When I know I’m in the mood for a movie but don’t know what I want to watch, I often put Jurassic Park III in the DVD player. Not because it’s a good movie—quite the contrary—but because I love seeing the digital dinos create havoc on-screen. The story might have been silly and the acting sub-par, but at least the dinosaurs looked good.
Three Jurassic Park films might have been enough for Universal, however. Ever since the last one fizzled at the box office, there has been speculation about when (if ever) we are going to see a fourth movie. Every now and again a rumor pops up about a potential story, actors confirm or disavow their involvement, and fans upload homemade JP IV trailers to YouTube.
But according to Jurassic Park producer Kathleen Kennedy, the franchise may have met its demise. When asked whether a fourth film was still in development, she said, “No... I don't know. You know, when Crichton passed away, I sorta felt maybe that's it. Maybe that's a sign that we don't mess with it.”
Crichton was not involved in the creation of the third film and had not been mentioned in connection with the fourth, but the death of special effects guru Stan Winston this past year may also hinder efforts to bring the dinosaurs back. Winston and his team had created the life-size dinosaur puppets and animatronics for the series, and had been working on the effects for Jurassic Park IV.
Then again, in Hollywood, anything can happen, and maybe we will one day see another Jurassic Park. If producers decide to develop it, though, the most significant obstacle they will face will be the development of an original story. I’d say they’ve tapped out the “trapped on an island with dinosaurs” genre, and like many other fans I’d like to see the dinosaurs run around on the mainland. What about you? What would you like to see in a fourth Jurassic Park film?