The following contains minor spoilers for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, so proceed with caution.
The first Jurassic World introduced the world to the terrifying Indominus Rex, but Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ups the ante with its own genetic monster. I am, of course referring to the Indoraptor, which is a hybrid of the Indominus and Velociraptor cooked up in the lab of Dr. Henry Wu (B.D. Wong). It's a scary looking beast, and as I recently learned from director J.A. Bayona, there were two important influences in its design: Frankenstein, and the mentally ill. Said Bayona,
I gave them some references. Like, I remember Frankenstein, Boris Karloff's Frankenstein, and I remember, Frankenstein the illustration from Bernie Wrightson. There's something of that in the way we introduce the character, the Indoraptor, this kind of laboratory in the underground facilities at the end of a long corridor, inside a cell. It has this kind of Gothic element that reminds me a little bit of the world of Frankenstein, this kind of Gothic world. And we have also references of people with mental illness, like this kind of shake you see from time to time. It's kind of like a nervous tick that the Indoraptor has, and it's taken from real references of mentally ill people.
The design of the Indoraptor was a subject that came up earlier this month when I had the opportunity to chat over the phone with J.A. Bayona about his work on Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. He noted that that the script genetically dictated the general design of what the creature would look like, but he did have the opportunity to suggest his own design elements. And when he put his production teams to work, two references that he gave them were Frankenstein (both the movie starring Boris Karloff and the illustrations by artist Bernie Wrightson), and the constant shake that you sometimes see in observing the severely mentally ill.
When you consider the origins of the Indoraptor, you begin to understand why these influences were important to J.A. Bayona. For starters, the creature is in a way made of resurrected tissue, as the only Indominus Rex in existence died during the destruction of Jurassic World. That and the laboratory birthing suite certainly point to Frankenstein. As for the mentally ill-inspired shake, it's said in the movie that the Indoraptor was born not only in captivity, but in isolation, and it really isn't all that stable. As such, it makes sense as a suggestive trait.
Speaking to more than the direct references, J.A. Bayona also talked about the literal physical design of the dinosaur. As he explained, the big thing for him was just making the Indoraptor seriously scary, particularly if seen from the perspective of a child. Putting himself in that mindset, two specific things stood out in his mind:
I wanted the dinosaur, from the very beginning, to be very dark and black. So when you see the dinosaur in the dark, you can barely see the eyes - the dots in the eyes - and the teeth. Because I really wanted to make it very primal. I put myself in the position of a kid, and I thought, 'What would be scary for me?' And I saw the eyes and the teeth. So I decided to make it very dark so you can only see that in the darkness. And also I really, really liked this idea of it having long arms. For Steven Spielberg, that was the most scary bit of the Indoraptor - how long the arms are. They almost feel like human arms. And then we thought about the mood.
The Indoraptor is certainly a terrifying force to see in action, and this Friday, June 22nd, you'll have the opportunity to do just that. The wait for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is almost over, and you should definitely stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more of our coverage -- especially more from my interviews with J.A. Bayona, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Jeff Goldblum.