Jeff Goldblum fans rejoiced after THR revealed on April 25 that the Oscar-nominated actor will star in next year’s untitled sequel to “Jurassic World,” but no one could have been happier than Universal Pictures. Though Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard were already confirmed to reprise their roles from the 2015 film, landing Goldblum is a huge win for the studio, as he bridges the gap between the first two “Jurassic Park” movies and the fifth installment of the franchise, which will be directed by “A Monster Calls” director J.A. Bayona.
Goldblum will once again play Dr. Ian Malcolm, the sharp-witted mathematician who had some of the most memorable lines in 1993’s “Jurassic Park,” and who returned as the lead in the 1997 sequel “The Lost World.” Universal shouldn’t have a problem making its next dinosaur movie a commercial success — “Jurassic World” took in nearly $1.7 billion worldwide — but if the studio wants this sequel to outperform expectations, it needs someone like Goldblum. Here’s why.
The Michael Crichton connection
The original “Jurassic Park” and follow-up “The Lost World” had two things in common: they were both based on novels by Michael Crichton and both starred Goldblum, the only actor to appear in both movies. Then came “Jurassic Park III,” which earned the worst reviews of the franchise and took in $50 million less than “The Lost World.” Some fans had undoubtedly had enough after the disappointing third installment, but Goldblum’s return could remind these viewers what they liked about the first two movies and get them back to theaters.
Popular on IndieWire
We’re on the brink of a Jeff Goldblum renaissance
Following a pair of terribly reviewed films, David Koepp’s “Mortdecai” (2015) and Roland Emmerich “Independence Day: Resurgence” (2016), Goldblum will appear later this year in his first superhero movie as Grandmaster in Taika Waititi’s highly anticipated “Thor: Ragnarok,” and there’s nothing like a major role in a Marvel movie to jumpstart your career. Goldblum will also voice a character in Wes Anderson’s next animated feature “Isle of Dogs.”
Goldblum has gained exposure to new viewers in recent years by appearing in multiple episodes of television shows like IFC’s “Portlandia,” Fox’s “Glee” and FX’s “The League.” He’s also made cameos on Comedy Central’s “Inside Amy Schumer” and Netflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” This heightened visibility well help the sequel to “Jurassic World” appeal to Goldblum’s newer, younger fans.
The comic relief scientist
Sci-fi films like the “Jurassic Park” movies always need intellectuals who can explain complicated concepts related to genetic engineering, but Goldblum is the rare actor who can explain the laws of science and deliver hilarious punchlines in equal measure. Only Dr. Ian Malcolm has the versatility to utter statements ranging from the profound “life finds a way” to the blunt “that is one big pile of shit.”
The untitled “Jurassic World” sequel is slated to arrive in theaters in June 2018.