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Hundreds of buzzing fans stood outside the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday for a chance to see the stars of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
John Williams’ original Jurassic Park score played for hours over the outside PA system, setting the mood as the talent walked the gray carpet. More than a dozen well-preserved dinosaur fossils and replicas from the film were on display. A life-sized Lego version of Blue the Velociraptor attracted the most selfies from the notable arrivals, as they posed next to the plastic dino, perched on top of an overturned Lego Jeep.
Bryce Dallas Howard, who plays Claire Dearing in the World films, opened up about returning to the role and how director J.A. Bayona put his stamp on the sequel to the 2015 movie directed by Colin Trevorrow.
“This is a very different film than the last, there’s a real sense of horror during the last act,” Howard told The Hollywood Reporter. “I don’t know how kids will react, because it does get very scary. I love that J.A. was able to take it in a new direction and keep it fresh.”
“You have to balance your vision for your character with the countless hours that they’ve spent mapping out the story,” Howard said. “It doesn’t all take place during the script stage. For this film, Chris [Pratt] and I were working out ideas on set as we shot.”
Howard wanted to find moments of levity to offset the serious tone of the film. The improv between Howard and Pratt’s Owen Grady had the audience laughing during the premiere screening.
The DNA cloning technology expands beyond the park — the island park burns down in Fallen Kingdom. Pratt believes fans will get everything they love about the dinosaur-driven series from the new film, while acknowledging that the franchise is moving in a fresh direction.
The original Jurassic Park premiered 25 years ago in theaters this week, and Jeff Goldblum, who reprises his role as Dr. Ian Malcolm in Fallen Kingdom, reflected on writer-producer Trevorrow’s script and how he used lines of dialogue from the Jurassic novels by Michael Crichton.
“Colin is a very brilliant man and he wrote a beautiful scene for me. I called him up to share my ideas for the character and we collaborated on it,” said Goldblum. “Then J.A. Bayona and I got together. He’s very passionate about the themes of anti-greed and anti-militarism, and pro science. It was a great shoot.”
Bayona was very excited to get the fans’ reaction to the film. All day Wednesday, the Concert Hall is hosting fan events, culminating in a fan screening that night.
The film features several surprisingly emotional shots, particularly as the island housing the monsters is being destroyed by a volcanic eruption.
“There is a moment in the film where we wanted audiences to feel for the dinosaurs and we accomplish that during the final moments of the island. This is the ending of a dream that started 25 years ago,” said Bayona.
Bayona took over directing duties from filmmaker Trevorrow, who remained on board as a producer and co-writer with Derek Connolly. “Having the support of the directors that came before, Colin, Steven Spielberg, it’s really great,” Bayona said.
Bayona launched Tom Holland’s film career with his 2012 film, The Impossible, which focuses on the devastating tsunami that hit Thailand in 2004. When asked if he was getting a cut of the Spider-Man: Homecoming star’s paycheck, Bayona wouldn’t even consider it. “No, no, I couldn’t. Honestly, I am so grateful to Tom for the incredible performance that he gave me. He’s one of the special ones,” he said.
Bayona’s favorite Jurassic scene comes from Spielberg’s 1997 sequel, The Lost World, when the truck hangs off the cliff. This scene is also Trevorrow’s favorite moment. “When Julianne Moore is on the glass and it’s slowly cracking, it’s one of the best suspense sequences ever,” said Trevorrow.
For the third film, Trevorrow is building off Fallen Kingdom’s themes. “This film is about responsibility, and Claire and Owen realizing that they share some responsibility for the things that have happened” he said. “The third film is about redemption.”
Actor Justice Smith plays anxiety-ridden tech genius Franklin in the new film. The actor hopes that he would handle a dinosaur better than his fictional counterpart.
“If dinosaurs existed, I would be afraid, but I will say that Franklin is a heightened version of me. Maybe I’m just saying that to hang on to the sliver of masculinity that i have left,” Smith joked.
He hopes that the character comes into his own skin and toughens up for the third film, although Smith has no idea if he will return.
Composer Michael Giacchino returned for his second Jurassic World film. The Oscar winner (2009’s Up) discussed the differences in working with Trevorrow on the reboot and Bayona’s evolving sequel. “With Colin on the first film, we wanted to include John William’s theme while writing new material. We used John’s effectively by not overusing it,” Giacchino said.
Trevorrow pushed the composer for an emotional score that would serve as the film’s backbone, referring to it as “going to dino church.”
Giacchino found the evolving tone of Bayona’s film to be an exciting challenge. “The film starts out like what you expect a Jurassic film to be, but it quickly evolves into a scary, tense, gothic pool of craziness,” said Giacchino. “I was heavily influenced by Bernard Herrmann growing up, and at the end of the film with the gothic choir you feel like you’re in an old horror film.”
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom opens in the U.S. on June 22.
For more from the cast and filmmakers, see below.
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