Jake Johnson helped me rest easy this week when he talked about Jurassic World’s script in an interview with HitFix. Found by JPLegacy’s Sickle_Claw (hey, I know him!), here’s the portion of the interview where he discusses Jurassic World:
HitFix: Is that the sort of experience with the writing, with sort of that freedom that it makes it hard for you to go transition into anything else?
Jake Johnson: Yeah and no. It’s a good question because yes it does, but it also doesn’t. After that I did “Jurassic World” and I didn’t write a word of that. And I didn’t give an idea; I didn’t say like, “You know what my character would do?” Colin Trevorrow, who did “Safety”, directed that and he and Derek Connolly, who wrote “Safety,” wrote it. But everything was figured out and they like doing like all these like sweeping epic oners. So on that I was really happy to just show up and do my job. But it really depends on the thing. It’s hard for me to not want to do a Joe Swanberg movie every hiatus, even apart from audiences and anybody else, as I really like it. I love being on his sets. He wants everything real so it’s like I know it’s not going to be for a mainstream audience; I know it’s not going to make $100 million, but it’s like we like making them.
HitFix: Well, I feel like if you look at the cast of that movie…
Jake Johnson: It’s a great group.
HitFix: At some point you have enough names there that maybe…
Jake Johnson: Hopefully. We’ll see. It’s a sick cast. Like people come in who are like… Jenny Slate comes in for a day. When you have that kind of talent… Tim Simons…Where you’re like, “Oh this is a joke.”
HitFix: And is “Jurassic World” the kind of thing where because the writers know you basically, you don’t need to improvise because they know what your voice is and they can write it to that?
Jake Johnson: No. That would be awesome. No not those guys. This is more they just knew exactly what they needed because everything was figured out. And on a budget like that everything was like, “So this cues to that which needs this. We need this line for that.” So there was just no room for me being like, “Let’s open this s*** up.” Colin and I a couple of nights would like come up with some ideas and some bits that we would a little. But everything was, you know, the script was really good. A lot of times when you improvise a lot it’s because it needs some improv where you look at it and you say, a lot of times before you even signed up for a project like, “We’re going to open this s*** up, right?” And on a thing like that it just didn’t. It was just Derek and Colin are good writers.
A little garbled, but the meaning is clear: the script is well-written, and speaking as an actor, a script that you can’t think of any little additions or jokes of your own to add into, because it’s funny enough on its own, is a pretty freaking good script. It takes a good screenwriter to write a script that even comedic actors don’t think they can make any funnier, let me tell you.
So now that we know the script’s in good hands, back to our regularly scheduled dinosaurs. An article in Smithsonian magazine was published recently (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/jurassic-park-may-have-been-rightsome-dinosaurs-hunted-packs-180953831/?no-ist) , saying that Jurassic Park may have been correct about dinosaurs’ pack-hunting behavior. Paleontologists have recently discovered a sandstone block containing Utahraptor fossils, which they believe confirms Jurassic Park‘s pack-hunter model:
Once quicksand, the sandstone block now holds the fossilized bones of at least six Utahraptors, including an adult, four juveniles and a baby. “Covered in feathers, with a huge sickle claw on each second toe, Utahraptor looked like a pumped-up version of the Jurassic Park star Velociraptor,” writes Brian Switek for National Geographic. Also in the trove is the remains of a herbivore called an iguanodon. And more fossils, yet to be viewed, lie within the block (which was recently excavated in Utah).
The whole mess suggests that a pack, or even a family, of the raptors succumbed to a quicksand death while pursuing the trapped herbivore. It could be some of the best evidence for social raptors yet discovered.
This is really exciting, and I can’t wait to see what they find in the sandstone block. It’d be nice to have another ‘fighting dinosaurs’ fossil, but a whole pack with their kill should be cool too. Maybe we’ll even get an insight into just how their hunting and killing went down– if they actually had certain formations and strategies like they do in JP.