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Although Jurassic World had a few callbacks to the original Jurassic Park movies, for the most part it was a self-contained, soft relaunch of the series. Jurassic World 2, on the other hand, will take extra steps to make this entry feel like it's another chapter in this long-running series rather than just a simple sequel. Not only is B.D. Wong reprising Dr. Henry Wu again, but it was announced earlier this week that Jeff Goldblum will be back as Dr. Ian Malcolm, who hasn't been seen since 1997's The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Now it turns out that even one of the new Jurassic World 2 characters is directly tied to the first Jurassic Park movie, because the man James Cromwell is playing used to work with John Hammond, the man who ushered in this dinosaur craziness. When asked about his involvement in Jurassic World 2, Cromwell said:
The character Richard Attenborough played, I'm his partner, Benjamin Lockwood. We developed the technology of being able to clone the genes. And so I'm trying to deal with the blowback from what we have done.
James Cromwell followed up by confirming in his Larry King Now interview that the beard he's currently rocking is for the Benjamin Lockwood role. Jurassic World 2 has been announcing new cast members over the last six month, but Cromwell's character is the first newcomer to be identified. So even though we never saw Benjamin Lockwood in Jurassic Park, he was integral with helping Hammond set up this dinosaur venture. Since Hammond was the wealthy, jovial philanthropist responsible for funding, perhaps Lockwood was more involved in the scientific work.
John Hammond was one of Jurassic Park's main characters, as he was not only responsible for the tourist attraction, he also brought Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler and Ian Malcolm to Isla Nublar so they could give the theme park their blessing. Needless to say the visit did not go as well as he hoped. Hammond was seen again in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, where he approached Malcolm about accompanying a team to "Site B," the island where the dinosaurs were originally created. By the time Jurassic World rolled around, Hammond had been dead for many years, while Richard Attenborough himself passed away in 2014. Lockwood, though, is still around, and thanks to Jurassic Park's horrific legacy and the devastating events that occurred at Jurassic World only a few years earlier, he's forced to handle damage control.
Along with James Cromwell, B.D. Wong and Jeff Goldblum, Jurassic World 2's cast also includes the return of Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard as Owen Grady and Claire Dearing, respectively, as well as Toby Jones, Rafe Spall, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, Geraldine Chaplin and Ted Levine. The sequel will provide more prehistoric mayhem in theaters on June 22, 2018.