Jurassic World was one of the biggest movies of 2015. Specifically, it had a worldwide gross of $1.669 billion, making it the second-highest grossing movie of the year, behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens, beating the likes of Furious 7 and Avengers: Age of Ultron. It broke several box office records in its opening days. Starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, the movie wasn’t exactly flawless, but it was an action-packed adventure that did what it needed to do.
Pretty much everybody knows what the movie was about – it was the fourth installment of the legendary Jurassic Park franchise, and it saw the dinosaur theme park open to the public for the first time on film since the original hit theatres way back in 1993, and of course dinosaurs run rampant and cause havoc.
But there are several facts about the movie that simply aren’t common knowledge – and that’s what this article is all about. Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about Jurassic World:
10. It Was In Development Hell For 14 Years
Although it did indeed finally hit theatres around the world in 2015, Jurassic World was first conceived as far back as 2001 – the same year as the previous installment in the franchise (the terrible Jurassic Park III) was released.
It threatened to go into production at countless different points in the 14 years between conception and release – with various writers, producers and directors reportedly on board in that time – but was stuck in development hell for more than a decade. Thankfully, it did get made and it didn’t disappoint – which made the long wait at least seem somewhat worthwhile for fans.
9. One Of The Cameras Was Used In Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey
Jurassic World was shot using Panavision cameras, using a combination of 35mm and 65mm film, in the 2:1 aspect ratio. Cinematographer John Schwartzman chose to shoot the movie on film, rather than digitally, in order to ensure that it had a similar aesthetic to the previous installments in the Jurassic Park franchise.
What is particularly interesting about the cameras used, however, is that one of the 65mm specimens used in the filming of Jurassic World was also actually used in Stanley Kubrick‘s striking 1968 epic science fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
8. An Early Concept Had Dinosaur-Human-Dog Hybrids
Most people know that there was an idea to combine human DNA with dinosaur DNA in the fourth Jurassic World movie (as ridiculous as that idea was), but very few will know there was actually an additional idea to add canine DNA into that mix.
The idea was to create mutant commandos that would be intelligent and obedient – like domestic dogs are – but would it really have gone down well with audiences? One of the few complaints about Jurassic World was the fact that Pratt’s Owen Grady had some control over the Velociraptors. If audiences saw that as unrealistic, those potential ridiculous hybrid creatures would have gone down terribly.
7. The Original Main Cast Were All Contacted To Reprise Their Roles
Since the idea for a fourth movie in the Jurassic Park franchise was conceived back in 2001, every single actor who portrayed a surviving lead character from the first movie was contacted to reprise their original role.
The late Richard Attenborough (John Hammond), Sam Neill (Alan Grant), Laura Dern (Ellie Sattler) and Jeff Goldblum (Ian Malcolm) were all sought after to return – but none of those returns obviously came to fruition. Other leading actors who were considered to take on the starring role that ultimately ended up going to Pratt include David Boreanaz, Josh Brolin, Jeremy Piven, Harrison Ford and John Krasinski.
6. Director Colin Trevorrow Provided The Voice Of Mr. DNA
In the first Jurassic Park movie, the “ride” that preceded the park tour included a video with a character called Mr. DNA. The colourful little sprite informed guests about how Jurassic Park‘s scientists created dinosaurs using dinosaur blood found in mosquitoes that had been trapped in sap/amber millions of years ago.
He was voiced by the late Greg Burson back then, but he made a cameo in Jurassic World – when Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson’s characters first entered the park’s new visitor centre at the beginning of the movie – and this time around he was voiced by none other than the movie’s director, Colin Trevorrow.
5. An Abandoned Six Flags Doubled As The Park’s Main Street
Jurassic World was filmed in a variety of locations throughout its production – in various parts of Hawaii in the United States of America, for example – but no location was more important to the production of the movie than a certain real life abandoned theme park.
That abandoned theme park was Six Flags in New Orleans – which has been closed since just before Hurricane Katrina struck in August 2005 – and it was used as the main street of Jurassic World. In fact, Jurassic World‘s main street was actually constructed there for real – and the green background of Jurassic World was added in digitally.
4. Several Consultants From The Previous Movies Returned
In order to keep a sense of uniformity with previous movies in the Jurassic Park franchise, several former crew members returned to supervise various aspects of Jurassic World.
Jack Horner, a paleontology consultant who had worked on Jurassic Park: The Lost World and Jurassic Park III, returned to give his expertise on the plant life in the park. Phil Tippett, a dinosaur expert who had worked on the original movie, returned to add his expertise on the park’s animals, and John Rosengrant, a special effects expert who had worked on all three of the previous movies, returned to ensure the effects were similar to previous installments for the purposes of uniformity.
3. Steven Spielberg Came Up With The Gyrosphere Idea
Although Steven Spielberg wasn’t credited for any production or direction work in Jurassic World, the fact is that the original Jurassic Park director did contribute to the movie’s final version.
Not only did his Amblin Entertainment company produce the movie, it was also Spielberg who came up with the idea for the Gyrospheres that allowed guests at Jurassic World to get up close and personal with the park’s dinosaurs without a risk of injury. In fact, it was actually Spielberg’s idea to have an open park with guests in the movie. So, twenty-two years after he first directed a Jurassic Park movie, he is still having a major impact on the ever-popular franchise.
2. Bryce Dallas Howard’s Son Made A Cameo In The Movie
Aside from the all-action Pratt’s Owen Grady, the leading character in Jurassic World was undoubtedly Howard’s Claire Dearing – the Jurassic World operations manager and the Aunt of the two young boys who were lost in the park alone – but did you know that her real-life son made an appearance in the movie?
You may remember a scene which showed young park guests getting up close and personal with a plethora of young herbivores. Well, the star of that scene was a young child hugging a baby Brachiosaurus – and that young child was Dallas Howard’s eight-year-old son, Theodore.
1. Chris Pratt Predicted His Role In The Movie Back In 2010
Back in 2010, Pratt was still acting in television show Parks and Recreation. As part of a behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of the show, Pratt typically took it upon himself to film some footage while he was on his own on set.
During the self-filming exploits, Pratt pretended that he had received a text from Spielberg and insinuated that the Jurassic Park director was repeatedly pestering him to appear in “Jurassic Park 4.” Of course, this was essentially foreshadowing the fact that he would remarkably go on to be the star of the fourth movie in the Jurassic Park franchise – Velociraptor trainer Owen Grady.