The year is 2008 (or possibly ’09 or ’10). Government-trained entities bred for ferocity terrorize the land, insatiable bloodlust loosed on the population and spinning out of control. It’s not an alien conspiracy. It’s not robo-anything. Oh no, the menace is prehistoric: The earth is at the mercy of dinosaurs. This time, it’s not just claws, fangs and venomous spittle. This time they’re armed. With government-issued weapons. Velociraptors with M16s. Tyrannosaurus with rocket launchers. Triceratops with — ah, I’m done. And maybe exaggerating a little.
But maybe not. Rumor has it that Jurassic Park IV has been resurrected from its hiatus in development hell and may appear in a theater near you in a year or three (depending on your source). Steven Spielberg worked the phones as Indiana Jones IV wound up shooting. (Um, noticing a numerical theme here, Steven. Are we striving to be George Lucas and suck the joy from our popular franchises?) Anyway, he’s landed his catch: Laura Dern will return as Dr. Ellie Sattler. I have a soft spot for Dern, as I suspect do many of us who huddled in front of our TVs for Ellen’s Puppy Episode.
That part about government conspiracies and weapons may or may not be true: The script has undergone serious rewrites over a period of years, and nobody seems to know what’s really in. William Monahan (The Departed) may currently be rewriting the screenplay, which could be a good call. It seems fairly certain that Sam Neill will not reprise his role as Dr. Alan Grant, though it’s rumored that Jeff Goldblum will return, which I am hoping for, as I support geekiness in most of its incarnations.
Dern appears to be the only sure thing at the moment. In an MTV interview, she voted for a kinder, gentler dinosaur: “I’ve never really liked them very much. They were never really nice to me — it’s not like it was a party on that island! But the [sick] triceratops [from the first film] was sweet. So maybe a nice herd of triceratops that I could ride or something. Riding a dinosaur would be [a lot of] fun.”
That sort of reminds me of a movie I loved as a kid: Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend.
Anybody else remember that? A 1985 classic, featuring lovable, cheesily animated (though cutting-edge for the ’80s) dinosaurs and a young Sean Young. You know, back in the days before she showed up in public dressed as Catwoman.
Anyway. Do we need another Jurassic Park? I even liked The Lost World, but it’s true the last two were a little sort on plot. I’m begging ya, people involved with the project: Put together a script that combines the whimsy and nifty scientific nerdiness of the original with the seat-jumping thrills and special effects.
Otherwise, just invite Uwe Boll to direct and have done with it.