There probably isn’t a better filmmaker to helm the upcoming untitled Jurassic World sequel than J.A. Bayona, who has demonstrated his gift for combining human drama and FX spectacle in The Impossible and next week’s release A Monster Calls. And when discussing the new World in the course of promoting Monster, he reveals that the follow-up resolves perhaps the most problematic issue from the first one.
“Claire [Bryce Dallas Howard] doesn’t wear high heels in this movie,” Bayona promises. That will make it easier for her to flee its prehistoric menagerie, which will have some additions. “There will be new dinosaurs,” the director says, and then adds, “Finding that proper balance between what the audience is expecting and new stuff is always a challenge in doing a sequel.”
Jurassic World part two, which rolls in March for Universal Pictures release June 22, 2018, is once again written by its predecessor’s director Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly, with Chris Pratt also returning as velociraptor whisperer Owen Grady. Bayona says it will take him a step in scale beyond even his previous tsunami disaster epic The Impossible: “That film and A Monster Calls were very complex technical challenges, and also complicated stories to put on the screen. But this is the biggest production I have ever done; it’s massive, and it’s a learning experience. I’ve never done anything like it.”
It’s a challenge he’s eager to tackle, though, having been a fan of the Jurassic franchise since he saw the original as a teenager. “I remember the first time I saw that first Brachiosaurus, and the huge impact it had on me,” he says. “I have always been a huge fan of Steven Spielberg, and I never thought I would end up doing a Jurassic movie. So it’s very exciting and a privilege to work with Steven, Frank Marshall and the other producers.”
The Jurassic World sequel is also his first franchise picture, but he isn’t concerned about any potential loss of creative freedom. “You know, they’ve all seen The Orphanage, and the [Jurassic] script has many things in common with the movies I’ve done so far. The thing is, I also consider this job to be a collaborative filmmakers’ effort, you know? You have Steven, you have Colin, you have Frank, a producer who is also a director, and it’s their baby. So I am very much aware that I need to take care of their baby as well as possible.”