Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Colin Trevorrow|
by Michael Crichton
|Edited by||Kevin Stitt|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
May 29, 2015 (Le Grand Rex)
June 12, 2015 (United States)
|Box office||$1.672 billion|
Jurassic World is a 2015 American science fiction adventure film and the fourth installment of the Jurassic Park film series, as well as the first film in a planned Jurassic World trilogy. It was directed by Colin Trevorrow, written by Derek Connolly and Trevorrow, produced by Frank Marshall and Patrick Crowley, and stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Omar Sy, B. D. Wong, and Irrfan Khan.
Set twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park, Jurassic World takes place on the same fictional Central American island of Isla Nublar, off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, where a theme park of cloned dinosaurs has operated for nearly a decade. The park plunges into chaos when a genetically-engineered dinosaur escapes and goes on a rampage.
Universal Pictures intended to begin production on a fourth Jurassic Park film in 2004 for a summer 2005 release, but development stalled while the script underwent several revisions. Following a suggestion from Spielberg, writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver explored the idea of a functional dinosaur park. Once Trevorrow was hired as director in 2013, he followed the same idea while developing a whole new script with Derek Connolly. Principal photography rolled from April to August 2014, primarily in Louisiana while also using the original Jurassic Park filming locations in Hawaii. The dinosaurs depicted in the film were created through the use of CGI by Industrial Light & Magic and life-sized animatronics by Legacy Effects.
Production was completed on May 10, 2015, and Jurassic World was released in over 60 countries beginning on June 10, 2015. After a record-breaking opening weekend where it became the first film to gross over $500 million worldwide, Jurassic World generated a total of $1.6 billion in box office revenue, ranking as high as fifth among the highest-grossing films of all time. It was also the second-highest-grossing film of 2015 and the highest-grossing film in the franchise. A sequel, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, was released in June 2018.
Teenaged brothers Zach and Gray Mitchell visit Jurassic World, a functioning dinosaur theme park and resort on Isla Nublar, the original Jurassic Park site, for winter holiday. The trip is arranged by their mother for the boys to spend quality times with their aunt, Claire Dearing, who is the park’s operations manager, while their parents are in the middle of divorce. The boys are disappointed when Claire assigns her assistant, Zara, as their guide while she is busy, but the boys evade Zara to explore on their own.
Elsewhere on the island, Owen Grady, a Navy veteran, has been training the park’s four Velociraptors, Charlie, Delta, Echo and Blue while also researching their intelligence. Based on the raptors’ ability to follow commands, Vic Hoskins, the head of InGen Security, believes that they can be used as military animals, an idea Owen and his assistant, Barry, strongly oppose.
Prior to its opening, park owner Simon Masrani and Claire inspect the park’s newest attraction, the Indominus rex, a genetically-engineered dinosaur created by geneticist Dr. Henry Wu. Claire has Owen evaluate the enclosure; they had previously gone on a date but it did not work out because of their differing lifestyles. Owen warns Claire that the Indominus lacks social skills from being raised in isolation, making it more dangerous and unpredictable. When it appears that the Indominus has escaped, Owen and two park workers enter the enclosure. Able to camouflage itself and mask its heat signature, the Indominussuddenly appears. Owen survives the attack, but it kills the other two men before escaping into the island’s interior. Owen tells Masrani to have the Indominus killed, but protecting his company’s investment, Masrani instead dispatches a specialized unit to subdue it with non-lethal weaponry. After most of the unit is wiped out, Claire orders the island’s northern sector to be evacuated.
While exploring in a gyrosphere vehicle, Zach and Gray enter a restricted area. The Indominus arrives and destroys the sphere, but the boys get away. Finding the ruins of the original Jurassic Park visitor center, they repair an old Jeep Wrangler and drive back to the park resort. As Claire and Owen search for the boys, they barely escape the Indominus. Masrani and two troopers hunt the Indominus by helicopter, but the Indominus breaks into the park’s aviary to avoid the gunfire, releasing the pterosaurs Pteranodon and Dimorphodon that collide with the helicopter, causing it to crash and killing Masrani in the process. Gray and Zach find Owen and Claire at the park as armed personnel shoot down swarming pterosaurs with tranquilizers. Zara is carried off by several pterosaurs before falling into the park’s lagoon and being devoured by its Mosasaurus.
