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Steven Spielberg Explains What Went Wrong With Jurassic Park: The Lost World

Jeff Goldblum frightened and wet in an RV in The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
(Image credit: Universal PIctures)

Hindsight can help us see what was once obscured by the fog of excitement. For Steven Spielberg, the years have supposedly helped him see the error of his ways when it came to continuing the Jurassic Park legacy with its first sequel, The Lost World. Upon personal reflection, the legendary director explains what truly went wrong, and it’s something so fitting that even Jurassic fans will be amazed at the irony.

In a conversation with The New York Times, Steven Spielberg squared up with the legacy of The Lost World: Jurassic Park and admitted a hard truth. Not satisfied with merely owning up to what supposedly went wrong with his franchise continuation, Spielberg also approached the subject of his sequels on the whole. With that in mind, here’s what he had to say; 

My sequels aren’t as good as my originals because I go onto every sequel I’ve made and I’m too confident. This movie made a ka-zillion dollars, which justifies the sequel, so I come in like it’s going to be a slam dunk and I wind up making an inferior movie to the one before. I’m talking about ‘The Lost World’ and ‘Jurassic Park.’

According to the man himself, hubris was what killed the beast in The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Apparently succumbing to the same traps that John Hammond himself stepped into when creating his park of dreams, Steven Spielberg ran into the relatively quickly greenlit sequel to his 1993 classic with a swagger in his step. It may have been enough to bring him back to play with the dinosaurs, but in the man’s own opinion, it couldn’t deliver that “slam dunk” he was hoping for. 

To date, Steven Spielberg has only made four sequels to his directorial efforts. In addition to 1997’s The Lost World: Jurassic Park, he also directed three Indiana Jones follow-ups between 1984 and 2008. So the man doesn’t have to be too hard on himself, especially when this particular subsection of his resume includes quite possibly the best Spielberg/Indiana Jones sequel, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Although, this is The Lost World: Jurassic Park we’re talking about here. Even though I’ve always been a Jurassic franchise fan, and for a time the Ian Malcolm-led film was in heavy rotation in my childhood, time has not been kind to that movie. While it’s not the lowest ranked film in the franchise, it’s still an adventure that has lost some of its shine over time.

Basically, when stating what went wrong with his Jurassic Park sequel, Steven Spielberg admitted that he was so preoccupied with whether or not he could, that he didn’t really stop and think about whether he should. It’s a complicated situation, as anyone knows that the franchise would have continued with or without him, as we would later see with 2001’s Jurassic Park III

Not to mention, without those adventures, we might never have gotten the Jurassic World movies we currently have. Clearly the legacy of The Lost World is still alive and well, thanks to a reference spotted on the set of Jurassic World: Dominion. We’ll see how much the past connects with the future, as June 10th marks the day the gates to the Jurassic legacy will open again. Though don't forget, you can watch the first three Jurassic Park films on HBO Max, in hopes of forming your own opinion on whether or not The Lost World is really that much of a letdown. 

We’ll see how much the past connects with the future, as June 10th marks the day the gates to the Jurassic legacy will open again. Then again, if Steven Spielberg’s first sequel to the series turned you off from the series entirely, you can always look at all the other upcoming movies looking to roar into theaters in 2022. Life always finds a way to entertain, though it really should find a way to bring back some of the Jurassic cast members we really want to see again.

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