What In the 'Jurassic World' Could a Dino Sequel Be About?

Jurassic World Still 3 - H 2015
<p>Jurassic World Still 3 - H 2015</p>   |   Courtesy of Universal Pictures
There's no immediately obvious next step in the story.

Following the massive success of Jurassic World, the fact that plans have been announced for a sequel in 2018 isn't that surprising. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard will return for the as-yet untitled follow-up, with World screenwriters Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly writing the screenplay. The big question remains, though: What is Jurassic World 2 actually going to be about?

It's not that there aren't multiple avenues left open for future plots; the way that Jurassic World ended, more than one potential film was teased — whether it was the fact that the island was essentially left under dinosaur dominion, or watching the Indominous Rex disappear underwater, knowing that any subsequent follow-up might simply begin with her climbing out of the water right next to the Statue of Liberty right before the trailer cuts to a card announcing Jurassic New York. But that, in a way, is the problem — there's no immediately obvious next step in the story.

Jurassic World, after all, is a relatively closed narrative: People are trapped in a location that suddenly becomes dangerous, and they have to escape alive. Once they've done that, the story is over, for all intents and purposes, without breaking the suspension of disbelief: the idea that any of those people would return to the island for whatever reason is blatantly ridiculous, and also removes the audience's sympathy: no longer do the characters have to escape their environment, because they voluntarily returned to it.

Without that element of necessity, Jurassic World — and, before it, Jurassic Park — becomes broken; look at the two sequels to Jurassic Park for proof of that: neither The Lost World not Jurassic Park III are able to quite recreate the feeling of the original movie, because both feature characters who survived events in the first movie and came back for more. With both Owen Grady and Claire Dearing returning for a second engagement with the dinosaurs in the 2018 Jurassic movie, it'll be difficult to recreate the sense of discovery and terror Jurassic World conjured up in the characters.

This doesn't automatically doom the sequel, of course; it merely means that Jurassic World 2 has the potential — if not the necessity — to reinvent itself, and do something new with the franchise. By this point in the series, audiences have seen four variations on the same "humans are trapped with monsters and must escape" idea, and are arguably primed for something different (especially those who thought that World was too close to Park in terms of plot). It's about time for a change, whatever that change may be. Maybe get organized crime involved in efforts to control the dinosaurs. Who wouldn't want to check out Jurassic Underworld?