'Jurassic Park 4' Director Colin Trevorrow: Why Him?

by Zac Gille
Jurassic Park tyrannosaurus rexNot Colin Trevorrow, but the original Jurassic Park's top scene-stealer, Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Jurassic Park 4 director: Colin Trevorrow

Colin Trevorrow, whose low-budget, time-travel-themed indie Safety Not Guaranteed won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, will direct the 3D, sure-to-be megabudgeted Jurassic Park fourquel Jurassic Park 4.

But why Colin Trevorrow for Jurassic Park 4? Well, at this stage it's impossible to say why specifically Trevorrow. However, his handling of a character-driven sci-fier involving time travel likely played a role in his selection. Just as likely, Trevorrow was cheaper than bigger names. And finally, and this is probably the most important issue here: Trevorrow, whose quirky Safety Not Guaranteed was quite well received, may bring to the increasingly paleozoic (i.e., old and stale and less box office friendly) Jurassic Park franchise some much-needed directorial freshness.

According to Deadline.com's Mike Fleming, who doesn't name any sources in his piece, Colin Trevorrow “met with the studio and filmmakers [one assumes that means Jurassic Park 4 executive producer Steven Spielberg, and producers Frank Marshall and Patrick Crowley], and they felt he was a good match for the material, having grown up a huge fan of the trilogy and part of a new generation of directors steeped in all things dinosaur. They felt he would preserve and protect the characters in the story they created.”

Jurassic Park movies

Based on (and/or inspired by) Michael Crichton's 1990 science-fiction novel, Jurassic Park (1993) and its sequels – The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) and Jurassic Park III (2001) – have grossed $1.9 billion worldwide. Adjusted for inflation* (though not for currency fluctuations), the three Jurassic Park movies have taken in approximately $3.04 billion around the globe. Of note: Adjusting for inflation, although it cost about 20 percent more than the first installment in the franchise, Jurassic Park III earned less than one third of the worldwide amount earned by Jurassic Park.

A Universal release, Jurassic Park 4, as mentioned above, will be executive produced by Steven Spielberg, who also directed the first two movies in the franchise. Longtime Spielberg collaborator Frank Marshall (Poltergeist, The Color Purple, War Horse) and his Bourne franchise producing partner Patrick Crowley will reportedly be Jurassic Park 4's official producers.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver are Jurassic Park 4's screenwriters. No casting details have been announced as yet, but expect various species of dinosaurs to make special guest appearances. The fourth installment in the Jurassic Park franchise is scheduled to come out on June 13, 2014.

Jurassic Park movies, Colin Trevorrow's Safety Not Guaranteed: cast and screenwriters

The original Jurassic Park was adapted by David Koepp and author Michael Crichton. The cast featured Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Richard Attenborough, Jeff Goldblum, Bob Peck, Martin Ferrero, Joseph Mazzello, Ariana Richards, BD Wong, Wayne Knight, and a pre-Pulp Fiction Samuel L. Jackson.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park was written by David Koepp. The cast included Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore, Pete Postlethwaite, Richard Attenborough, Arliss Howard, Vince Vaughn, Vanessa Lee Chester, Peter Stormare, Joseph Mazzello, Ariana Richards, and Camilla Belle.

Directed by Joe Johnston (Captain America: The First Avenger), Jurassic Park III was written by Peter Buchman, and the Election, About Schmidt, and Sideways team of Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor. Now, bringing in the prestigious Payne & Taylor screenwriting team didn't help matters much; Jurassic Park III has a mediocre 4/10 average rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics.

The Jurassic Park III cast featured Sam Neill, William H. Macy, Téa Leoni, Alessandro Nivola, Michael Jeter, Trevor Morgan, John Diehl, Laura Dern, Taylor Nichols, and Mark Harelik. Steven Spielberg was one of the film's executive producers; the credited producers were Spielberg's frequent collaborator Kathleen Kennedy (Lincoln) and Larry J. Franco.

Featuring Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson, Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Kristen Bell and filmmaker Lynn Shelton in cameos, the (reportedly) $750,000-budgeted Safety Not Guaranteed earned a modest $4.01 million at the North American box office as per Box Office Mojo. No international figures are available, quite possibly because Safety Not Guaranteed, like the overwhelming majority of U.S.-made indies, never reached movie houses outside the United States (and perhaps Canada).

Besides its Sundance Film Festival Award, Safety Not Guaranteed was nominated for the Best Ensemble Gotham Award and earned screenwriter Kevin Connolly the Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.

Jurassic Park 3D release date

Timing is everything. The announcement of Colin Trevorrow as the director of Jurassic Park 4 came out – and it's surely just a coincidence – three weeks before the 3D release of the original Jurassic Park on April 5.

* Adjusted domestic box office figures based on the National Association of Theater Owners annual average movie-ticket costs. Adjusted international box office and film budget figures based on the U.S. Department of Labor's consumer price index.

Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park Tyrannosaurus Rex photo: Universal Pictures.

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