To paraphrase the great screenwriter and novelist William Goldman: nobody knows anything about “Jurassic Park 4.” The core creative principles are known, of course, with “Safety Not Guaranteed” director Colin Trevorrow working from a script written by the husband-and-wife team of Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (“Rise of the Planet of the Apes“), possibly based in part on a screenplay that Mark Protosevich (“I Am Legend”) wrote for Steven Spielberg in 2011. But plot specifics and casting decisions have yet to see the light of day, despite (or perhaps because of) the announcement that production was being delayed slightly. But Sam Neill, who starred in the original film and the underwhelming “Jurassic Park III,” thinks that he knows what’s going on: it’s going to be a reboot. And honestly, if you can’t trust Sam Neill, who can you trust?
While talking with a New Zealand outfit about his upcoming projects as well as his, um, winery (good lord), the actor said that he hadn’t seen the retrofitted 3D version of “Jurassic Park” and that he would not be taking part in the fourth installment. “I’m told it’s a big reboot, a total rejig,” Neill told Stuff New Zealand, we imagine in the most charming way possible.
Now there is some circumstantial evidence that supports this. Mainly this is based on a tweet that Trevorrow unleashed a few weeks ago that revealed the location of the movie to be Isla Nublar, which was the island that the first film was set on. In “Jurassic Park” mythology, Isla Nublar is where the park was located and Isla Sorna, where the subsequent two films were set, was where the dinosaurs were grown and raised… Even though there’s that scene in the first one where B.D. Wong says hello to a little dinosaur coming out of an egg. Also, while everyone (including Universal) has been referring to the project as “Jurassic Park 4,” there has yet to be an official announcement that this is the title of the project. So it could just as easily drop the “4” and become “Jurassic Park” anew.
Honestly this is a little disappointing. Given the harder nature of the Michael Crichton novel, it would have been nice, should someone choose to remake “Jurassic Park,” to have embraced that and delivered a horrifying, hard-R version of the story. The novel opens with babies getting their faces ripped off by tiny dinosaurs, for crying out loud. Maybe sometime in the future, when studios aren’t terrified by R-ratings and will actually put some money into something not explicitly geared towards 13-year-old-boys.
Whatever “Jurassic Park 4” ends up being, we can all agree that it would benefit from a sprinkling of Sam Neill in there, though.