About five years ago, the movie gossip site Ain’t It Cool News pulled back the curtain on a Jurassic Park we’ll never see. A scrapped script for the franchise’s fourth film told a tale of dinosaurs that had not only been brought back from extinction but had also been further modified to make them humanoid soldiers. Sadly, the plot had nothing to do with Axe Cop’s Dinosaur Soldier.
Thanks to a little Internet sleuthing, we now know what those dinosaurian troops would have looked like. Earlier this week io9 posted concept art from the discarded version of Jurassic Park 4. It turns out that, for once, Hollywood hype was right. If this movie was actually made, Jurassic Park 4 would have been one of the strangest blockbuster-budget features ever made. I guess Spielberg really wasn’t kidding when he hinted that the story would have taken the franchise in a totally new direction.
Even though I’ll watch just about anything with dinosaurs in it–hell, it’s part of my job–I think this version of Jurassic Park 4 is best left to the annals of movie history. The dinosaurs have thrice imperiled people on islands and have torn a path of devastation over the mainland once. The fact that Jurassic Park 3 brought some of the original characters back to one of the islands showed the the franchise ran out of ideas very early, and inventing dinosaur soldiers was a crazy attempt to add novelty to an already faltering series. Not to mention the fact that creating dinosauroids to wipe out already-created raptors and tyrannosaurs sounds like the cure might end up being worse than the initial problem.
Which brings up the question of whether there should even be another Jurassic Park sequel. The franchise left off on a bad note, not to mention the atrocious comics and lackluster video games that have lately cropped up. Maybe it’s best to simply let the dinosaurs rest.
Michael Crichton’s original story was brilliant, and the movie adaptation will always be a cultural milestone for being the first film to convincingly bring dinosaurs back to life. But it seems that Universal hasn’t had a clue what to do with the dinosaurs since they got them. Finding ever-more conceits for people to run for their lives from Mesozoic monsters is difficult, and maybe there simply isn’t a way to recreate the awe audiences felt when they saw the first film. You would think the studio would have learned their lesson after running the JAWS franchise into the ground, but, given that Hollywood is so low on ideas that Hungry, Hungry Hippos is really going to be a movie, I guess I can’t blame them for going back to Jurassic Park‘s primeval wellspring one more time.