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J.A. Bayona, the Spanish filmmaker who broke through with his gripping tsunami drama The Impossible, has signed on to direct the sequel to Jurassic World, Universal’s $1.6 billion-grossing juggernaut that relaunched the rampaging dinosaur franchise.
Colin Trevorrow directed the first movie but won’t return to the director’s chair, as he is now working on Star Wars: Episode IX. However, Trevorrow is writing the script for Jurassic with his frequent collaborator Derek Connolly.
Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are expected to return for the follow-up, which has a June 22, 2018, release date.
Frank Marshall and Pat Crowley are producing while Steven Spielberg and Trevorrow are exec producing the next chapter in the franchise. Belén Atienza joins the team as a producer.
Bayona was courted by the Jurassic team last year, but he had a holding deal with Paramount to direct a sequel to World War Z that prevented him from jumping ship. The studio even hired a new writer on World War Z 2 to keep the momentum going.
But Bayona officially left the Paramount project in January, with the studio issuing the following statement: “Because of pre-existing film commitments, Bayona is not able to make World War Z this year, and it is our ambition to do so. He is a wonderful director, and we hope to work with him soon.”
Bayona is now in postproduction on A Monster Calls, his adaptation of the Patrick Ness book that stars Liam Neeson and Felicity Jones. Focus Features will release the movie Oct. 14.
Bayona is repped by CAA.
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