We’ve moved beyond Jurassic Park. We’re officially in a dinosaur world, namely Jurassic World.
*Slight spoilers for Jurassic World from here on out.*
There’s plenty of material for any numbers of writers and directors to play with in this reinvigorated franchise. I’ve come up with a list of directors who have a realistic possibility (mostly) of directing a Jurassic Park movie in the near or distant future, which in terms of Hollywood time equates to a five-to-ten year range.
Why the hell isn’t this guy directing more movies? I’ve gone on record before claiming that Attack the Block is a straight up masterpiece in genre filmmaking, and why it’s unilaterally the best. There were rumors of Cornish taking over Ant-Man at one point (HA!), or even tackling Star Trek 3. People clearly want him to helm big blockbuster movies. We know he’s talented enough to blend high science fiction with character centric stories. Somebody at Universal better give this guy a phone call.
Favreau has had some hits and some misses. His misses aren’t entirely awful, but they’re completely disposable. His hits range from entertainingly solid to downright great. Iron Man is still considered a highlight of the Marvel Studios lineup. And who could forget the inventiveness of Elf? Favreau can mix crowd-pleasing blockbuster spectacle with heart-warming stories, to boot.
He’s directed the almost-best monster movie of the decade with Cloverfield. He remade a classic foreign vampire story and kept the quality up to par. He made the second best movie in the Planet of the Apes franchise. The guy knows genre, and but he understands theme. The human characters are admittedly the weakest link of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, but can you imagine the attention to detail and characterization for the dinosaurs in a Matt Reeves directed Jurassic World sequel?
Damn straight, I’m going for the Academy Award Winning director. Everyone knows Bigelow can direct the hell out of action sequences. And, did you know she once dipped her filmmaking hand into the genre pool (see Near Dark)? If Bigelow brought the visceral ferocity of her directing style into a Jurassic World sequel, our world would be a happier place.
I know he’s off playing in a galaxy far, far away right now (and rumor has it he’ll be back for the third installment), but J.J. Abrams is one of the best blockbuster directors in the business. Jurassic World being intelligent is sort of an oxymoron, but it’s fun as hell. Not quite as entertaining or emotionally gripping as Star Trek in 2009, but it comes close. Just keep Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman’s grubby screenwriting hands off of it.
Another director playing in a far off galaxy, though not quiet so far, far away. Is anybody questioning Gunn after he floored us with Guardians of the Galaxy? He’s working on at least two sequels right now, as you just know he’s got Guardians 3 ideas swimming in his head. He’s already worked with Chris Pratt, who is now a bonafide movie star, and he willfully taps into old-school, emotional character conceit. This needs to happen.
Yes, he’s primarily known as the Fast and Furious guy, as he has now directed four Furious films in a row. But three of them were pretty great! He directs action in a way that feels natural and he gets as much mileage out of stunt work as any good director is able. He’s going big with his Star Trek movie due out next year, gearing up to make a space adventure in the mold of the original series, with the weightier ideas and philosophical concepts that made us all love the franchise in the first place. If he can nail that, he jumps to the top of the list for potential Jurassic World directors in my opinion.
He’s tired from blockbusters after Avengers: Age of Ultron turned him into a broken man. Then he was rumored as a potential Star Wars director for the closing chapter in the new trilogy. While I’m all for a Star Wars movie written and directed by Whedon, I think he’s done with the Disney suits. Given Jurassic Park‘s focus on powerful women characters, this seems like a match-made in heaven (No, he’s not sexist; yes, there are issues worth discussing once in a while). Universal helped get Serenity made a decade ago. It’s time they paired up again.
He made Spider-Man 2 and anybody involved with that movie deserves my undying gratitude. What? I have to write more? Ok, fine. Sam Raimi hasn’t had a mega hit since Spider-Man 3. Somebody give this guy an entry into another pulpy blockbuster. And yes, Jurassic Park is just as much pulp as it is thought provoking. Pulp doesn’t have to be a “turn-your-brain-off” situation (which is a poor excuse for filmmaking, anyway).
I sat down to watch Lost World before my viewing of Jurassic World. Dear lord, what an awful movie. Everyone complains about Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which is certainly not any good, but neither is it ungodly terrible, but why doesn’t anybody talk about the mean-spirited mediocrity of Lost World? It’s well-intentioned in its Dinosaur Activist approach, a suitable follow-up to the ideas introduced in the first film, but it’s void of any Spielbergian magic, minus a few crucial scenes. The characters are too thinly drawn or outright idiotic, making it impossible to form any sort of attachment to them. But Spielberg still has the magic of moviemaking in him, as his other subsequent films attest to. War Horse, The Adventures of Tintin, and Lincoln are all great movies that Spielberg delivered back-to-back. Bottom line, most directors don’t have quiet that consistent a track record throughout their entire career, so aside from helming a Star Wars feature, I’d love to see Spielberg come back to the world he helped bring to the big screen.