How Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Worked To Avoid The Risk Of An R-Rating

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Blue Velociraptor

When it comes to ratings, the movies of the Jurassic Park franchise have to toe a fine line. After all, they are meant to be mature family films, but they also regularly feature scenes where dinosaurs are violently eating people. Recently speaking with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom director J.A. Bayona, I understood that this was a roadblock, but also interestingly a challenge that inspired creativity. He tells CinemaBlend:

You know what I'm learning, when you do these kinds of movies, you know, when it needs to be PG-13, there are certain red lines that you cannot cross. For example, we knew that we couldn't show much human blood. So for example, there's a moment when you can see a dinosaur biting the arm off a man, and we designed the scene in order to make it very effective, but without showing any blood. It's kind of fun when you do that, you try to find a way of making what you really want to do, in order to provoke that effective feeling, but without crossing the red line.

The MPAA has a list of guidelines that separate PG-13 movies from R-rated ones, and as I learned talking with J.A. Bayona earlier this month, the production of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom paid close attention to what was allowed. The subject came up when I asked if there were any scenes that were a bit too much for the ratings advisory board, and the filmmaker explained why it wasn't too much of a problem.

As for the sequence described, I know exactly the moment that he is talking about in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and I can confirm its overall effectiveness despite being a bit tame. While I won't get into details because of spoilers, I will say that it's not exactly a sequence that encourages you to go out and get your arm bitten off by a dinosaur (though that would admittedly be a pretty big challenge in and of itself). There is no blood shown, but that doesn't mean it's not violent, and it gets a reaction.

Notably, J.A. Bayona's last three movies (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, A Monster Calls, and The Impossible) were all made with PG-13 ratings -- but that's not where he started. Instead, he started in the horror world with his R-rated scream-fest The Orphanage back in 2007. He certainly recalls those roots with his dinosaur adventure film, but it's definitely a different approach to the more "genre elements" given the blockbuster's hope for broader audience appeal.

You'll be able to see for yourself very soon, as Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom arrives in theaters everywhere this Friday, June 22nd. We have a ton more coverage coming your way from our interviews with the stars and director of the blockbuster, so stay tuned here on CinemaBlend, and get excited.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.