Jurassic Park is an American science fiction media franchise centered on a disastrous attempt to create a theme park of cloned dinosaurs who escape confinement and rampage on the human characters. It began in 1990 when Universal Studios bought the rights to the novel by Michael Crichton before it was even published.
The book was successful, as was the 1993 film adaptation, which led to three sequels, although the third and fourth films were not based on novels as the first two were. Numerous video games based on the franchise have been created by various software developers since the release of the 1993 film.
The Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy was released on DVD and Blu-ray on October 25, 2011, in North America. The first film was re-released in 3D on April 5, 2013. Since 1996, several water rides based on the series have been opened at various Universal theme parks. On June 1, 2016, the first three films in the franchise were added to the Netflix streaming service, but were removed on September 1, 2016.
The fourth film, Jurassic World, was initially scheduled to be released in the summer of 2005, but was delayed numerous times and was ultimately released in June 2015. It has grossed more than $1.66 billion, making it the fourth highest-grossing film of all time. When adjusted for monetary inflation, however, this film is the second highest grossing in the franchise after Jurassic Park. An animated film, Lego Jurassic World: The Indominus Escape, was released on October 18, 2016 with the home media release of Jurassic World, alongside a short film, Employee Safety Video.
A fifth film, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, is scheduled for a June 22, 2018, release date. As of 2000, the franchise had generated $5 billion in revenue, making it one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)
A sequel to Jurassic World is scheduled for release on June 22, 2018. The film is being directed by J. A. Bayona, with a script written by Trevorrow and Connelly. Frank Marshall, Pat Crowley, and Belén Atienza are producing the film, with Trevorrow and Spielberg as executive producers. Óscar Faura is the film’s cinematographer. The film stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, B. D. Wong, Toby Jones, Rafe Spall, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, Ted Levine, and James Cromwell, with Jeff Goldblumreprising his role as Dr. Ian Malcolm.
During early conversations on Jurassic World, Spielberg told Trevorrow that he was interested in having several more films made. In April 2014, Trevorrow announced that sequels to Jurassic World had been discussed: “We wanted to create something that would be a little bit less arbitrary and episodic, and something that could potentially arc into a series that would feel like a complete story.” Trevorrow, who said he would direct the film if asked, later told Spielberg that he would only focus on directing one film in the series. In May 2015, Trevorrow announced that he would not direct another film in the series: “I would be involved in some way, but not as director.” Trevorrow felt that different directors could bring different qualities to future films.
In June 2015, Trevorrow stated that Jurassic World left story possibilities open for the sequel’s director that could potentially allow the film to take place in a different location, rather than on an island. Trevorrow hinted that the next film could involve dinosaurs being used by other companies for non-entertainment purposes, possibly in agriculture, medicine, and war: “I really like the idea that this group of geneticists aren’t the only people who can make a dinosaur […] when you think of the differences between Apple and PC – the minute something goes open-source, there are all kinds of entities and interests that may be able to utilise that technology.” Trevorrow later confirmed that the film would not involve “a bunch of dinosaurs chasing people on an island. That’ll get old real fast.” Trevorrow also spoke of the film’s possible open-source storyline: “It’s almost like InGen is Mac, but what if PC gets their hands on it? What if there are 15 different entities around the world who can make a dinosaur?”
Bayona was announced as director in April 2016. Spielberg, Marshall, and Kathleen Kennedy had been impressed by Bayona’s 2012 film, The Impossible, and initially considered having him direct Jurassic World, but he declined as he felt there was not enough time for production. During pre-production, Bayona said he was reading all of Michael Crichton’s novels, including Jurassic Park and The Lost World, “to try to immerse myself in Crichton’s mind.” Filming began in February 2017. A majority of filming will take place in Hawaii, and at Pinewood Studios in England. Scenes will also be shot at Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales.