Assuming command, Hoskins orders that the raptors be used to track the Indominus; Owen, forced to comply, leads the raptors by motorcycle. Upon finding the Indominus, the animals begin communicating with one another. Owen realizes that the Indominus has Velociraptor DNA, and it becomes the pack’s new alpha, usurping Owen’s dominance. The Indominus escapes as troops fire on it. The raptors wipe out most of the troops, but one raptor is killed. Hoskins has Wu and the dinosaur embryos helicoptered off the island to protect Wu’s research. Owen, Claire, and the boys discover Hoskins packing up the remaining embryos at the lab, but a raptor breaks in and kills him.
Outside, Owen re-establishes his bond with the three raptors before the Indominus reappears. The raptors attack the Indominus, but two are killed. Claire releases the park’s Tyrannosaurus rex and lures it into battle with the Indominus. The latter gains the upper hand until Blue, the surviving raptor, joins the fight. Overwhelmed, the Indominus is cornered at the lagoon’s edge, where it is dragged underwater by the park’s Mosasaurus. Isla Nublar is abandoned once again, and the survivors are evacuated. Zach and Gray are reunited with their parents; Owen and Claire become involved romantically.
B. D. Wong as Dr. Henry Wu, a geneticist who heads the team that created the dinosaurs for Jurassic World. He is revealed to have an alliance with Hoskins. Wong is the only actor in the film to reprise his role from any of the previous movies.
Andy Buckley as Scott Mitchell, Karen’s husband and father of Zach and Gray.
Additionally, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Buffett cameo as themselves.Patrick Crowley, the film’s producer, cameos as Masrani’s flight instructorwhile Colin Trevorrow briefly provides the voice of Mr. DNA, an animated DNA helix who explains the park’s technology to visitors. The character was previously voiced by Greg Burson in Jurassic Park. Brad Bird provides a voice cameo as the park’s monorail announcer and Jack Horner, the film’s technical advisor, also cameos.
Themes and analysisEdit
Director Colin Trevorrow stated that the Indominus rex, the synthetic hybrid dinosaur at the center of the film’s story, is symbolic of consumer and corporate excess. The dinosaur was “meant to embody [humanity’s] worst tendencies. We’re surrounded by wonder and yet we want more, and we want it bigger, faster, louder, better. And in the world of the movie, the animal is designed based on a series of corporate focus groups.” He also stated, “There’s something in the film about our greed and our desire for profit. The Indominus rex, to me, is very much that desire, that need to be satisfied.” Film journalists have noted the parallels between the workings of the park in Jurassic World and the film and entertainment industry. Actor James DuMont stated that “the person [and] the environment are one” is one of the obvious themes. Another theme is that “those who do not stop evil are supporting and encouraging it”.
The film also explores the concept of raising an animal in a particular way. The Indominus rex was said to have been raised in captivity without the presence of any siblings, thus making the creature somewhat “not fully functional”.
In March 2001, Jurassic Park III director Joe Johnston said that he and executive producer Steven Spielberg had discussed a story idea for a fourth Jurassic Park film, which Johnston was not interested in directing. In May 2001, Spielberg had Amblin Entertainment commence development of ideas for Jurassic Park IV, which he planned to produce. Late into Jurassic Park III‘s production, Spielberg devised a story idea which he believed should have been used for the third film instead. In June 2001, Johnston announced he would not direct the film, and that Spielberg had a story idea that would take the series’ mythology to a new level. Johnston said the film would feel like a departure from the previous films, implying it would not be set on an island. Johnston also denied, then later hinted, that the film would involve the Pteranodons from the ending of Jurassic Park III.
Actor Sam Neill, who portrayed Dr. Alan Grant in two previous films in the series, said he could not imagine a way for his character to be involved in another film. Neill was contracted for a total of three films, and other actors from Jurassic Park III were also signed on for a potential fourth film. In April 2002, it was reported that the fourth Jurassic Park would be the last film in the series, and that it would ignore its predecessor’s events. In June 2002, Spielberg confirmed plans for a fourth film, which he hoped to have Johnston direct. Spielberg also said there was a story idea which he considered to be the best one since the first film. In November 2002, Neill said there was a chance he would be in the film, while William Monahan was announced as the screenwriter, with Spielberg serving as executive producer and Kathleen Kennedy as producer. A month later, the film was announced for a summer 2005 release.
