- Published: Thursday, 21 June 2018 17:07
Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard get up close and personal with their prehistoric co-stars in JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM. Director J.A. Bayona pushed for more animatronics in the sequel to get the full emotional reaction of the actors. FALLEN KINGDOM is also the first time dinosaurs are featured in enclosed spaces, and the Spanish director explains how he handled that challenge.
In JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM, Owen and Claire are on a mission to save the remaining dinosaurs from extinction when the island’s dormant volcano explodes, but it’s not mother nature they should be worried about. The T-Rex and Owen’s velociraptor are caged and the actors interact with the creatures up close. When we see Owen and Claire in the T-Rex cage in the trailer, the actors aren’t imagining the man-eating 20 foot monster. The animatronics team actually built a life-size Tyrannosaurus Rex.
“I really pushed for having more animatronics because it’s about our relations towards the dinosaurs,” he told CineMovie. “The emotions have to feel very real.”
While there was visual effects and CGI involved, the FALLEN KINGDOM director wanted an actual object present and the actors appreciated having that interaction.
“The performance gets a lot better. They do a lot but when you have that animatronics you have that extra bonus of excitement that’s always great to capture with the camera.”
Actress Daniella Pineda’s character (Zia Rodriguez) plays a paleoveterinarian (dinosaur vet) and she reveals to CineMovie, the velociraptor she worked on in the movie was practically a living, breathing thing with realistic skin that sweats, bleeds and moves.
“You talk about movie magic, that animatronic was the realist looking thing that I ever saw. It just looks like a real dinosaur with massive claws, with skin that felt scaly like a reptile with eyes that react to light. It would sweat. It had pulsing veins. It would tick. It would blink… just everything that looked like a real animal.”
The animals also feel very real to the audience when we’re empathetic to even the most scariest of monsters in FALLEN KINGDOM. The story evokes similar emotional moments from Steven Spielberg’s original JURASSIC PARK when we first meet the gentle giants like the Brachiosaurus and the Triceratops. FALLEN KINGDOM has those familiar sentiments and themes of appreciating the beauty of these extinct animals, even the killing machine that is the T-Rex. Although at one point, you’re rooting for the big guy against the despicable humans in the film.
FALLEN KINGDOM also tackles other themes consistent with the JURASSIC PARK movies. Corporate greed and weighing in on the ethics behind man-made creations play a big part in the JURASSIC WORLD sequel with commentary about the current state of the world. Jeff Goldblum reprises his role as Ian Malcolm reminding us of the danger of man’s creations. The Spanish-born filmmaker feels you can combine entertainment and messaging in a movie.
“I really like how we place these situations with dinosaurs in a global context. It’s not about the island. It’s about the whole world.”
Like most JURASSIC PARK movies, children always seems to be caught in the middle of the adults and the prehistoric monsters. Like Spielberg, Bayona (THE IMPOSSIBLE, A MONSTER CALLS, ORPHANAGE) loves endangering children on screen which made him the perfect fit to direct the fifth installment in the franchise. Of course they’re the perfect audience to scare as well.
“We love to be scared by dinosaurs. And we all remember the moments of suspense in the first JURASSIC PARK. For me, that was one of the goals for this one and Colin [Trevorrow) had the same idea.”
What FALLEN KINGDOM has done that no other JURASSIC PARK movie has done is bring the dinosaurs into an enclosed space. We saw the T-Rex and Velociraptor chase their human prey inside the museum building in JURASSIC PARK but JURASSIC WORLD 2 goes even further. That must have been a nightmare for the crew to create those scenes.
“It’s a big challenge when you want to fit a Brachiosaurus in a mansion,” he told CineMovie. “I can tell you there’s a lot of people involved in that having conversations.”
Bayona credits the talented people in production that included visual effects, animatronics, special effects, cinematographer and the production designer in creating a plan to tackle the complicated sequences inside a mansion. One scene called for over a dozen of dinosaurs trapped in a basement.
Luckily he had the expert in blockbuster-making, executive producer Steven Spielberg who was there every step of the way with JURASSIC WORLD director and writer Colin Trevorrow who will take back the helm with JURASSIC WORLD 3. Bayona says Spielberg is the main reason he wanted the job. The iconic director was very supportive and enthusiastic of him, and Bayona looked to him for advice. He consulted with Spielberg on the storyboards and shots. He felt empowered by Spielberg during the whole process.
And on a project this large scale, it takes a village. JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM opens June 21.