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J.A. Bayona wants to add even more animatronics to his Jurassic World sequel than were used in last year’s Universal reboot.
“Obviously you don’t have real dinosaurs — sometimes you have people playing dinosaurs — but we love animatronics and we’re trying to do as much with them as possible,” the director told The Hollywood Reporter at Wednesday’s premiere of A Monster Calls.
However, that’s easier said than done.
“It’s complicated because the audience now is so used to seeing CGI that they’re sometimes reluctant toward animatronics,” he explained further. “But at the same time, I think animatronics bring soul and reality to it. We’re trying to find the balance between animatronics and CGI in order to cheat the audience so they don’t know what they’re seeing.”
It’s a theory he tested while shooting A Monster Calls in which Liam Neeson voices the titular tree creature who comforts a young boy (Lewis Macdougall) dealing with the terminal illness of his mother (Felicity Jones). Though Neeson finished his motion-capture performance during a two-week period before the shoot, Bayona commissioned a true-to-size animatronic replica of the monster’s head, arms and one foot. “That really helped Lewis on set,” he said. “It’s always important to have something real that you can act against, especially for the interactions by touch.”
Before the screening at AMC Lincoln Square, A Monster Calls star Sigourney Weaver commented on Fox’s winter 2018 date for an untitled James Cameron film, which is suspected to be the release of an Avatar sequel. “We haven’t started it, so I don’t know how realistic that date is, but I think it’s going to be very exciting,” she told THR. “I’ve read three of the four [sequel’s scripts,] and they’re even more extraordinary than the first one.”
Jurassic World 2 hits theaters June 22, 2018. A Monster Calls opens Dec. 23.
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