Why Colin Trevorrow Took A Big Risk On The Book Of Henry

Jaeden Lieberher holding a book

While The Book Of Henry is only Colin Trevorrow's third feature film as a director, it finds him at something of a junction. While his debut effort, 2012's Safety Not Guaranteed, was a critically acclaimed sleeper hit indie, his follow-up Jurassic World grossed $1.672 billion and is currently the fourth highest grossing film of all time. He'll follow up The Book Of Henry in 2019 with the second sequel to the third highest grossing film of all time, too, in the shape of Star Wars 9. But with four years between the releases of the mega blockbusters Jurassic World and Star Wars 9, Colin Trevorrow wanted to turn his hand to something a little more character driven and personal with The Book Of Henry. Especially because it gave him the opportunity to better define himself as a filmmaker. To do this, Trevorrow embraced the inherent risks of The Book Of Henry. He recently told us:

It's empirically true that this film takes risks. And to me on a personal level, it's important to take risks creatively. So I don't get lazy, so I am constantly challenging myself, and I'm constantly afraid. But also to show the audience who I am. I think that now more than ever, audiences have such a close relationship with a filmmaker that they want to know who they are, what they stand for, and what they believe in, and I felt like this was an opportunity to make something that wasn't just personal, but could really define me in a way that I don't feel Jurassic World really did, because it serves such a larger purpose. And Safety Not Guaranteed was something I loved, but it was Derek [Connolly]'s screenplay, and I was serving his screenplay, and this was Greg's script and I was serving that script.

Colin Trevorrow made this admission to me earlier this month, when I sat down with The Book Of Henry director in New York City to discuss the film. While he made it clear that he feels like he has left his biggest cinematic imprint on The Book Of Henry, an opportunity he was always likely to get after the monstrous success of Jurassic World, he did insist that he has taken risks with all of his previous films. But he only did so if it helped to "serve the story." Colin Trevorrow continued,

My directorial narcissism is extremely low. I serve the story, and I hope that all of them are different, and risky. I think all of them are risky until they weren't. I mean Jurassic World is bananas, until it's McDonalds. I mean, raptors on a motorcycle.

You can check out the trailer for The Book Of Henry, and decide whether or not you actually want to see its risks unfold, by watching it below.

The Book Of Henry will be in cinemas on June 16.

Gregory Wakeman