In January 2003, Jeff Goldblum said he had been asked to stay available for a possible return of his character Ian Malcolm. At the end of the month, it was reported that the story would involve dinosaurs migrating to the Costa Rican mainland. A team of experts, including Alan Grant and Ian Malcolm, chart an expedition to one of InGen’s offshore islands and discover the dinosaurs breeding uncontrollably. The plot would involve the characters devising a solution to restrict the spread of the dinosaurs and prevent an ecological disaster. It was also reported that the plot contained a “top-secret aspect”.Early concept art depicted genetically engineered human-dinosaur mercenaries. Stan Winston‘s special effects studio, which worked on the previous films, was in the design phase for the film as of April 2003. Winston said that Spielberg wanted to adapt several previously unfilmed scenes from Michael Crichton‘s Jurassic Park novel and its sequel, The Lost World. By July 2003, Keira Knightley was in consideration for two separate roles, including a small role as a granddaughter. Monahan’s first draft of the script was finished later that month, with a story no longer set in the jungle as in the previous films. A director had yet to be discussed at that time. Neill confirmed he would reprise his character, with filming set to begin in 2004 in California and Hawaii.
In September 2003, Richard Attenborough said he would reprise his role as John Hammond. The following month, paleontologist Jack Horner said he would return as technical adviser for the fourth film as he had done for previous Jurassic Park films. Horner hinted that Velociraptor would be an integral part of the film, and was later asked about a hypothetical idea of humans evolving from dinosaurs rather than mammals. Horner responded, “Keep thinking about that, and in a couple of years go see Jurassic Park 4.” Knightley’s character was written out in late 2003. In March 2004, Johnston said he had not been asked to direct the film, and hoped that Spielberg would direct it. Johnston said a story was being written that would take the series in a completely different direction “away from the island and away from the T. rex and all this.” In April 2004, script doctors were being sought to work on the film’s story, which involved dinosaurs being trained by the government to carry and use weapons in battles. As of May 2004, screenwriter John Sayles was writing the script,after being hired to finish earlier work done by Monahan, who had left the project to work on Kingdom of Heaven.
Sayles ultimately wrote two drafts for the film. In Sayles’s first draft, Isla Nublar and InGen have been taken over by Grendel Corporation, a Swiss holdings company, while creatures from the island have begun attacking people on the mainland of Central and North America. The script featured a brief return to Isla Nublar, and would focus on a mercenary named Nick Harris, a new character who is sent by John Hammond to the island to retrieve a canister of dinosaur DNA that was lost during the events of the first film. With the DNA, Hammond intends to have his scientists create a new group of infertiledinosaurs that can the current infestation of creatures. After Harris retrieves the canister, he is kidnapped by Grendel and taken to their medieval castle headquarters in the Swiss Alps, where he is persuaded into helping the company train a team of five Deinonychus – modified with human DNA for problem-solving skills and dog DNA for obedience – and two Dilophosaurus for use on rescue missions and to fight against drug dealers. The dinosaurs would be equipped with body armor, and would use their teeth and claws as weapons. The script focused primarily on the efforts of Harris and a team of experts as they train the dinosaurs, who would also have hormone-emitting devices attached to their heads to help control their moods and behavior. Hammond would be the only returning character in this draft. The concept of a human who trains raptors was an idea that came from Spielberg.
By June 2004, Frank Marshall had joined the project as a producer, while Alex Proyas was in discussions to direct, with filming expected to begin in March 2005 for a rescheduled winter 2005 release. Filming would have started at Pinewood Studios, where a massive tank was to be constructed for scenes involving marine reptiles. In July 2004, the script was being rewritten, with Jeremy Piven and Emmy Rossum being considered for two of the lead roles and Attenborough reprising his character. Later that month, Proyas said he was not interested in directing the film. In August 2004, Drew McWeeny of Ain’t It Cool News published a review of Sayles’s initial draft, writing “I think it’s well-written and certainly inventive, but I also think it just might be the single most bugfuck crazy franchise sequel I’ve ever read”. Sayles later confirmed this to be an early draft of the script, intercepted through Spielberg’s email by a hacker. In late August 2004, David Boreanaz was rumored and later reported to have the lead role, although he was actually in consideration for Fantastic Four. Sayles was still rewriting the script in September 2004, with the film on track for a winter 2005 release.
