Last night Universal announced that the fourth Jurassic Park film will be titled Jurassic World and will be released on June 12, 2015. While news of an already troubled production may have some questioning whether making the film is a good idea at all, the inspired choice of director Colin Trevorrow gives us hope.
JPW new release date comes nearly 10 years after the original targeted date for the film, summer 2005. That date obviously came and went as the film fell into development hell. The project finally showed a glimmer of life again in 2011, when Steven Spielberg, the director of the first two JP films, expressed optimism about a fourth JP movie at San Diego Comic-Con, saying "Hopefully we will make Jurassic Park 4 in the next two to three years."
In January of this year, Universal announced that JP4 would be released in June 2014. In March, Trevorrow was hired as director. Things were moving forward! But then just two months later, Universal moved off that release date and production was put on hold. Amid rumors that the project was done for good, Universal insisted that the indefinite delay was simply to give the production team the time they needed to make the best possible movie. At the time that sounded like vague, evasive studio-speak, never a good sign. But with news of this new release date, it seems they may have actually meant it.
Despite all those stops and starts and snafus, we're still looking forward to the movie. Why? Because of Trevorrow, who is directing from a screenplay he wrote with Derek Connolly, the writer on Trevorrow's directorial debut, Safety Not Guaranteed. Though a number of other writers had been attached to Jurassic World—back in 2002, William Monahan was set to pen the film—we should take heart that it ultimately fell into Trevorrow and Connolly's hands.
If you have any qualms about Trevorrow and Connolly's ability, and haven't yet seen 2012 release Safety Not Guaranteed, do so immediately. (It's on Netflix.) The film's lo-fi look and hip indie cast might give audiences the wrong impression about the story of a team of journalists investigating a man who posts an ad seeking a companion for time travel. Yes, it stars Parks and Recreation snark master Aubrey Plaza and mumblecore vet Mark Duplass, but this is a film that embraces wacky fantasy and sci-fi without a hint of irony. Without spoiling anything, we'll say that by the end of the film, Trevorrow and Connolly have created something sincerely sweet and magical. It's refreshing and—dare we say—Spielbergian.
Of course, lots of things could go wrong. Safety Not Guaranteed was only Trevorrow's first film, and he now has to cave to pressures of a studio system; many breakout indie directors have crashed and burned when making the leap to big budget films. But we're going to trust in Trevorrow and mark June 12 on our calendar. Our 2015 calendar, that is.