There’s nothing worse than a sequel that shoehorns classic characters into places they don’t belong just so audience members can elbow the person next to them and say, "Oh, hey! Remember that guy?" Did we need Reginald VelJohnson as Sgt. Al Powell receiving a fax in Die Hard 2? Nope. Couldn’t Joe Pesci have left the Lethal Weapon franchise after part two? Absolutely. And do we really need any original cast members from Jurassic Park in the new installment, Jurassic World? Well… maybe.
We already know that the next Jurassic movie will take place 22 years after the events of the initial film. So the idea of bringing back Sam Neill or Jeff Goldblum just for familiarity seems silly. Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) completely understands that, but says there is one character who will be returning, because it made sense for this plot: Dr. Henry Wu, played by BD Wong in Steven Spielberg’s original classic.
In an interview with IGN on the eve of leaving for Hawaii to shoot the sequel, Trevorrow revealed:
I know a lot of fans want to see the original characters back. They’re iconic. But I respect those actors too much to shoehorn them into this story for my own sentimental reasons. Jurassic Park isn’t about the bad luck of three people who keep getting thrown into the same situation. The only reason they’d go back to that island is if the screenwriters contrived a reason for them to go. But there is a character from the first film who makes sense in our world. This hasn’t been announced yet, but BD Wong will be returning as Dr. Henry Wu. He had a much larger role in the original novel, he was the engineer of this breakthrough in de-extinction. He spent two decades living in Hammond’s shadow, underappreciated. We think there’s more to his story."
Makes sense. A logical addition to a sequel that hopes to build on a fascinating world.
The director opened up a bit more in the interview about Chris Pratt’s role, saying that like his male predecessors in the Jurassic universe, Pratt will be "an expert in a scientific field that’s connected to our story. The character allows us to explore some new ideas about our relationship with these animals, without losing the humor and sense of adventure. He’s a great contrast for Bryce Dallas Howard’s character, who starts off very corporate, very controlled. Until the running and screaming starts. Then they need each other."
Ah, actual confirmation of Bryce Dallas Howard’s involvement! That’s a first.
We broke down virtually every bit of information you’d need to know regarding the Jurassic World production in our What We Know So Far guide. Read it over as you wait for the sequel’s release, currently scheduled for June 12, 2015.