Next year’s Jurassic World: Dominion will bring together characters from across the franchise’s near 30-year history for a dino-filled culmination of the story to date. Not only will characters from the modern Jurassic World trilogy like Claire Dearing and Owen Grady return, but so too will original Jurassic Park characters Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler and Ian Malcom. But there is one Jurassic World character returning that director Colin Trevorrow is especially proud of: Dr. Henry Wu. That’s according to the actor who plays him, BD Wong, who said:
Colin Trevorrow is surely proud of all of the new characters he helped create in this rebooted Jurassic franchise, like Chris Pratt’s Owen Grady and Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire Dearing. But one of the characters he is especially proud of (according to BD Wong) is one that he didn’t create, but inherited. Colin Trevorrow can’t take credit for creating Dr. Henry Wu, but he is responsible for transforming the character and making him a much more interesting part of the story.
After watching Jurassic World and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, it would be easy to forget that Dr. Henry Wu was not always the prominent and mysterious character he now is, but before the reboot of the franchise that was very much the case. In the original Jurassic Park he was basically just the guy who showed Sattler, Grant, Malcolm and John Hammond the baby raptors hatching. But as BD Wong told Entertainment Weekly, thanks to Colin Trevorrow, he has become so much more.
BD Wong believed his character was languishing in obscurity particularly because, as he elaborates on elsewhere in his conversation with Entertainment Weekly, Dr. Wu had a much more prominent role in Michael Crichton’s original novel than he did in Steven Spielberg’s film, with a real character arc and a glorious death.
According to BD Wong, Dr. Henry Wu had not been attended to properly until Colin Trevorrow came in. When Colin Trevorrow rebooted the Jurassic franchise, there were only so many existing pieces on the board for him to play with in addition to the new characters. One of them was BD Wong’s Dr. Henry Wu, who only appeared in the first film and not The Lost World: Jurassic Park or Jurassic Park III.
So Colin Trevorrow brought Dr. Henry Wu back and as BD Wong said, he turned him into something different and opened up a wider world. No longer merely a supporting character at best, Dr. Wu is now in many ways the villain of the franchise, with his behind-the-scenes machinations and mad scientist-esque genetic manipulations providing plenty of obstacles for the protagonists to contend with.
But Dr. Henry Wu isn’t just a mustache-twirling villain, he has his own beliefs and motivations and that complexity is in great contrast to his initial cinematic depiction. So you can see why Colin Trevorrow would be proud of Dr. Henry Wu.
Rather than building a new character from scratch, Colin Trevorrow took a character that had been underused by the original Jurassic Park and finally did him justice. In so doing he also took a minor character that audiences had pre-existing notions about and made him into a major player who turned those perceptions on their heads by constantly leaving the audience guessing.
Dr. Henry Wu’s story isn’t over either. BD Wong will reprise the role in Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World: Dominion. BD Wong wouldn’t reveal what happens with Wu in the next film, but the continuation of his arc seems to be a point of pride for Colin Trevorrow, so as has been the case this entire trilogy, ‘What’s Wu up to?’ will be a major thing to look out for in this new movie.
Jurassic World: Dominion opens on June 11, 2021. Assuming you want to see some movies before then, check out our 2020 Release Schedule to see what’s headed to theaters this year.
Nick grew up in Maryland has degrees in Film Studies and Communications. His life goal is to walk the earth, meet people and get into adventures. He’s also still looking for The Adventures of Pete and Pete season 3 on DVD if anyone has a lead.
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