The Ankylosaurus is well-known for the armor plating all along its back, but the different eras of Jurassic took the animal in otherwise different directions. We first see the Jurassic Park era Anyklosaur in Jurassic Park 3 as it lumbers underneath the tree some of our characters are hiding out in. It touts rougher scale-based armor with a smaller, colorful head. It has a narrow and angular build overall and is not overtly large.

Once again, let’s look at the Jurassic World edition Ankylosaurus that we see duke it out with the Indominous Rex. Not only is the Jurassic World era animal bigger, it has defined armor plating and a larger, uniform-color head. Just like the Stegosaurus, it sports a bulkier, stockier build overall. It’s been theorized that ‘World’s’ Anylosaurs are female counterparts to ‘Park’s’ males.

Ankylosaurs and Stegosaurs are only scratching the surface. Numerous other species have distinct sub-species within the Jurassic films, with 3 different Pteranodon breeds, over 3 different breeds of Velociraptors, plus a variety of sexual dimorphism seen within Parasaurs, Brachiosaurs, and more.

The best step for Jurassic to take is to embrace the differences and use them as a tool to enrich the deep mythology the universe has already given to us. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see the Jurassic Park 3 raptors running around Blue? That sort of variety in appearance is a treasure trove of rich story that has largely only been explored by the DPG marketing campaign for Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom. It’s important to not stifle that variety, but embrace it fully, and bring all these elements from various films together.

However, not every difference is a canonical variation – the T. rex of Jurassic World being a prime example. Many fans have complained she looks off from her Jurassic Park appearance – and it’s true – the design has changed in more ways than just aging. This love for Jurassic Park’s iconic designs is another prime reason to bring them back. Not just nostalgia – they’re some of the most iconic creature designs in cinema. Embrace the masterclass work of Stan Winston Studios, Crash McCreery and ILM that laid the foundation for Jurassic World.

We know that Jurassic World 3 director Colin Trevorrow plans to expand the universe even more and deal with these creatures on a much larger scale now that they’re part of our world. One of the best ways to explore this evolution naturally, while keeping it tied to the past films is to simply go back to the older, forgotten dinosaurs. Likewise, we can finally explore how these various subspecies may interact – what would a crossbreed of a Jurassic Park female raptor and JP3 male raptor look like? Or would they never have the chance, fighting for territory instead?

What makes the Jurassic Park novel so great is that it tackles the science aspect of the story head on – the novel version of Wu has candid conversations with Hammond about manipulating the DNA of the dinosaurs to alter their physical characteristics and change the way they behave. If we’re trying to find inspiration, that’s where to start the search. Having a character in the movie, like Wu, explain the differences between all the animals on screen only serves to deepen the canon in a positive way. Not only that, it serves as a natural explanation for why Project IBRIS with the raptors at Jurassic World was (eventually) successful compared to the more aggressive raptors from the previous movies.

What are your thoughts on the dinosaur differences? Is this a purposeful creation from Jurassic Park scientists, or do you think the filmmakers were just looking to switch up the styles? If you believe the science backs it up, would you like to see it explained on screen? Sound off in the comments below and tell us how you would explain the uniqueness of the dinosaurs!

Jurassic World 3 to film in the Mediterranean

The theme park dinosaurs of Jurassic World are spreading to Europe, well at least the film crew is. According to a report from newsmalta, the production for Jurassic World 3 is set to film on the Mediterranean island country of Malta later this year!

As pointed out by our friends at The Jurassic Park Podcast, other productions such as Assassin’s Creed, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, Murder on the Orient Express and Game Of Thrones have previously filmed on the island country. Now will Malta serve as a backdrop for a return to Isla Nublar or even Isla Sorna? Or could it be an all new locale for the franchise? All that will eventually be answered as production begins and eventually with the film’s release on June 11, 2021.

Colin Trevorrow is returning to the director’s chair for the 6th installment of the franchise and the film will see the return of Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard along with the original 1993’s Jurassic Park cast of Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum.

What are your thoughts on Jurassic World 3 filming in Malta? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and on our forums.

Thank you to The Jurassic Park Podcast for uncovering this news.

Source: newsmalta