Jurassic World (2015)
Steven Spielberg devised a story idea for a fourth film in 2001, during production of Jurassic Park III. In 2002, William Monahan was hired to write the script, with the film’s release scheduled for 2005. Monahan finished the first draft of the script in 2003, with the film’s plot revolving around dinosaurs escaping to the mainland. Sam Neill and Richard Attenborough were set to reprise their characters, while Keira Knightley was in talks for two separate roles. In 2004, John Sayles wrote two drafts of the script. Sayles’ first draft involved a team of Deinonychus being trained for use in rescue missions. His second draft involved genetically modified dinosaur-human mercenaries. Both drafts were scrapped. In 2006, a new script was being worked on. Laura Dern was contacted to reprise her role, with the film expected for release in 2008. The film was further delayed by the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike. Mark Protosevich wrote two film treatments in 2011, which were rejected. Rise of the Planet of the Apes screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver were hired in 2012 to write an early draft of the script. In 2013, Colin Trevorrow was announced as a director and co-writer, with the film scheduled for release on June 12, 2015. The film was shot in 3D, and received positive reviews from critics and audience alike.
The film features a new park, Jurassic World, built on the remains of the original park on Isla Nublar. The film sees the park run by Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan) and Masrani Corp, and features the return of Dr. Henry Wu (B. D. Wong) from the first film, who harbors a grudge against his former employer. Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Jake Johnsonstar, while Vincent D’Onofrio portrayed the main antagonist, Vic Hoskins. The cast also includes Lauren Lapkus, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Omar Sy, and Judy Greer. The primary dinosaur antagonist is Indominus rex, a genetically-modified hybrid of Tyrannosaurus rex and several other species, including Velociraptor, cuttlefish, and tree frog.
Jurassic Park III (2001)
Joe Johnston had been interested in directing the sequel to Jurassic Park and approached his friend Steven Spielberg about the project. While Spielberg wanted to direct the first sequel, he agreed that if there was ever a third film, Johnston could direct. Spielberg, nevertheless, stayed involved in this film by becoming its executive producer. Production began on August 30, 2000, with filming in California, and the Hawaiian islands of Kauai, Oahu, and Molokai. It is the first Jurassic Park film not to be based on a novel. The film was a financial success but received mixed to negative reviews from critics. Most were split on whether the third installment was better or worse than its predecessor. The film once again suffered reviews mentioning little to no characterization.
When their son goes missing while parasailing at Isla Sorna, the Kirbys (William H. Macy and Téa Leoni) hire Alan Grant (Sam Neill) under false pretenses to help them navigate the island. Believing it to be nothing more than sight-seeing, and that he will act as a dinosaur guide from the safety of their plane, he’s startled to find them landing on the ground, where they are stalked by a super-predator, the Spinosaurus, which destroys their plane. As they search for the Kirbys’ son, the situation grows dire as Velociraptors (more intelligent than ever) hunt their group and they must find a way off the island. The film also stars Alessandro Nivola, Michael Jeter, Trevor Morgan, Mark Harelik, and Laura Dern.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
As soon as the novel was published, a film was in pre-production, with a target release date of mid-1997. The film was a commercial success, breaking many box-office records when released. The film had mixed reviews, similar to its predecessor in terms of characterization. Much like the first film, The Lost World made a number of changes to the plot and characters from the book, replacing the corporate rivals with an internal power struggle and changing the roles/characterizations of several protagonists.
When a vacationing family stumbles upon the dinosaurs of Isla Sorna, a secondary island where the animals were bred en masse and allowed to grow before being transported to the park, Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) is called in by John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) to lead a team to document the island to turn it into a preserve, where the animals can roam free without interference from the outside world. Malcolm agrees to go when he discovers his girlfriend, paleontologist Sarah Harding (Julianne Moore) is already on the island, while at the same time Hammond’s nephew, Peter Ludlow (Arliss Howard), has taken over his uncle’s company and leads a team of hunters to capture the creatures and bring them back to a theme park in San Diego. The two groups clash and are ultimately forced to work together to evade the predatory creatures and survive the second island. The film also stars Pete Postlethwaite, Richard Schiff, Vince Vaughn, Vanessa Lee Chester, Peter Stormare, and a young Camilla Belle.
