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When news broke of the Jurassic Park franchise getting a soft reboot, there were mixed fixed feelings from fans on both sides. Some expected the new chapter in the Jurassic Park franchise would reiterate what both Jurassic Park: The Lost World and Jurassic Park 3 did (poorly received reviews and ratings), and others were hopeful that a new entry in the series would breathe new life into Jurassic Park. When the new entry was announced to be titled Jurassic World, it was met with some skepticism. Despite the skepticism, fans were still flocking to movie theaters to see Jurassic World and the film made a huge hit in the box office as well as satisfying a lot of fans' expectations for a worthy, new chapter in the Jurassic Park series. After the release of the film, it wasn't long before talks began to float around of a potential sequel; Universal Studios was very happy with their new investment in the Jurassic Park series, with the film being the second highest grossing film of 2015 so it's obvious that a sequel would be in the works very quickly. And it has, a sequel was announced to be released on June 22, 2018. Both stars of Jurassic World, Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt will reprise their roles in the yet to be titled, Jurassic World sequel. Director, Colin Trevorrow is also returning to direct but will co-write the script alongside Derek Connolly. Having confirmation that the sequel is in the works, it leaves much to speculate on where a new chapter in the Jurassic Park series could go. The previous trilogy hit a variety of plot threads and Jurassic World returned the events of the film to a new park, which leaves the next chapter open to go in many different directions.
In any sequel that comes to be, there are a few facts(in terms of context) that need to remain constant for the film to be received well. One of those being, the creation and genetic modification of dinosaurs being accessible to more entities in the Jurassic World universe. Secondly, it's been proven twice that an island attraction full of dangerous dinosaurs is a bad idea so the possibility of another park has to be considered with severe detail. And there's also the matter of Dr. Henry Wu leaving the island at the end of Jurassic World to a secluded location, taking along all his research with him. During Jurassic World, Dr. Wu gave a small monologue explaining how his creations at Jurassic Park and Jurassic World were willed by someone else for him to create, and that if he didn't do it, someone else would. That being said, Wu's departure at the end of the film and his apparent intention to create more dinosaurs makes it obvious that he will definitely be involved in the next dinosaur-making venture with whoever else is involved, which will be in Jurassic World 2. Aside from these few standing facts that should remain constant in the Jurassic World universe, this new sequel can expand in several unexplored territories. However, this new sequel needs to be carefully planned out to not receive the same criticism that both Jurassic Park: The Lost World and Jurassic Park 3 felt on their lukewarm releases. There were definitely positive elements in both sequels to Jurassic Park but both sequels failed to captivate fans' continued interest in the series. The new sequel needs to learn from previous mistakes and borrow from what the Jurassic Park sequels did right.
As the sequel is currently in development, what we can expect from the sequel is only what we can derive from the events in Jurassic World. There is much to speculate and theorize on but the best avenues for this new chapter to take should consider a few key concepts. The idea of creating dinosaurs and genetically modifying them is a well-established fact in the Jurassic Park universe; Dr. Henry Wu very clearly demonstrated in Jurassic World that he could specially modify a dinosaurs' genetic code to the most specific degree, to create the Indominus Rex. So the idea of genetically modifying dinosaurs to be aggressive and dangerous was Dr. Wu's plan but couldn't dinosaurs be modified to be docile and domesticated as well? With the possibility of docile/domesticated dinosaurs existing in the Jurassic World universe, it opens up the Jurassic World to explore these territories and center on a new Jurassic attraction opening. It also needs to be noted that Chris Pratt's character of Owen Grady in Jurassic World also made an attempt to tame raptors which could be a lead in to a plausible scenario for a domesticated team of dinosaurs allied with human companions. A new park could also be established by Dr. Wu and another financier proving that dinosaurs can be genetically modified to be docile and domesticated which would allow them to open up a park of docile, dino-friendly attractions for audiences and regulatory commissions; then secretly creating a location for further experimentation of genetically modified dinosaurs that hold the same characteristics as the Indominus Rex of Jurassic World. And then once again reek havoc on a newly established park. If this theory is explored, a secret containment facility full of dinosaur experiments being released on an island theme park assumed to be safe, would make for great conflict in the story.
Another piece of necessary territory for the sequel to cover are character arcs, and the importance of a character driven film. The reason the sequel to Jurassic World needs to emphasize character development is because both sequels to Jurassic Park failed to gain fan interest due to the featured characters of the films never being fully established in their roles as people or the role they fit in the film. Jurassic Park won fans over because cinema-goers were on the edge of their seats when Tim and Lex were inches away from being dino chow on several occasions during the film. And it wasn't only the suspense that intrigued fans in the film, fans were invested in the characters in the film, we wanted to see Lex and Tim survive despite the likelihood of two children surviving on an island full of hostile dinosaurs is very improbable. We were drawn into the story, and that is what Jurassic World 2 needs to do. And there are a few things that can be done to make sure the film does have a character-centric quality to it. For one, the main stars of Jurassic World need to reprise their roles which both Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt are slated to do for the yet to be titled Jurassic World sequel. The two stars cannot only reprise their roles, but the two have to build off of the characters they introduced in Jurassic World. As long as these two actors can get the audience invested in the characters they portray on-screen, then there's only one other character driven theme this film needs to get right.
Return appearances from characters of the Jurassic Park franchise was a question addressed by the directors and producers of Jurassic World at the time of it's announcement, but only B.D. Wong returned to play Dr. Henry Wu; no other actors from the series returned based on differing reasons. There was also the matter of the sequels to Jurassic Park not having the main characters reprising their roles either. Yes, there are some characters from the original Jurassic Park that appeared in both Jurassic Park: The Lost World and Jurassic Park 3, but their roles were never made to be significant which is where the sequels left the audience seeking more but given less. The sequel to Jurassic World can avoid that folly by having the stars of the Jurassic Park series reprise their roles in the new film. Just the announcement of fan favorite characters from a beloved series returning to star in a new chapter would bring with it huge publicity along with critical fan acclaim. Although it is not likely the director of Jurassic World 2 will want to include past characters nor would the actors who play them want to reprise their roles despite the obvious monetary incentive to reprising their roles in blockbuster sized films like Jurassic World 2. Audiences would agree that seeing the main cast of Jurassic Park simply returning for a small part in the entry in the series would definitely make them interested in what the characters of Ian Malcolm, Allan Grant, and Ellie Satler have to say on the events of Jurassic World. Sadly, Richard Attenborough has passed and cannot return to reprise his role as John Hammond.
Aside from these potential aspects of the film, there's a lot of territory the sequel to Jurassic World could venture out into. The film could decide to return to the island for a specific reason, maybe the research on the island is crucial in creating dinosaurs where no one else knows the science in their creation. Or the film could follow a similar plot line of Jurassic Park: The Lost World by having the island of where Jurassic World takes place being held under quarantine as well as detaining all the dinosaurs on the island. That would bring in the return of previous characters to defend the dinosaurs on the island just as John Hammond attempted to in Jurassic Park: The Lost World. Or there's the possible plot thread of more entities in the Jurassic World universe developing dinosaurs, and the opening of new attractions that become functioning until one dino attraction decides to experiment as Dr. Henry Wu did in Jurassic World(2015); although that would be reiterating the events of Jurassic World(2015). There's lots of different paths for the sequel to Jurassic World to take, we'll just have to wait until June 22, 2018 to find out what Steven Spielberg and Colin Treverov have in mind.
Jurassic World 2(untitled sequel) is set to release June 22, 2018.