In April 2005, Winston confirmed the film was on hold because of repeated revisions of the film’s script, none of which satisfied Spielberg. According to Winston, “He felt neither of [the drafts] balanced the science and adventure elements effectively. It’s a tough compromise to reach, as too much science will make the movie too talky, but too much adventure will make it seem hollow.”Progress on the film was stalled during 2005, as Marshall and Spielberg were busy with other film projects. At the end of the year, Spielberg said he planned to include a scene, inspired by Crichton’s The Lost World novel, that would involve characters on motorcycles as they flee from raptors. In January 2006, Johnston and Horner were working on a new screenplay, and more work on it was expected to begin immediately after the 2008 release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. In February 2006, Marshall said the film now had a good script, with filming expected to begin in 2007 for a 2008 release. In March 2006, Marshall said the film had a script and was getting a director, with Johnston as a possible candidate. In April 2006, Marshall said there was an idea for the film, but not a script. Marshall denied that Crichton would write the script, or that Spielberg would direct it.The script was still being worked on in June 2006. The following month, Spielberg denied an Internet rumor that Breck Eisner would direct, saying Johnston was standing by for the job.
In December 2006, Laura Dern said she was open to the possibility of reprising her role as Ellie Sattler, but had not been contacted about appearing in the film. In March 2007, Neill said he knew nothing about the project. By April 2007, Dern had been contacted about appearing in the film, with filming expected to begin within the year for release in 2008. By that time, Johnston no longer planned to direct the film. In December 2007, Marshall said further work on the script would not commence until the end of the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike, with filming potentially starting in 2008 for a release in the summer of 2009. Horner’s 2009 book, How to Build a Dinosaur, was originally meant to come out at the same time as the film as a scientific companion volume. During 2008, Attenborough and Goldblum expressed interest in reprising their roles, although Attenborough suffered a fall at his home later that year and subsequently retired from acting. In a 2008 interview, Johnston discussed the possibility of Jurassic Park IV, stating that the film’s story was completely different from its predecessors and would not be set on an island. Johnston also said the film would essentially take the franchise into a whole other trilogy but that “when it gets to that level it’s sort of about studios and Steven’s thing and who knows.”
In December 2008, a month after Crichton’s death, Marshall and Kennedy were asked if there was any development on the sequel. Kennedy responded, “No… I don’t know. You know, when Michael Crichton passed away, I sorta felt maybe that’s it. Maybe that’s a sign that we don’t mess with it.” While Marshall and Kennedy were no longer signed with Universal Pictures in a production capacity, it was said that the two would remain involved with the studio and its plans for Jurassic Park 4. In June 2009, Marshall said the film did not have a story.In early 2010, Johnston reiterated that Jurassic Park IV would essentially be the beginning of a second Jurassic Park trilogy. Johnston also said the film would feature new characters and a storyline that did not involve a dinosaur theme park, while stating that the project would not use the 2004 storyline from Sayles’s initial draft. Johnston hoped to further develop the project with Spielberg after they finished other projects they were working on separately, including Johnston’s 2011 film, Captain America: The First Avenger.
By June 15, 2011, Spielberg had met twice with writer Mark Protosevich to work on a story for a potential fourth Jurassic Park film. In July 2011, Johnston said he was in discussions regarding the fourth film, which was still planned as the start of a new trilogy. Later that month, at the San Diego Comic-Con International, Spielberg said a writer was working on a treatment for the film, which he said would be possibly released “within the next two or three years.” A representative from Universal said 2013 would be the preferred deadline for completion. Over the next three months, Mark Protosevich wrote two story treatments for the film. Spielberg had hoped to have a writer working on a full screenplay for Jurassic Park IV by the time he started filming his other project, Lincoln, in October 2011, with the hope that the script would be finished by the time Lincoln was finished. However, he and Kennedy felt that neither of Protosevich’s treatments consisted of the right story for a fourth film.
Despite this, Spielberg said in October 2011 that the script was being written by Protosevich, and that he felt the story they were working on was stronger than that of Jurassic Park III. In December 2011, Kennedy said a script had not been written yet, as story ideas were still being discussed. In January 2012, Kennedy said a story had been chosen and that work on the script would begin. That month, Spielberg said he would not direct the film, opting instead to be a producer. In June 2012, it was announced that writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver would be scripting Jurassic Park 4.
On January 11, 2013, Universal said the film would be shot in 3D and released on June 13, 2014. In February, it was reported that Kathleen Kennedy would not be producing the film in favor of focusing on Star Wars: The Force Awakensfor 2015. Her husband and production partner Frank Marshall took over as the primary producer. Shortly thereafter, the director of studio operations at Raleigh Studios in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, confirmed that Universal Pictures had reserved space there from April to November 2013, without specifying the project for which it was reserved.