Jurassic Park (1993)
Before Crichton’s book was even published, studios such as Warner Bros., Columbia, TriStar, 20th Century Fox, and Universal had already begun bidding to acquire the picture rights. Spielberg, with the backing of Universal Studios, acquired the rights to the novel before its publication in 1990, and Crichton was hired by Universal Studios for an additional US $500,000 to adapt the novel into a proper screenplay. Malia Scotch Marmo, who was a writer on Spielberg’s Hook, wrote the next draft of Jurassic Park but is not credited. David Koepp wrote the final draft, which left out much of the novel’s exposition and violence, and made numerous changes to the characters.
When an incident results in the death of an employee, Jurassic Park owner John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) brings in three specialists to sign off on the park to calm investors. The specialists, paleontologist Alan Grant (Sam Neill), paleobotanist Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), and chaos theorist Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) are surprised to see the island park’s main attraction are living, breathing dinosaurs, created with a mixture of fossilized DNA and genetic cross-breeding/cloning. However, when lead programmer Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight) shuts down the park’s power to sneak out with samples of the dinosaur embryos to sell to a corporate rival, the dinosaurs break free, and the survivors are forced to find a way to turn the power back on and make it out alive. The film also stars Bob Peck, Martin Ferrero, B.D. Wong, Ariana Richards, Joseph Mazzello, and Samuel L. Jackson.
Jurassic Park is regarded as a landmark in the use of computer-generated imagery and received positive reviews from critics, who praised the effects, though reactions to other elements of the picture, such as character development, were mixed. During its release, the film grossed more than $914 million worldwide, becoming the most successful film released up to that time (surpassing E.T. the Extra-Terrestrialand surpassed 4 years later by Titanic), and it is currently the 17th highest grossing feature film (taking inflation into account, it is the 20th-highest-grossing film in North America). It is the most financially successful film for NBCUniversal and Steven Spielberg.
Jurassic Park had two re-releases: The first on September 23, 2011, in the United Kingdom and the second in which it was converted into 3D on April 5, 2013, for its 20th Anniversary, which resulted in the film passing the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office.
Over the course of five days from October 3, 2016 to October 7, 2016, an untitled five-part animated series based on Lego Jurassic Worldwas released on the YouTube channels of Jurassic World and LEGO. In October 2016, the series was released as a 24-minute animated film entitled Lego Jurassic World: The Indominus Escape as part of a Jurassic World DVD bundle set, receiving shared billing alongside the 2015 film. The film marks the first time an animated film spin-off of Jurassic Park has been released. The film is a prequel to Jurassic World, and features most of the primary adult characters on the island (with the exception of Barry and Zara) attempting to capture a hotdog-loving Indominus rex. Zachary Levi and Sendhil Ramamurthy joined Jake Johnson, Lauren Lapkus, Bryce Dallas Howard and B. D. Wong as voice actors. The film is directed by Michael D. Black, and The film received a 36% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
With the home media release of The Indominus Escape, a short film, Lego Jurassic World: Employee Safety Video, was released, featuring B. D. Wong, David Gunning, Jake Johnson and Lauren Lapkus reprising their roles from The Indominus Escape. Like The Indominus Escape, the short is set before the events of Jurassic World.
Cancelled Animated Series
Escape from Jurassic Park (1993)
In June 1993, after the theatrical release of Jurassic Park, spokesmen for Amblin and MCA confirmed that an animated series based on the film was in development and awaiting Spielberg’s final approval. The series, titled Escape from Jurassic Park, would have consisted of 23 episodes for its first season. The series would have centered on John Hammond’s attempts to finish Jurassic Park and open it to the public, while InGen’s corporate rival Biosyn is simultaneously planning to open their own dinosaur theme park in Brazil, which ultimately ends with their dinosaurs escaping into the jungles.
