Jurassic Park 4.0


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.

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