As Kennedy prepared Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Brad Bird — who wanted to work on the film but was too busy with Tomorrowland — suggested to her that she employ director Colin Trevorrow to work as a stand-in during the pre-production of Star Wars. This instigated Kennedy and Marshall to watch Trevorrow’s first film, Safety Not Guaranteed. Marshall was impressed by the film, and at the end of February 2013, he arranged a meeting between himself, Trevorrow and Spielberg regarding the Jurassic Park job. Trevorrow flew from his home in Vermont to Amblin’s offices in Los Angeles, where he was subsequently hired without reading Jaffa and Silver’s script, which was still being written. Universal announced Trevorrow as director on March 14, 2013, while adding that Patrick Crowley was a co-producer.Trevorrow had been a fan of the series since he saw the original film during its theatrical release. A year had been spent searching for a director.Spielberg, Marshall, and Kennedy had previously been impressed by Juan Antonio Bayona‘s 2012 film, The Impossible, and considered having him direct Jurassic World, but he declined as he felt there was not enough time for production. In April 2013, Jack Horner said that a new, previously extinct creature would rise to stardom in the film, saying, “I can’t actually tell you who that will be… But you’ll want to keep the lights on after you see this movie.”
After reading Jaffa and Silver’s draft, Trevorrow insisted on completely rewriting the script with writing partner Derek Connolly, who had never seen any of the Jurassic Park films prior to that point. Trevorrow had told the filmmakers, “if I direct this screenplay, it’s going to be a bad movie. I’m gonna do a bad job, because I just don’t get it.” Trevorrow and Connolly wrote their own draft of the script over a couple of weeks. The studio received the draft on May 6, 2013, and found the script changes more large-scale than anticipated. On May 8, 2013, the studio announced it was pushing the release from June 13, 2014, to an unspecified future date. Filming had been set to begin on June 24, 2013. Delaying the film allowed Trevorrow and Connolly more time to work on the script, as Spielberg felt that it needed improvement.Another reason for the delay was to allow time for the construction of practical sets for the fictional theme park; it was previously intended to add in these buildings using computer effects.
In May 2013, Trevorrow tweeted a picture of Kauai taken during location scouting with the caption “Nublar”, the name of the island in the original film.Later that month, Sam Neill said it was unlikely he would be a part of the film, stating, “I’m told it’s a big reboot, a total re-jig.” Trevorrow eventually tweeted that “Reboot is a strong word. This is a new sci-fi terror adventure set 22 years after the horrific events of Jurassic Park.” In June 2013, a new release date of 2015 was announced, and it was reported that the film would revolve around a fully functional dinosaur theme park.
On September 10, 2013, Universal Pictures confirmed the film would be titled Jurassic World and would be released on June 12, 2015. Trevorrow chose to rename the film from its previous title, Jurassic Park IV, to differentiate it from previous films in the series. Trevorrow also said that within the story, “if you named a theme park ‘Jurassic Park’ after the disaster that had happened it would be a horrible PR mistake.” By February 7, 2014, Legendary Pictureshad agreed to co-finance the film, and provided about 20% of the budget.China Film Group has been reported as also having financed the film.Thomas Tull of Legendary Pictures served as executive producer for the film with Spielberg.
Spielberg had three ideas that he wanted Jaffa and Silver to implement into the script: a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, a human who has a relationship with trained raptors (from Sayles’s earlier draft), and a homicidal dinosaur that escapes and has to be stopped. Jaffa and Silver’s draft, titled Jurassic Park IV, included an opening scene set in China, where the fossilized remains of a new dinosaur species would be discovered by a Chinese female paleontologist. In the draft, the remains would be stolen by a corporation with malicious intentions, ultimately leading the paleontologist and her two sons to visit Jurassic Park. Jaffa and Silver worked on the script for approximately a year, with input from Spielberg.
After the film was delayed in May 2013, Trevorrow and Connolly continued rewriting the script during the summer, and worked with Spielberg during that time to perfect it. Throughout the writing period, Trevorrow, Connolly and Spielberg had many meetings to discuss the film’s story. David Koepp also met with Trevorrow and Connolly to advise them on the script. Koepp had previously written the first two films in the series, but at some point declined an offer to write the fourth film, as he felt that he had nothing left to contribute to the series. Trevorrow said that perfecting the script was the hardest part because Jurassic Park films “don’t fit into a specific genre. They’re sci-fi adventures that also have to be funny, emotional and scary as . That takes a lot of construction, but it can’t feel designed.”
