Is The Lost World: Jurassic Park Still Canon? Jurassic World Dominion’s Writers Have Thoughts

Warning: Mild spoilers for Jurassic World Dominion are in play, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, enter the dinosaur sanctuary at your own risk.

Growing up as a Jurassic Park fan, I was always intrigued to see what each upcoming movie would bring. As author Michael Crichton’s world grew with cinematic sequel upon sequel, I always arrived at the theater with an open mind, no matter what came before. So it felt kind of weird that by time 2015’s Jurassic World kicked off its respective trilogy, the events of The Lost World: Jurassic Park seemed to have never happened. Going into Jurassic World Dominion, I wondered if the 1997 movie was still considered canon, despite no explicit references to the film’s third act climax; which saw a Tyrannosaurus Rex rampaging through San Diego. Well, now we have some answers.

When I sat down with Jurassic World Dominion co-writer Emily Carmichael and co-writer/director Colin Trevorrow during the film’s press day, it was time to ask the question outright. Were the events of the second outing still included in the historical torch that Jurassic World picked up upon its release? Here’s what Carmichael and Trevorrow told CinemaBlend: 

Emily Carmichael: Oh yeah! It’s canon, yeah. We didn’t decanonize anything.

Colin Trevorrow: You saw at the end the two dinosaurs from The Lost World, two T-Rexes, are there at Biosyn. That’s the two green T-Rexes. Yeah [Roberta] finally, they meet up, and she has a family. You should see it again, it’s all in there.

Decanonizing The Lost World: Jurassic Park probably wouldn’t have made too many people mad. With even its director Steven Spielberg considering the film inferior to its predecessor, the only Michael Crichton-sourced sequel has its fair share of detractors. By and large, the Jurassic universe really doesn’t make a mention of a huge dinosaur attack decades before 2018’s Fallen Kingdom unleashed a whole lot more into the world. 

Sure enough, during the final stretch, when news reports are discussing the fate of the dinosaur sanctuary that was being run/exploited by BioSyn, Roberta the Tyrannosaurus Rex from Jurassic Park meets up with the buck and doe Tyrannosauruses from The Lost World. It looks like some roars are exchanged and, given that this is a “family” moment, this might be another step towards the hypothetical Fast Saga crossover pitched last year.

That’s not the only reference that’s meant to tie the legacy trilogy even closer together with Jurassic World Dominion’s storyline, either. Another quick “blink and you’ll miss it” moment comes when BioSyn representative Ramsay Cole (Mamoudou Athie) tells Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) about the dinosaurs that are being housed in this Italian mountain stronghold. Colin Trevorrow further highlighted that in our conversation, singling out the following piece of dialogue:

And [Ramsay] mentions, he actually says Sorna in the helicopter. He says the first batch came from Sorna, so Sorna still existed.

Indeed according to Ramsay’s spiel, Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna are mentioned as providing the first waves of dinosaurs in Jurassic World Dominion’s new cinematic playground. Though it should be noted that, as the truly resilient creature she is, Roberta the Tyrannosaurus from Jurassic Park took three years to catch. That’s her you see being loaded on a plane in Pennsylvania, and her capture probably wasn’t too long after the events of last year’s IMAX prologue for Dominion.

Anyone who’s worried about where Jurassic Park III sits in the canon of the Jurassic World franchise has obviously breathed a sigh of relief. During the huge reunion between Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler, Alan asks about Mark (Taylor Nichols), the husband we saw her with in Joe Johnston’s 2001 threequel. 

Somberly, Elie admits that “it’s over,” as she's currently a free spirit with two kids in college. Of course, that freedom is tinged by the fact that a man-made ecological apocalypse is bearing down on the entire Earth; but that’s a story for another time. 

Leaving no stone unturned, Emily Carmichael and Colin Trevorrow put together a legacy-quel that officially ties up both trilogies into one, neat package. Then again, the Spinosaurus from Isla Sorna better hope it’s not alive. Now that The Lost World: Jurassic Park is considered canon, that means there should have been three T-Rexes that came over from that island. Which means that the baby that Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) and Sarah Harding (Julianne Moore) rescued from San Diego was probably the Rex that was killed in Jurassic Park III. This is starting to sound like a Fast Saga sequel in the works, isn’t it?

As it stands, Universal Pictures' Jurassic World Dominion is the “conclusion of the Jurassic era,” but it’s not the end of the franchise. You can currently see the film in a theater near you, as it comes off this weekend’s massive box office haul. Any HBO Max subscribers looking to revisit those first three legacy entries from the Jurassic Park franchise can do so as, at the time of this writing, that’s the platform that contains all of the classic dinosaur action.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.