The Hollywood Reporter has announced that J.A. Bayona has been named the director of whatever Universal decides to call Jurassic World 2. 2015’s Jurassic World was directed and co-written by Colin Trevorrow. Presumedly the only reason Trevorrow isn’t returning as director (he’s still co-writing the script with JW scribe Derek Connolly) is because he’s going to be directing a small little trifle of a movie called Star Wars Episode IX.
Jurassic World made a ton of money. A TON. Universal made the decision to get back to the roots of the franchise with this third sequel and soft-reboot of its classic modern dino-franchise. There was definitely no guarantee in turning a profit from a new entry to a series which had already shown a decreasing return of profit, directed by an unproven blockbuster entity in Colin Trevorrow. Color everyone surprised when this paid off in spades as Jurassic World raked in a massive $652 million domestically, only to be eclipsed by Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015.
And Jurassic World was terrible.
I believe Trevorrow to be a potentially interesting director but so many of the problems with Jurassic World stem from things that Trevorrow actually believed to work but were train wrecks (the wanton torture and death of the “Bridezilla” comes first to mind).
J.A. Bayona has an interesting background having made The Impossible, which is an ok example of pitting high human emotion against even higher physical and environmental destruction. The Orphanage also proved he can more than handle the horrific elements inherent to a dinos-run-amok tale. He’s in post-production on his intriguing adaptation of A Monster Calls which brings in a high fantasy element. I think we’ll know what we’re in for regarding Jurassic World 2 after we see what that film is like.
Color me intrigued but cautious because this series has historically pushed to meet release dates over being certain of having good material.