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How Can ‘Jurassic World’s Director Think ‘Jurassic Park’ Doesn’t Work as a Franchise?

Colin Trevorrow, director of things like The Book of Henry that was so bad it maybe lost him his Star Wars movie is now talking about how Jurassic Park should have just stayed a solo film. And that’s complicated to me. Because while the subsequent films do not hold a candle to the magic that Steven Spielberg bottled with the 1993 film Jurassic Park, there are good things to be found in all six of them. (Never forget Kelly Malcolm using gymnastics to take out a raptor.)

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Speaking to Empire Magazine, Trevorrow said that the Spielberg classic probably should have stayed as a standalone film because it is ultimately “unfranchisable” and the reality is … that statement makes absolutely no sense. The film, which had three movies in the original trilogy and then spawned three Jurassic World movies (two of which were directed by Trevorrow), is a classic for a reason, but I wouldn’t call it unfranchisable.

The franchise was marred with bad choices, weird storylines, and a sea of (mainly) white men bringing the story to life. So calling it unfranchisable is fascinating given the fact that it has become a series that continues to let (mainly) men take the reins on a story that is a cautionary tale for men and their egos and playing god. Trevorrow explained to Empire how he changed the DNA of the franchise with Jurassic World: Dominion (sure) and that the films probably should have stopped at Jurassic Park.

“I specifically did something different than the other films in order to change the DNA of the franchise,” he explained. “The previous five films are plots about dinosaurs. This one is a story about characters in a world in which they coexist with dinosaurs. For the franchise to be able to move forward – because it’s inherently unfranchisable, there probably should have only been one Jurassic Park – but if we’re gonna do it, how can I allow them to tell stories in a world in which dinosaurs exist, as opposed to, here’s another reason why we’re going to an island?”

Yes and no

The problem with the franchise is that they went down the road of “people want the dinosaurs that should have never been created for their own benefit and no one ever learns” which is what would happen if this was really happening in our reality. People would throw caution to the wind to try to profit off of dinosaurs. We saw it happen with COVID, so it isn’t that surprising that in a fictional world, that commentary exists.

But what I do find so interesting about his quote is that he pointed out that the other movies were plots about dinosaurs. And … sort of? The reason Jurassic Park works is because it’s about men and their desire to play god. Yes, dinosaurs are part of the plot, but it all happens because men think that they are greater than the powers around them.

John Hammond, for lack of a better terminology, f**ked around and found out and watched as dinosaurs overpowered the world he created and destroyed it. The second film was a followup cautionary tale of listening to those who have experienced trauma and what happens when people make the same mistakes in their quest for wealth.

The third is a rescue story and different from the second, but Trevorrow’s comments make it seem like he reinvented the wheel. He didn’t. He just put the dinos in our world and still made them the plot because man was still trying to exploit them. You didn’t invent the wheel; you just fell into the same format that the previous trilogy did.

I agree and I don’t that the first film is “unfranchisable” because I think that if someone had simply taken the warnings that Michael Crichton put in his work and continued that cautionary tale in the same heavy-handed way that the original movie did, we could have endless Jurassic Park movies. In fact, the idea of the Jurassic World trilogy was great. It’s just that, quite frankly, Trevorrow and company didn’t know how best to execute it.

(featured image: Universal Pictures)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.