When Jurassic World arrives in theaters this Friday, it will be introducing the dinosaur-filled adventure franchise to a whole new generation … but it won’t be doing so with its original characters. Despite having appeared in the previous two sequels, Jeff Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm, Sam Neill’s Alan Grant and Laura Dern’s Ellie Sattler do not make appearances in the new movie, and there’s a specific reason why not: Steven Spielberg really wanted to focus on the future instead of the past.
This past weekend I had the great opportunity to sit down for a one-on-one interview with Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow to talk about his upcoming blockbuster, and it was during our chat that I brought up the subject of Jurassic Park’s original trio of classic characters. I asked the director if at any point there were any conversations about including them in the brand new sequel, and Trevorrow explained,
They never were. I never saw a draft in which they were included, and I think I looked at every iteration at least once. That was because I think largely, and I’m sure the writers agree, but Steven had a mission to make something new, and he really wanted it to be a Jurassic Park for a new generation. So that was always the mission - however different all of those movies were.
Ian Malcolm, Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler were all introduced in the first Jurassic Park - working together to try and survive the horrific events on Isla Nublar – but parted ways in the second and third chapters. Malcolm was put front and center in the first sequel, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, while Grant and Sattler both had roles in Jurassic Park III (though the former had a much bigger part than the latter). The only character from the original Jurassic Park featured in Jurassic World is BD Wong, who reprises his performance as geneticist Dr. Henry Wu (and has even been taking part in the movie’s viral marketing).
Surely there will be some fans who are upset by this news, believing that Jurassic Park isn’t quite Jurassic Park without its original three main characters, but going in this direction does make a good amount of sense. Steven Spielberg and Universal Pictures surely has big plans for the future of the franchise, and doing that requires moving forward instead of looking backward. And what better time to do that then when you’re rejuvenating a franchise after a 14 year hiatus? Plus, there will surely be opportunities to bring them back some time in the future, and their return will only be more significant as more time passes.
Are you going to miss the original characters’ presence in Jurassic World, or do you understand the desire to move on? Hit the comments with your thoughts.