To determine the film’s story, Trevorrow and Connolly discussed world events that had occurred over the previous two decades; Trevorrow said that two main ideas emerged: “One was that money has been the gasoline in the engine of our biggest mistakes. If there are billions to be made, no one can resist them, even if they know things could end horribly. The other was that our relationship with technology has become so woven into our daily lives, we’ve become numb to the scientific miracles around us. We take so much for granted. […] We imagined a teenager texting his girlfriend with his back to a T-Rex behind protective glass. For us, that image captured the way much of the audience feels about the movies themselves. ‘We’ve seen CG dinosaurs. What else you got?'”Trevorrow also said Jurassic World was inspired by a quote from Ian Malcolm in the first film: “You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could, and before you even knew what you had, you patented it, and packaged it, and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now you wanna sell it.” Trevorrow said Malcolm’s quote inspired the large amount of product placement in the film.
Trevorrow and Connolly maintained Spielberg’s three ideas, although Trevorrow felt that the concept of trained raptors, in its original form, was too extreme and had to be “pulled way, way, way back.” A few months after being hired, Trevorrow read through each of the previous drafts that had been written for the film. Trevorrow commented that each of the previous drafts “tried to do something different” from the previous films in the series. Trevorrow called Sayles’s initial draft “fascinating in a lot of ways. There were a lot of things I loved about it. It was properly bonkers. In a way, I aspired for our film, in its fearlessness and willingness, to go there.” Trevorrow further stated that he was “interested in what the Sayles script was trying to do because it was so daring. It was trying to set a tone for how far forward we needed to push. The one thing about all those scripts is that it took us too far forward with man’s progressions with dinosaurs.” For Owen’s relationship with the raptors, Trevorrow and Connelly were inspired by real-life relationships that people have formed with dangerous animals such as lions and alligators. In the film’s first appearance of the raptors, the animals are ordered to not eat a live pig located in their enclosure; Trevorrow said that this “was as far as we should be able to go” with the concept of trained raptors.
Trevorrow and Connelly’s rewrite of the script included new characters.Trevorrow wrote the characters of Hoskins, Masrani, and Wu, while Connelly wrote the children and female characters. In Jaffa and Silver’s draft, the main character, who would ultimately become Owen, actively supported the militarization of the raptors from the beginning of the story. Trevorrow said that “if anyone’s gonna militarize raptors that’s what the bad guy does, he’s insane.” Trevorrow and Connolly’s script changes altered the story so the viewer would first see the theme park from the perspective of a child.Trevorrow said that one of his goals was for the child characters of Zach and Gray to “not be annoying. And I think we pulled it off.” Gray was initially written as having autism, a trait that was removed from the final draft.
Trevorrow and Connolly did not desire to write previous characters into the new film without a good reason for their return to the series; they considered the character of Dr. Henry Wu a logical choice, being the scientist responsible for recreating dinosaurs. In the first novel, Henry Wu had a much larger role, which was trimmed down for the film adaptation. Trevorrow said that the characters of Alan Grant, Ian Malcolm, and Ellie Sattler were not included in the script because, “I respect those actors too much to shoehorn them into this story for my own sentimental reasons. Jurassic Park isn’t about the bad luck of three people who keep getting thrown into the same situation. The only reason they’d go back to that island is if the screenwriters contrived a reason for them to go.” Trevorrow said that there were ways for viewers to feel nostalgia without having an actor reprise a role after so many years, which he believed “might make you feel old and remind you that you’re on a slow march towards death, like the rest of us!”
Initially, the film’s new dinosaur was known as Malusaurus. Within the story of Jaffa and Silver’s draft, the new dinosaur would be depicted as a real animal, while it was actually a nonexistent species in reality. Trevorrow chose to make the dinosaur a genetically modified hybrid named Indominus rex, to maintain consistency with previous films in the series, which had incorporated the latest paleontological findings and discoveries: “I didn’t wanna make up a new dinosaur and tell kids it was real.” Trevorrow said the idea of a hybrid dinosaur was “not tremendously different from what they were doing in the first film, by adding frog DNA. It’s the next level.” In addition to the Indominus rex, the earlier draft by Trevorrow and Connelly also included a second hybrid dinosaur named Stegoceratops, consisting of DNA from Stegosaurus and Triceratops. However, Trevorrow chose to remove the animal from the final script after his son made him realize that featuring multiple hybrids would fail to make the Indominus unique.
