I don’t often have cause to ponder Hollywood gossip on this blog, but how could I resist all the hubub about the next Jurassic Park movie? Much like the weekend’s claims of the biggest dinosaur EVER, the news may not be all it seems, but if the rumors are on the mark, next summer may see the release of the strangest dinosaur film of all time.
The Jurassic World spoilers, courtesy JoBlo.com, promise a completed, functioning Jurassic Park where nervous executives are worried about dinosaurs jumping the shark. (I’m sure that plot point is no way inspired by discussions with Universal studio executives about the franchise.) To spice up the prehistoric attraction, the park turns to Flip-O-Saurus for inspiration and creates a Tyrannocuttlesnakeraptor to draw more dinosaur snacks visitors. Surprising no one, the hybrid abomination starts devouring other dinosaurs and guests alike, the park’s only hope being a team of tame dinosaurs under the command of a dinosaur trainer played by Chris Pratt.
[The Jurassic World plot is brought to you by chaos theory.]
This could all be a diversion. Then again, many of the elements are familiar. The tame, ready-to-rumble dinosaurs are only slightly modified from the dinosaur soldiers in the equally-weird John Sayles script that raised eyebrows a few years back, and having a terrifying carnivore imbued with a cephalopod-like power of being able to camouflage itself against any surface is straight out of Michael Crichton’s depiction of Carnotaurus in The Lost World. Sure, feathery dinosaurs are too much to ask for, but an invisible carnivorous dinosaur that’s able to swallow objects bigger than its own head? Makes total sense.
If the scuttlebutt is on the mark, Jurassic World will be a full-on monster movie. In fact, the franchise itself made this clear in the last, groan-worthy installment in which the fictional Alan Grant reminded us that InGen made “genetically engineered theme-park monsters”, not proper dinosaurs. Fair enough. But I hope dinosaur fans and science communicators keep up on the film rather than roll their eyes at the franchise’s off-the-wall plot. Monster movies give the science-savvy plenty of fodder to talk about physiology, biomechanics, genetics, and other topics that rarely bubble up to the surface of public consciousness. There’s nothing quite like a Tyrannocuttlesnakeraptor to grab public attention, and we should be poised to take advantage of how awesome and awful such movie monsters can be.