Difficult as it is to believe, Jurassic Park hit its 20th anniversary this year, and by most accounts, it’s held up very well. When it came out in the summer of 1993, Jurassic Park was the blockbuster to beat.
It steamrolled The Last Action Hero, which was an embarrassing flop for Schwarzenegger, it took Michael Crichton to a whole new level as a “mega author,” and it was also the film that blew the door open for CGI technology.
There have been hopes for a new Jurassic Park for quite some time, and it looked like we were finally going to get one for 2014, except now those plans have come to a screeching halt. As the Hollywood Reporter tells us, production was supposed to begin on June 24, and in a statement released to the Reporter, Universal said they were planning to “release Jurassic Park 4 at a later date giving the studio and filmmakers adequate time to bring audiences the best possible version of the fourth installment in Universal’s beloved franchise.”
To halt production on a major movie this late in the game is pretty much unheard of, not to mention very costly. In addition, the Reporter tells us that Universal doesn’t have any blockbusters lined up for next summer except for Fast and Furious 27, oops, we mean 7, which is slated for next July.
Jurassic Park 4 had a release date of June 13, 2014, and everyone involved seemed very cautious before moving forward with this one. Producer Kathleen Kennedy said the script had to be right, but a draft by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), apparently passed the test, and Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) was on board to direct.
But apparently a new draft of the script came in several days ago, and after going over the new pages, the studio apparently felt they couldn’t make next month’s start date, hence the shutdown. Again, something pretty severe had to happen for a movie to get halted this close to production, because it also means the studio could eat sh*t to the tune of millions of dollars that have already been committed to the film.
This said, Jurassic 4 also had a pretty tough schedule to get everything done and ready by next year. As Variety tells us, “While delays are never a good thing, this is hardly a troubling sign for the production but more of the fact that Universal may have simply gotten too far ahead of itself when setting the original date.”
So we do hope that the next Jurassic Park can get back on track for next year, or whenever it’s ready. Neither The Lost World or the third Jurassic Park cut the mustard, so maybe this one could redeem the saga’s legacy, and we’d love to see what fresh talent can potentially do with the franchise today.