If produced, it was believed that the project would be the most expensive animated series up to that time. Jeff Segal, president of Universal Cartoon Studios, said, “We are developing a TV series that we anticipate would be computer animated and very sophisticated. However, Spielberg has not had a chance yet to look at either the material or the format for the series.” Segal said Universal was considering the possibility of developing the series for prime time. Segal said about the series’ storyline, “It would essentially pick up from the closing moments of the movie and it would continue the story in a very dramatic way. The intention would be to continue with the primary characters and also introduce new characters.” Segal also said the series would be aimed specifically at the same target audience as the film, while hoping that it would also appeal to young children.
Animation veteran and comic artist Will Meugniot (then working at Universal Cartoon Studios for various projects, including Exosquad) contacted artist William Stout to ask if he would be interested in designing the animated series. According to Stout, “This was not going to be a kiddy show (although kids of all ages, including myself, could enjoy it). They wanted the show to be a mature prime time series with top writers and state-of-the-art television animation augmented with quite a bit of CG animation.” Universal Animation Studioswanted the show to have the look of a graphic novel.
Stout was hired to work on the series and subsequently made a trailer to demonstrate how the series would look, and how it would combine traditional animation with computer animation. The series required Spielberg’s final approval before it could go into production. However, Spielberg had grown tired of the massive promotion and merchandise revolving around the film, and never watched the trailer. On July 13, 1993, Margaret Loesch, president of the Fox Children’s Network, confirmed that discussions had been held with Spielberg about an animated version of the film. Loesch also said, “At least for now and in the foreseeable future, there will not be an animated Jurassic Park. That’s Steven Spielberg’s decision, and we respect that decision.”
Jurassic Park: Chaos Effect (1997)
Part three of the four-part comic adaptation of The Lost World: Jurassic Park, published by Topps Comics in July 1997, confirmed to readers that a cartoon series based on the film was in development. In November 1997, it was reported that the cartoon would be accompanied by Jurassic Park: Chaos Effect, a series of dinosaur toys produced by Kenner and based on a premise that scientists had created dinosaur hybrids consisting of DNA from different creatures. The new toys were based on the upcoming cartoon. That month, it was also reported that the cartoon could be ready by March 1998, as a mid-season replacement. The Chaos Effect toyline was released in June 1998, but the animated series was never produced, for unknown reasons.
Jurassic Park Video Games
When the first film was released in 1993, two different video game publishers were given the rights to publish games based on it, Sega and Ocean Software. Both produced several different games based on the film for several different game systems, including the NES and Sega Genesis. In 1994, Ocean Software produced a sequel to the first game in the series for the Game Boy and SNES systems. Universal Interactive also produced an interactive game for the ill-fated 3DO system.
For the second film in the franchise, DreamWorks Interactive released five games for the most popular systems at the time. The third film had the biggest marketing push, spawning seven video games for PC and Game Boy Advance. A number of lightgun arcade games were also released for all three films.
Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis is a tycoon-style video game. The objective of the game is to fulfill Hammond’s dream of building a five-star theme park with dinosaurs. It was released 2003 for the Xbox, PlayStation 2 and PC.
Jurassic Park: The Game
Jurassic Park: The Game is an episodic video game based on the Jurassic Park franchise, bridging the story of the first two films developed by Telltale Games in a deal with Universal. It was released on November 15, 2011 to a mixed reception, with reviewers praising the story but criticizing the characters and gameplay. The game was acknowledged canon with Jurassic Park continuity by writers of the original Jurassic Park. The game takes place during and after the events of the original film, and follows a new group of survivors trying to escape Isla Nublar. The game features several dinosaurs from the film, including new additions like Troodon and a Tylosaurus, among other creatures. The game is available on PC, Mac, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and iPad.
Lego Jurassic World is a 2015 Lego action-adventure video game developed by Traveller’s Tales and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Microsoft Windows. It followed the plots of the series’ four films, including Jurassic Park, and was released on June 12, 2015.