‘Jurassic World’ is open at last, but safety isn’t guaranteed

April 24, 2015 | 7:00 a.m.
la ca 0226 jurassic world 002 Jurassic World is open at last, but safety isnt guaranteed

Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt star in "Jurassic World." (Chuck Zlotnick / Universal Pictures / Amblin Entertainment)

la ca 0226 jurassic world 001 Jurassic World is open at last, but safety isnt guaranteed

Chris Pratt stars as Owen in "Jurassic World." (Chuck Zlotnick / Universal Pictures / Amblin Entertainment)

la ca 0226 jurassic world 004 Jurassic World is open at last, but safety isnt guaranteed

Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard star in "Jurassic World." (Chuck Zlotnick / Universal Pictures / Amblin Entertainment)

la ca 0226 jurassic world 003 Jurassic World is open at last, but safety isnt guaranteed

Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins in a scene from "Jurassic World." (Chuck Zlotnick / Universal Pictures / Amblin Entertainment)

la ca 1226 jurassic park 3d 1831 Jurassic World is open at last, but safety isnt guaranteed

The T. Rex from "Jurassic Park," above, returns in "Jurassic World." (Universal City Studios / Amblin Entertainment)

In Universal’s upcoming 3-D adventure “Jurassic World,” the globe’s most unique theme park has added some exciting new attractions, including a shark-munching mosasaur and a pack of trained velociraptors. But one favorite, fearsome dinosaur will make an appearance too.

“The T. Rex in this movie is the same T. Rex from ‘Jurassic Park,’” said director Colin Trevorrow, who also co-wrote the much-hyped fourth film inspired by the work of author Michael Crichton. “She’s been on the island for 22 years. She’s still alive. She’s a little older, and she’s angry.”

FULL COVERAGE: Summer Movie Sneaks

More than two decades after Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park” wowed moviegoers with its groundbreaking depictions of prehistoric animals, Trevorrow’s “Jurassic World,” set to open June 12, is aspiring to instill the same sense of wonder by paying homage to the beloved 1993 adventure but also offering something new.

As the movie opens, Jurassic World is a fully operational vacation destination, with luxury hotels, golf courses and restaurants available to the tourists traveling to Isla Nublar to get back to nature. The safety of the visitors and the island’s animal inhabitants is unexpectedly threatened by a series of events involving a new genetically engineered dinosaur known as the Indominus Rex — which can run at speeds of 30 miles per hour and sounds like a jet engine when it roars.

Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt star in "Jurassic World." (Chuck Zlotnick / Universal Pictures / Amblin Entertainment)

Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt star in “Jurassic World.” (Chuck Zlotnick / Universal Pictures / Amblin Entertainment)

The park’s analytical asset manager Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) and affable trainer Owen (Chris Pratt) are quickly drawn into the crisis and must come to rely on each other to survive.

“Jurassic World” arrives as the first film in the franchise since 2001’s “Jurassic Park III” and is Trevorrow’s first studio feature. The Vermont-based director, 38, won the plum assignment based on the strength of his 2012 Sundance Film Festival breakout “Safety Not Guaranteed,” a whimsical time-travel romance starring Mark Duplass and Aubrey Plaza.

Spielberg’s longtime collaborator and “Jurassic World” producer Frank Marshall said he was struck by the way “Safety” captured some of the same sentimental spirit as Spielberg’s classic family films made under the Amblin Entertainment banner.

“He’s a great storyteller, but he also has that childlike wonder that the Amblin movies had,” Marshall said. “I thought if we surrounded him with people who were experienced in the areas he wasn’t, that he would be fine.”

Chris Pratt stars as Owen in "Jurassic World." (Universal Pictures / Amblin Entertainment)

Chris Pratt stars as Owen in “Jurassic World.” (Universal Pictures / Amblin Entertainment)

After Trevorrow was hired in spring 2013, an existing script for the sequel was scrapped, and production was delayed by roughly a year to allow Trevorrow and his “Safety” co-writer Derek Connolly to fine-tune their “Jurassic World” screenplay before shooting began in Hawaii and Louisiana.

The director said he felt it was important to offer something more than wall-to-wall CG spectacle. The film, which also stars Irrfan Khan, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jake Johnson and Judy Greer, will focus on “actual people who have relationships,” he said. “Occasionally they’ll run into some dinosaurs.”

That’s not to suggest that the animals are an afterthought.

Phil Tippett, who served as dinosaur supervisor on “Jurassic Park,” returned in that role, harnessing advances in moviemaking technology to bring the creatures to life. For example, each raptor was played by an actor in a performance-capture suit, meaning that each moves in a slightly unique way.

“All of these animals to me are as important in the cast as the humans,” Trevorrow said. “It’s been fascinating to find kinds of behavior because they go through such an evolution over the course of the movie. If people see this movie and aren’t as blown away by these images as I am, I’ll be disappointed.”

— Gina McIntyre | @LATHeroComplex

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Related:

FULL COVERAGE: Summer Movie Sneaks

‘Jurassic World’: Chris Pratt and his velociraptors face off against Indominus rex

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ director James Gunn prepares for liftoff

‘Safety Not Guaranteed’: Time travel, DIY-style

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