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Friday, June 17, 2011

Spielberg and Universal Begin Plotting 'Jurassic Park 4'

By: Mike Bracken

Ready for another trip to Isla Nublar? Universal and Steven Spielberg hope so, as the famous director has begun to meet with screenwriter Mark Protosevich the discuss ideas for a fourth film in the popular Jurassic Park franchise.

Spielberg, who directed the first two Jurassic Park films and served as an executive producer on the third, must be feeling nostalgic lately – he recently told journalists that he still thinks of making another Jaws movie, and now he’s returning to exploreanother franchise from his past. While it remains doubtful that Spielberg will ever be involved with another shark flick (or that a fifth Jaws film will ever get off the ground), at least Jurassic Park 4 seems like a project with a decent shot at coming to fruition.
The director and studio stress that these are very early brainstorming meetings between Spielberg and Protosevich. The duo has a previous relationship, with Protosevich having worked with Spielberg on his planned westernization of Park Chan-Wook’s Oldboy. A series of rights issues eventually killed that project once and for all, but apparently the two enjoyed working together and have teamed up for this project.
The original JP debuted back in 1993. Based on a Michael Crichton novel, the film is remembered for its incredible (at the time) visual effects, which paraded amazingly realistic looking dinosaurs across the screen. The title, along with James Cameron’s Terminator 2, is an important piece of film history if only because it showed what was possible using computer-generated imagery with old school special effects.
The first two films in the series raked in big bucks at the box office, but the third installment – released back in 2001 – didn’t do nearly as well, essentially stopping the series dead in its tracks. This is already leading to speculation that a new Jurassic Park film could be a potential rebooting of the franchise and not just another sequel. It makes sense on some levels – with today’s movie technology and the emergence of 3-D, a remake or reimagining of the original film could be visually impressive. The question is will audiences care? 3-D numbers are down this summer, leading many to wonder if the technology is losing its appeal with viewers.
The bigger question is who would helm such a project? While Spielberg is involved in these early story discussions, it seems unlikely that he’d get back behind the camera to make a new Jurassic Park – although Universal would almost assuredly love it if he did. Only time will tell – but we’ll keep you posted as new Jurassic Park 4 news comes to light.