Every day brings us closer to seeing Chris Pratt fight dinosaurs again. This week, in particular, saw a big uptick in news about the much-anticipated Jurassic World sequel, currently scheduled to hit theaters on June 22, 2018. We now know the film is called Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and bears a tagline that should seem familiar to longtime franchise fans: “Life Finds A Way.”
Though we’re still far away from figuring out exactly how this kingdom fell, we have gotten a spattering of teases from various people involved in the sequel, which director J.A. Bayona announced July 8 on Twitter had wrapped. Here’s everything we know so far.
Who will be in it?
The two stars of the first Jurassic World, Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, are both on board for the sequel. Jeff Goldblum is also returning as his fan-favorite character Dr. Ian Malcolm (whom Goldblum recently described admiringly to EW as “a saucy, sassy man of some integrity and deep thinking”), which is fitting since his catchphrase from the first film is now Fallen Kingdom‘s tagline. Producer Colin Trevorrow has also hinted that B.D. Wong’s Dr. Henry Wu, last seen fleeing the island with dino-eggs in tow, will make a reappearance.
Aside from those veterans, there will also be plenty of new blood on this one. Ted Levine, Rafe Spall, Toby Jones, Geraldine Chaplin, Daniella Pineda, and The Get Down star Justice Smith have all been cast in various roles.
Who’s directing it?
Colin Trevorrow piloted Jurassic World to one of the highest box office totals of all time, but the sequel will be directed by J.A. Bayona (The Impossible, A Monster Calls), with Trevorrow staying involved as a producer. The cast, at least, seems to be on board with this. Pratt told ScreenRant in April that Bayona is “a remarkable filmmaker” and “really visually masterful.” In a May interview with EW, Goldblum said he had a good impression of Bayona as well.
“He was very focused on the serious issues of greed as it oftentimes comes up in those movies, and the marvels of science and reason and the very fascinating point at which our species finds itself both in real life and in this imaginary world too,” Goldblum said. “I’m very interested in that myself, so I’m looking forward to this.”
What will it look like?
In these early, pre-trailer days, our only indication of what Fallen Kingdom will look like comes courtesy of Bayona’s Twitter feed. Back in March, the director shared “a first look of the new Jurassic adventure” on Twitter, with a photo featuring a young girl staring down some dinosaur skeletons in what appears to be a museum setting. Trevorrow hinted to Wired back in 2015 that the sequel might take place off-island, so fans should gear up for some new visuals and settings for the franchise’s dinosaur rampages. Filming took place in Hawaii and the United Kingdom.
What will it feel like?
Plot details are still scarce, but Pratt has hinted that the tone of Fallen Kingdom will differ a bit from its predecessor.
“I think it’s going to be a scarier version,” Pratt told ScreenRant in April. “A little bit darker and will continue to expand and carry the story forward in a way that is really unexpected and you wouldn’t have imagined.”
Bayona said something similar in an interview with Agencia EFE last year, comparing Fallen Kingdom to other dark second acts like The Empire Strikes Back.
“It will be darker and scarier than the previous film. Obviously, when you have Chris Pratt it will also be very funny. But it will be darker,” Bayona told the Spanish-language outlet. “It is the second step in a trilogy, and the second step is always dark as in The Empire Strikes Back or The Wrath of Khan, which are the examples you always get. The film takes the story where it has never been before.”
As for what exactly could comprise this new darker element, Trevorrow hinted around the same time last year that it could involve animal abuse parallels.
“The dinosaurs will be a parable of the treatment animals receive today: the abuse, medical experimentation, pets, having wild animals in zoos like prisons, the use the military has made of them, animals as weapons,” Trevorrow said during an appearance at the Sitges Film Festival in Spain.
What will happen?
The film’s creators are keeping plot details safely under wraps, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t dropped hints. Way back in 2015, Trevorrow highlighted Wu’s exit from the island in the first Jurassic World as something to watch.
“Dr. Wu says in the film, when he’s warning Dr. Mesrani, ‘we’re not always going to be the only ones who can make a dinosaur,'” Trevorrow told Wired at the time. “I think that’s an interesting idea that even if we don’t explore fully in this film, there is room for this universe to expand.”
Then in April of this year, Trevorrow wordlessly tweeted a photo of dino-eggs — possibly the ones Dr. Wu absconded with at the end of Jurassic World. If true, we can probably take Trevorrow’s and Bayona’s statements to mean we’ll finally see dinosaurs outside of a tropical island setting. Who knows what mayhem they’ll get up to out there…
And in November, Trevorrow shared another tantalizing sneak peek — a brief snippet of footage showing Pratt with a baby raptor:
This post has been updated with new details on the film.