Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

So it wasn’t Ancient Futures after all! They pulled an Ebb Tide on us! Ladies and gentlemen, our very first JW sequel poster:

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I’m pretty meh on the title– I liked Ancient Futures more, it evokes the theme of dinosaurs being used as modern technology better than this does– but if the movie is as dark and despondent as we’ve been led to believe so far that it is, this title fits that mood. The logo went the same way as The Lost World did, taking a familiar image and just cracking it up a bit; Bayona has said many times that he’ll go in a new direction with the series, but could this mirroring of the original trilogy be a sign of his intent to stay true to the franchise’s roots? That choice also nicely hints at the ruins of what was Jurassic World, which it’s been confirmed that we’ll see, so that’s exciting. I really love the embers flying up, too, like we’re watching Jurassic World burning to the ground so that a new era can begin. I know I’m reading too much into a simple teaser poster, but it’s really effectively done.

And, of course, the tagline and most-quoted line from the first movie (aside from “you were so preoccupied with whether or not you could…”, and although I love those lines and the character who said them, I really hope he doesn’t say them again in this new movie, because we already have enough people reciting them in hopes of sounding smart)– Life Finds A Way. So… is this a Jurassic World teaser, or just a somewhat subtle way of getting us hyped up for Ian Malcolm: The Motion Picture? Did the production team witness the Internet explosion when Goldblum’s return was announced, and did they decide that their best move was to put all the PR on Malcolm? Will we have to wait for Trevorrow and co. to give us only little peeks at Malcolm bit by bit and week by week, like we had to with the Indominus Rex? Or, more accurately, will a picture of Malcolm’s full costume and smug smirk be leaked to the fandom via a seemingly inconsequential piece of merchandise, causing a riot within the fandom that I still find utterly hilarious years afterward? We’ll have to wait for answers to all of that, but for now, we have a very cool poster, a director who obviously had a lot of fun taking a sledgehammer to the JW logo, and a lot of Malcolm to be excited about. Maybe there’ll even be a dinosaur or two in Ian’s new movie.

Did I say maybe? Because there will be. There will be new kinds of dinos in Fallen Kingdom as well as familiar ones, and we’ve gotten a look at the latter:

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The incredible people at Reel News Hawaii brought us these photos of practical-effect dinosaurs; the beasts are stationary, not animatronics, but they’re beautifully detailed and probably headed off to a really nasty fate in the movie. My first thought when I saw that trike in the transport truck was that it was going off to be experimented on somewhere. That’s not necessarily true, but it’d go with the animal-rights theme of the movie if it were. The animal might also be getting transported off of Isla Nublar in the wake of the Jurassic World Incident, or it could even just be going down the highway next to someone’s car on the mainland– what an awesome way that would be to establish how ingrained dinosaurs have become into society in this universe. The stego looks a lot freer and happier, so maybe he’s just wandering around Nublar with his herd and has no intention of being brought to San Francisco to work in a factory.

Come to think of it, I’m pretty interested in what happened to the animals in JW after the Incident. Obviously the place didn’t get firebombed like in the first novel, and since the cloning technology for dinosaurs still exists and it’d be pretty hard to round up all of JW’s exhibits and domesticate them, it would make little sense for all of the dinosaurs we saw in the last movie to be in the army and having makeup tested on them in this movie. The logical answer is that the island and all its inhabitants were just left to do their own thing, like Hammond would’ve wanted– but then what need would there be to return to Nublar, as this movie will? And if that truck really is taking that triceratops off the island, then why? I’m also excited to see what the environment of Nublar is like if the dinosaurs there were allowed to live on their own. Specifically, in the second novel, all the dinosaurs were artificially created and kept in enclosures, and when the park holding them was abandoned, the ecosystem became extremely unhealthy and doomed to failure; will the same thing happen on Nublar? It’d be an intelligent but bleak reference to Crichton’s work if the former Jurassic World collapsed just like Isla Sorna did, and “intelligent but bleak” seems like exactly the vibe Fallen Kingdom is going for.

Reel News Hawaii also published set photos, both of a beaten-up Owen (considering the amount of pyrotechnics that are being used during filming, it’s not at all surprising that he seems to be a bit charred)…

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and of our first peek at Claire!

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Wow, she’s a lot more practical in this one, wearing jeans and an army jacket, and boots! Actual running shoes! Good for you, Claire! She also appears to be riding in a fairly undamaged Gyrosphere; I can already see that this will probably be a bittersweet moment in the movie, the park’s former operations manager riding through the ruins of the park she used to work so hard to maintain. Hopefully the slow pace of the Gyrosphere will also give us a chance to get a more scenic and thorough look at the ruins of the park and the state of the island’s ecosystem. Honestly, besides Goldblum and the return of my beloved Rexy, seeing the ruins of Jurassic World is the part of Fallen Kingdom that I’m the most excited for. The plot seems exciting, of course, but I am all about those abandoned theme parks.

And finally, speaking of ruining Jurassic World, take a gander at this:

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Jurassic Outpost assures that this has no relation to the new movie, but dinosaurs in the military in JW2 has been confirmed, so there might be a bit of commonality between the two. Remember after the announcement that trained raptors would be in Jurassic World, when everyone went ballistic about the idea of dinosaurs being used as trained soldiers? Well, take a glimpse into the hellscape of an alternate reality where that actually happened. Yeah, dinosaurs in robot suits are cool in principle, but in a classic adult franchise like JP, seeing things like that badly-photoshopped underwear decal on the big screen would just come off as ridiculous. If this is the merchandise line that we get between now and Mattel’s classic JP line, then eh, I guess it’s a pretty solid way to garner some money to fund good CGI, and kids will probably eat it up. Even I might buy a toy of that raptor with arctic armor if one gets made. It had just better stay away from the movies, and away from that poor triceratops in the truck. The poor thing looks like it’s been through more than enough already.

I’d like to take a moment to sincerely thank you, my readers, for sticking with this blog even through my unannounced, two-month hiatuses. Your support gives me a reason to keep writing, and I truly appreciate every one of you. Also, there’s only about a week left in Jurassic June, so create some art and show your JP appreciation! I have an ongoing photography project that I’ve been posting to my various accounts, but I’ll share all of it on here at the end of the month.

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