Latest ‘Jurassic’ Installment Takes on Real World Issues

(L to R) Owen (Chris Pratt), Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Maisie (Isabella Sermon) in JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM. ©Universal Studios / Amblin Entertainment / Legendary Pictures.


Front Row Features

HOLLYWOOD—Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt return to the jungles of Isla Nublar in “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” the inevitable sequel to the hit 2015 movie, in which their characters—Claire and Owen, respectively—were introduced into this longrunning franchise.

This time around, the now estranged former lovers reunite to rescue the remaining dinosaurs on the island from an active volcano and to help transport them to another island sanctuary provided by a wealthy benefactor. Things go topsy-turvy when they arrive and the animals’ true destination is revealed.

Howard, daughter of Oscar winning filmmaker Ron Howard and part of the “Twilight” franchise, and Pratt, best known for his Star-Lord role in Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise, spoke about returning to the jungle and dodging charging CGI dinosaurs once again.

Q: Bryce, how would you describe the premise of this latest “Jurassic” movie?

Howard: This movie starts at a crisis point. There is an extinction level event that is going to occur on the island. There is an active volcano and it’s going to erupt and all of the dinosaurs are going to die unless Claire does something about it and that is where we start this movie. That’s where we begin. What we’re starting with is we now have over twenty years of dinosaurs co-existing with human beings. Did we make a mistake? Is this nature’s way of correcting itself? Should we let nature run its own course or should we step in and protect these animals that we have created ourselves?

Q: Chris, what is at the core of “Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom?”

Pratt: The “Jurassic” movies have always been movies about science and imagination merging through thrillers with dinosaurs chasing people around. But, at the core of it, they are relationship movies about people and the relationships those people have with one another and the relationships those people have with nature. So, we’re exploring that relationship further.

Q: How was it working again with Bryce?

Pratt: Bryce is a pro. She’s Ron Howard’s daughter and she has an incredible work ethic. And I say Ron Howard’s daughter because she has that gene. She’s a filmmaker; a director, a producer and a storyteller. She really lives for this. She’s very passionate about every step of the process.

Q: Bryce, how has Claire changed since the first “Jurassic World?”

Howard: At the beginning of the first “Jurassic World,” we see a woman who has kind of lost her sense of values, compromised her sense of values in the name of profit. Now what we see is a completely different person who is deeply in touch with her values, deeply in touch with her sense of responsibility and is singularly focused on protecting the animals that she didn’t even acknowledge the value of prior to this. So, she’s a very different woman in the beginning of this film because she has found a sense of purpose and she has found her mission really and she will not stop at anything.

Q: You have a couple of new sidekicks, scientist Zia and tech whiz Franklin, played by Daniella Pineda and Justice Smith, respectively, in this one. What was it like working with those new characters/actors?

Howard: Zia is a paleo-veterinarian and Franklin is a programmer and they are sort of this motley crew that goes to the island together and Zia proves herself to be a tremendous bad*** and Franklin proves himself to be more capable than he considers himself at the beginning of the story.

Q: What is the overall threat in the film?

Howard: This is a new world in which dinosaurs and human beings are cohabiting and coexisting and it is no longer then dynamic that we saw in “Jurassic Park” or “Jurassic World” where dinosaurs are caged and imprisoned, where we are in control of the dinosaurs. What you see is that we’re not actually in control of those dinosaurs at all and they are far more dangerous than we could ever imagine.

Q: Chris, did this movie require more physical action than usual?

Pratt: The last movie was pretty physical as well but this one is really physical. It’s live dive-rolling out of the backs of trucks and diving off of stuff and landing in water. We have a whole sequence that we shot in water that took maybe a week or something. We’ve got great big fight sequences. They’ve taken the action hero element that worked in the first movie and expanded on that for this movie.

Q: How was working with the animatronic dinosaurs like Blue?

Pratt: She’s so life-like. They had one person controlling dilating the pupils, one controlling the eyelid, the nostrils, the cheeks as she breathed, her jugular as it pumped (blood), each of her hands and claws and her neck. There was a team of, like, 12 guys underneath doing a very fine choreographed dance to make her look real.

Q: Bryce, what is the scariest thing about the movie?

Howard: You would think that the scariest thing that could happen would be facing a dinosaur but that’s not the case in this movie. What we see is that there is something more menacing, more evil and more bloodthirsty and that thing is Mankind.

Q: You have a new director with J.A. Bayona (taking over from Colin Trevorrow, who is one of the writers and a producer on this). How was it working with him?

Howard: J.A. Bayona is an incredible filmmaker and particularly genius when it comes to frightening people. He just understands suspense and particularly creatures, monsters and what is so scary (about them). Oftentimes what is so scary is when you don’t see the monster until the very, very last minute and, at just the right moment and just the right way, the monster is exposed in a way that will haunt you for the rest of your life … but you love it.

Pratt: He’s a huge movie buff. He loves all kinds of movies but he really does love a movie that has an edge and a bit of danger to it and he’s bringing that to this film. It’s really exciting to see the music, the slow pace, the suspense, not so much what is there but what might be around the corner. He’s bringing it back and that’s always what these movies have been. They’re science and imagination suspense thrillers. That’s what we’re doing here and J.A.’s really good at that.

Q: How close is the new film to Michael Crichton’s original source material?

Pratt: Everything you do when you are doing a Jurassic Park movie, you have to give credit to Michael Crichton. He created this extraordinary world and it’s from that idea that all of these movies are extracted. So, you definitely have to give credit where credit is due.

Q: Why should audiences go see this movie?

Pratt: We’ve got a pretty great cast, a deep cast in a really cool story. It’s the new chapter. It’s bigger and better and more exciting. It’s Jurassic and people are going to love it.