It must feel pretty good sitting in Colin Trevorrow‘s world right now. He’s the man behind the sixth highest grossing movie of all time with “Jurassic World,” and it’s a feat that’s made even more remarkable given that he had only one previous feature length film under his belt, the Sundance charmer “Safety Not Guaranteed.” And there’s no doubt he had reservations about taking the leap to blockbuster movie making.
“…one of the first things that I said to [Steven Spielberg was], ‘Look, man, if this movie is a failure, you will continue on to be a legend and I will disappear, never to be heard from again.’ The only way that I could do this movie and make this leap is for it to be entirely my fault. If the movie is a failure, it has to be my fault. I can’t have anyone else to blame. If it’s a success, then it belongs to all of us,” Trevorrow told us in an interview last month. And more recently chatting with IGN, he elaborates on what a high wire he was on making the film.
“[Spielberg] had the privilege of being able to make a long series of original films—‘Sugarland Express,’ ‘Duel,’ and then ‘Jaws’—and from there, built up to something the size of [the ‘Jurassic Park’ franchise]. And in a certain way, I felt like I was being robbed of that right of a filmmaker to make a bunch of mistakes and learn from those mistakes,” Trevorrow explained. However, it was opportunity he wasn’t going to say no to and he chalks up the success to being the creative freedom to develop and tell the story he wanted to, while acknowledging he’s part of a larger movement at the moment in Hollywood.
“We have an interesting trend right now…I think Marc Webb showed that it can work. He made very competent and entertaining ‘Spider-Man’ movies, and I think all he had to do was show that it isn’t a massive disaster, which it wasn’t, for studios to say ‘Well, this makes a lot of sense,’ ” the director noted.
However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. It’s hard to believe that one of the highest grossing movies of all time also had one of the worst marketing campaigns. Trevorrow has already been vocal about his puzzlement over Universal‘s choice of the first clip to show from the movie (the one deemed “sexist” by Joss Whedon), and then there were the trailers, which showed a lot of sizzle reel moments, completely out of context, including Chris Pratt riding on his motorcycle with a pack of raptors. It was a sequence that seemed jarring for many longtime franchise fans, and Trevorrow feel the pain of having that moment shown too early.
“There is a very natural bit of conflict between a filmmaker wanting an audience to be brought slowly into a film, and to be eased into accepting an image like that,” he said about the scene. “Your suspension of disbelief has to be earned. We’ve been earning it, by the time that happens, for an hour and a half. Every movie has its own logic, and if you’re introducing a new set of rules, to just show people snippets of something without them understanding the set of rules that define the movie, can be challenging for an audience.”
“In my opinion, they have shown far more of this movie than I would ever have wanted,” he added.
The good news is that Universal’s marketing fumbles didn’t matter in the end. Audiences have shown up and largely loved Trevorrow’s movie. As for his indie roots, he’s returning to them. The filmmaker starts shooting “Book Of Henry” this fall, and Focus Features is already looking to snap it up. Check out the interviews with Trevorrow below.