Colin Trevorrow Teases New Plot Details, Breaks Down IMAX Preview


If you’re looking forward to the next Jurassic World movie, Jurassic World: Dominion, and can’t wait to see some footage from the Colin Trevorrow-helmed sequel, I’ve got some great news for you: a special extended preview of Dominion will play exclusively ahead of every IMAX screening of F9 starting June 25th. I got to see the five-minute preview (you can read a detailed description here) and absolutely loved the footage which not only gives new information about a dinosaur everyone loves, but showcases how far VFX have grown since the last Jurassic movie. As you watch the footage on the huge IMAX screen you’ll notice webbing in a mouth, feathers, and little things like broken teeth and lifelike scales. Trust me, if you need a fix of new Jurassic World footage, pick up some IMAX tickets to F9 and make sure you reserve a great seat.

Shortly after seeing the footage, I spoke to director Colin Trevorrow. During the wide-ranging conversation, he talked about how he’s almost done with the film, how the story doesn’t follow the traditional screenplay structure, what it was like the first time Laura Dern, Sam Neill, and Jeff Goldblum were on set together, how he’s been showing the film to hardcore fans to get feedback, how the movie takes place four years after Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ended, the advances they’ve made with VFX, and more. In addition, when I asked if this is a global movie, Trevorrow replied saying, “It’s got a little bit of Bourne and Bond and a bit of a spy movie thrown into it too. Spy movie, science thriller with dinosaurs.” Sounds great to me.

Check out exactly what Trevorrow had to say below.

COLLIDER: How are things going on the movie?

COLIN TREVORROW: We had a screening today. We showed the movie, just to some friends and people around Pinewood, which is both nerve wracking and a blast. I brought my daughter of age eight as my security blanket.

You’re a year out from the movie being done. So how much is rough storyboards and animatics that people are watching?

TREVORROW: We’re not a year out of the movie being done. We’re a year out for it being released. Our visual effects are almost done.


TREVORROW: So they’re watching a movie. Yeah. We’re almost, I mean, we’ve got a little bit, but there’s nothing that isn’t … We don’t have cartoon dinosaurs walking around. You’re watching the movie. It’s tough to show people without the sound mix, because there’s so much of the emotion that you have is brought out of that mix. But what they’re looking at, it’s an ability to judge it.

Did you walk out of it being like, “Okay, we got it.”?

TREVORROW: I don’t have that arrogance in me. It doesn’t exist. I’m always wondering how we can make it more effective. Long after it’ll be released, I’m sure it will be the way … I understand it now. I understand it all. Remaking the movie you made, doing a new version of it years later. I get it.


Image via Universal Pictures

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Well, at least you have a year to adjust if something isn’t working. You have tons of characters in this movie. As a fan I want to see them on screen a bunch. So do you think it’s going to be two-and-a-half hours? What’s your cut right now?

TREVORROW: I know how long it is now, and it’s not longer than that, but it’s a movie that involves doing justice to two sets of characters and not shortchanging anybody. And as I’ve mentioned a million times, I know you’ll you’ll know when you see it, Laura and Sam and Jeff are just as big a part of the movie as Chris and Bryce are, as far as screen time, as far as their importance to the story, everything.

And so, what you’re doing is, is you’re telling two parallel stories that are just driving closer and closer together, and you understand that, and you start to understand how they’re going to intersect, and then they do. But that’s not a traditional way to structure a movie. And so, the way that we have been building it and moving things around and trying to figure out, it’s just much more …

It’s just much less of a gimme, I think, than that it would be if you were following that traditional screenplay structure, where everybody knows what happens on page twelve. And so, that’s why we’ve been putting just a lot of time and attention and showing to people and see how they feel and showing it to deep fans of Jurassic Park, people who swear by it and love it, and then seeing how they feel. It’s been a much more involved process with the audience this time.

So the five minute IMAX preview is awesome. I didn’t expect to get a nature film for half of it, and I loved it.

TREVORROW: Thank you.

Is the mosquito that we see in the footage the same mosquito in amber that John Hammond has on his staff?

