In 2014, big-budgeted movie productions live under constant fear of unauthorized leaks: camera-phone set photos that reveal a mysterious new villain, pirated footage, and Wikileaks-level plot descriptions that pop up on the Internet. One preventative strategy is complete radio silence, the kind of omerta that director Christopher Nolan demands on his films, like this fall’s Interstellar. Then there’s Colin Trevorrow, the director of the 2015 Jurassic Park sequel, Jurassic World. His approach to the Internet spoilers that broke last week was to engage with a journalist, lament that unfortunate development, and then confirm and clarify the details. Um, thank you?
Click below only if you don’t mind spoilers.
On May 19, the movie website JoBlo reported that the new film would be set in a fully-functioning dinosaur park, like the one John Hammond dreamed of in the original Jurassic Park. The park’s scientists splice up some dino DNA to create even more interesting attractions — and things run amok, as they are wont to do when your product has razor-sharp 9-inch teeth. A lethal dinosaur with camouflage capabilities threatens other dinosaurs and, obviously, the visitors hoping to pet the more placid attractions.
Yesterday, SlashFilm.com published an email exchange with Trevorrow, who bemoaned the breach — “I hope whoever leaked it is actively trying to undermine what we’re doing. Because if they’re trying to help, they’re doing it wrong.” — but confirmed their substance:
1. Jurassic World picks up 22 years after the original Jurassic Park.
2. It takes place in a luxury zoo/park on Isla Nublar that allows 20,000 visitors each day to see dinosaurs roam the earth.
3. But people are already growing bored by the experience, and the park is looking for ways to spice — and splice — things up with a new genetically-enhanced dino. “We imagined a teenager texting his girlfriend with his back to a T-Rex behind protective glass. For us, that image captured the way much of the audience feels about the movies themselves. ‘We’ve seen CG dinosaurs. What else you got?’”
4. The new breed of dinosaur is “bigger, louder, with more teeth,” but it’s not some “mutant freak.” “We aren’t doing anything here that Crichton didn’t suggest in his novels,” wrote Trevorrow. “It doesn’t have a snake’s head or octopus tentacles. It’s a dinosaur, created in the same way the others were, but now the genetics have gone to the next level. For me, it’s a natural evolution of the technology introduced in the first film.”
5. Chris Pratt plays a scientist conducting behavioral research on raptors.
Trevorrow, who directed the indie Safety Not Guaranteed, is startlingly upfront for a man responsible for such a huge cinematic property, so much so that I almost want to doubt him. But there’s no doubting his earnest disappointment and good intentions: “Last week was discouraging for everyone on our crew — not because we want to hide things from the fans, but because we’re working so hard to create something full of surprises,” he typed. “When I was a kid, you got to discover everything at once, it washed over you and blew your mind. Now it only takes one person to spoil it for everyone else.”
The question now is whether the leaked details will generate greater interest in a classic franchise that needs a boost. And though Trevorrow certainly earned some goodwill with his openness, will it encourage or discourage subsequent leakers from his set?
Jurassic World, which also stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Irrfan Khan, and Judy Greer, opens in theaters on June 12, 2015.