‘Jurassic World Dominion’ Director Colin Trevorrow On The Film’s Legacy And Filming In Malta

By: Marriska Fernandes

Jurassic World Dominion director Colin Trevorrow can easily name every dinosaur in the film, and he will recite them to you on cue if you ask him.

I am seated across from Trevorrow on the beautiful island of Malta (one of the filming locations) to promote the extended edition of Jurassic World Dominion on Blu-ray and DVD, which was released on August 16. The extended edition includes an extra 14 minutes of never-before-seen footage, an alternate opening and many more dinosaurs.

Executive-produced by Steven Spielberg, the director of the first two Jurassic Park films, Jurassic World Dominion takes place four years after Isla Nublar’s destruction when dinosaurs roam the Earth again. This time, two generations unite as doctors Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) and Alan Grant (Sam Neill) return to join Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) for an adventure that will determine the destiny of humans and dinosaurs once and for all.

I spoke with Trevorrow about the film, his love for Malta and more.

So before you began Jurassic World Dominion, what did Jurassic represent to you personally that you felt that this was the story you wanted so strongly to tell?
Just before I started this film, I felt that dinosaurs are this amazing reminder of how recent we are; that we’ve only been on Earth for this tiny little period of time, and in the context of everything that we are trying to cope with today and all of these massive challenges that have been created by decisions made by prior generations that we’re trying to figure out how to deal with, I saw real parallel in dealing with the consequences of our past choices.

So what is it about Jurassic films that resonate so strongly with fans?
Jurassic Park is a perfect film and a classic and when that happens, of course, they’ll make sequels. We’re in a place where we’re making many sequels to one perfect film, which is challenging, but also the challenge is how do we find deeper layers in this? How do we create a story that is taking what was given and using it. We really tried to honor with Stephen and Michael Crighton did those all those years ago and, and push it forward.

One of the things I loved about this film is having the legacy cast, and the new actors all together. Was that an idea that you had all along?
It was a hope, and we wanted to make it possible. BD Wong’s character Dr. Wu being in the first film and in the second film, and then Ian Malcolm [played by Jeff Goldblum] being in Fallen Kingdom, we wanted to create a world in which it was possible, it felt that we weren’t just stuffing everyone in there to try and get more people to come see the movie. So in doing that, we wanted to find an organic reason why a paleobotanist might be necessary. We talked to scientists and geneticists, and hopefully we found a way that we were able to tell a story about genetic power in the context of a world in which there are dinosaurs.

So to bring a beloved franchise to life, with its large scale and complexity and something that you’ve written and directed, what moment would you say tested you the most, either creatively or professionally?
We’re here in Malta, and we shot this massive sequence that I think turned out incredible, but it involved coming here several times and planning it out very carefully and then having a team down here shooting motorcycles in the streets all day, while we were actually in the UK on a set, built to look like Malta shooting other parts of that same sequence. So I would be directing here and then looking at an iPad of takes coming in, in real time from Malta, giving notes on that, and sort of like directing two movies at the same time, and that was hard.

Why was Malta chosen as the filming location?
I wanted a city Island, it felt like it would be smart to put the dinosaurs on an island if you were creating a hub that was an air hub as well. It’s also a mix of a lot of cultures, a lot of parts of Europe and Northern Africa and the Middle East, and bringing that all into a place that is with you know, old stones and tight narrow streets that look great when you’re moving forward. You know, all of that, you know, came from this just one, one idea of like, what if having dinosaurs in the context of old stones? They look old to us, but the dinosaurs are way older than anything we’re looking at.

As a Canadian, I do have to ask what was it like filming in British Columbia?
I loved it. That’s where we started and it was the very first thing we did – we had Chris Pratt out on horseback in the middle of this massive snowy field. Everything you see in that sequence is real except for the dinosaurs. That that part of it was thrilling. Yeah, it was so cool.

Jurassic World Dominion on DVD and Blu-ray is available now.

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