In the Jaffa/Silver draft, the raptor hunt for the park’s new and escaped dinosaur accounted for approximately the second half of the film. This was ultimately shortened by Trevorrow and Connelly. One scene inspired by Crichton’s novel, The Lost World, involves Owen riding a motorcycle while his raptors race alongside him during their search for the Indominus. Spielberg had intended to include the scene as early as 2005, although his initial vision for the scene was more similar to its novel counterpart, in which humans on a motorcycle flee from raptors rather than cooperating with them. The Indominus’s camouflage ability was also an aspect in The Lost World, which featured Carnotaurus with the same ability.
Trevorrow said that the film “isn’t a sequel or a reboot or a remake, it’s all of those things in a strange way. My third rail was being derivative and making a carbon copy of Jurassic Park.” Jurassic World features various references to Jurassic Park, and is considered a direct sequel to the first film; Trevorrow stated that the events of the previous two films were not relevant to the new film’s story because they took place on a different island. Despite not being referenced in Jurassic World, Trevorrow said that the events of the film’s predecessors were still canon in the film series.
Trevorrow suggested the idea of including a Mosasaurus as part of a theme park feeding show in which park-goers would watch from bleachers as the animal leaps out of a lagoon and catches its prey: a shark hanging above the water. Spielberg then suggested that the bleachers be lowered afterwards to give park guests a view of the creature in its aquatic habitat. The theme park’s ball-shaped gyrosphere rides were another idea from Spielberg.
Regarding Zara’s death scene, Trevorrow said: “It was the first time a woman was going to die in a Jurassic Park movie. We’re an equal opportunities bunch of murderers! So we felt, ‘Alright, let’s make it the most spectacular death we can possibly imagine—let’s involve multiple animals from sea and air…’ […] the earned death in these movies has become a bit standard and another thing I wanted to subvert. ‘How can we surprise people? Let’s have someone die who just doesn’t deserve to die at all.'” Spielberg approved Trevorrow and Connolly’s draft in September 2013.
Prior to the production delay in May 2013, actors Bryce Dallas Howard, David Oyelowo, and Garrett Hedlund had been considered for roles in the film. By August 15, 2013, John Krasinski was in talks for a role as a dinosaur tamer.In September 2013, Howard was in early negotiations to play a role, and was cast in early November. By mid-October, Ty Simpkins had been cast as the child lead, while Nick Robinson was cast as the older brother of Simpkins’s character. Robinson and Simpkins had to perform a “scream test” prior to being cast. During mid-October, Jake Johnson was being considered for a role, while Josh Brolin was in talks to play the role of Owen. Brolin had been in early consideration, but ultimately did not receive an offer for the role as a final casting decision had not yet been made.
By mid-November 2013, Brolin was no longer in talks for the film, and Chris Prattwas in early negotiations for the role of Owen. By mid-January 2014, Pratt had been cast in the role. Trevorrow had been impressed by Pratt’s acting in Zero Dark Thirty. Pratt had previously joked in 2010 that Spielberg had cast him in the film. Trevorrow said that when Pratt was cast, “we had no idea he’d become as big a star as he has. I just cast a bunch of character actors, as all Jurassic Park movies have. And somehow we ended up with a movie star.” Trevorrow considered Owen to be a combination of Alan Grant and Ian Malcolm, while Pratt said about the character: “He’s got a little bit of the Goldblum cynicism but also the Sam Neill excitement at the wonder of the biology of it all, so it’s a combination.” Although Pratt received top billing in the cast, Trevorrow stated that Howard’s character, Claire, is the lead character.
Vincent D’Onofrio, Irrfan Khan and Omar Sy were cast in early 2014.Trevorrow had admired Sy’s acting, and wrote the character of Barry with him in mind for the role. Trevorrow also said that he cast actors such as Sy because they were well known in different parts of the world, stating that “this is a global film and Jurassic Park doesn’t belong to just America.” In March 2014, Johnson confirmed that he would have a role in the film, while Trevorrow announced that B. D. Wong would reprise his role as Dr. Henry Wu, stating that the character would have a more significant role than in the original film. A week before filming began, it was announced that Judy Greer, Katie McGrath, and Lauren Lapkus had joined the cast. Over the next two months, it was announced that Andy Buckley and James DuMont had joined the cast.