TREVORROW: I don’t know if I can declare that. All I know is that, that’s the one that bit our T-Rex that we know, because that’s our T-Rex, it’s not just a T-Rex. And to me, I feel like we’re watching a character origin story. We know something about our T-Rex that we didn’t know. She’s been through a lot. And now we also know that she was brutally murdered by a very specific dinosaur, by the Giganotosaurus, 65 million years ago. And that’s a part of our story. I want people to be invested in that, and I want to care about what happened to her. And now that she’s back after everything she’s been through, hopefully she’ll be able to live in peace. I just want her to live in peace, man.


Image via Universal Pictures

Is all that footage we saw in the IMAX preview part of Dominion, or is any of that specific just for this IMAX event?

TREVORROW: Right now, quite a bit of it is specific for this. And I actually, just because I’m not done with the movie yet, that’s the reason why I say, I can’t say definitively which part of it is, or isn’t. As of right now, a big chunk of it is in the film and a big chunk of it is actually like a prologue to the film. It’s like an overture before you see the film. And I think that’s cool.

I love playing with the media man, and I think it’s really fun to, to be able to set something up here that is a part of our story, but will hopefully get people that much more interested in coming to the theater to see it next summer.

I know that obviously the story and everything about the movie is a little under embargo, trying to be guarded, but as at a Collider exclusive, I figured I might as well ask this. From when the ending of the last one to the beginning of this new one, how much time has passed?

TREVORROW: It’s all in real time. So that now it would be four years later, because we pushed the movie … The movie takes place a year later as a result of the year that we’ve we pushed it. So that begins right at the beginning of our story, and it’s modern day. So it would be 2022, I guess, is what you’d say.

So a lot of stuff has happened on the planet?

TREVORROW: A lot of stuff has happened on the planet. I mean, you’ll notice people are in a drive-in. Just like we’ve all been. Look, I mean, what’s funny about that is, obviously, and we wrote that long before any of this happened, and we wrote it as a drive-in, because first of all, it made more sense than a dinosaur getting inside a movie theater, which seems ridiculous. And that there would be a drive in, right on the edge of the forest in Northern California. I can think of one specifically. And so, for us to suddenly have a T-Rex go and rip up the drive-ins that we’ve been spending all our time in, as we head back into the movie theaters, was not intentional, but here we are.


Image via Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment

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Is there a shot from Battle at Big Rock in this footage? Because I thought there was.

TREVORROW: There is, there’s an alternate angle of what the people in the next trailer are seeing from the outside, when the camper flips over, and we’re on the inside of it. We have an iPhone shot of people next door watching that happen.

The VFX in this footage are really stunning. You can see the webbing in the mouth. Can you talk about what technology is allowing you to do right now that you couldn’t do on any of the previous films?

TREVORROW: I think especially in that particular sequence, we’re learning a lot about lighting, every time we do this, and how we created an environment that allowed us to backlight the dinosaurs in a very warm, rich, amber tone, that just allowed light to kick off of everything. That’s why you can see the webbing.

I think that we feel sometimes that like visual effects have been roughly at the same place for a certain number of years. But the reality is, is that massive advancements are always being made. And our animators we’re learning more every day. And I agree, I think it’s spectacular. Seeing it in IMAX, it’s worth it. I mean, you really get to live in that space. They did an absolutely beautiful job.

I get the feeling this is a global movie. Where does this movie take place?

TREVORROW: Well, I’m sure it’s no secret that we shot in the UK, we shot in British Columbia. We shot in Malta. And those are essentially representing our locations. There’s another major location that I don’t want to disclose just yet. But there’s any environment you can imagine, ecological environment, physical environment that you can think of, it’s represented in this movie, is a big globe-hopping adventure. It’s got a little bit of Bourne and Bond and a bit of a spy movie thrown into it too. Spy movie, science thriller with dinosaurs.


One of the things that I found is a lot of the toys get out before the movie, and there’s a lot of spoilers. Are you sort of like, whatever’s going to be, will be? Are you nervous about spoilers getting out?

TREVORROW: On this movie, I think actually the spoilers … I don’t know. I feel like anything people see will make them want to see it more. I think it’s cool. And I think what we’ve done is, as you can see, you see that there’s feathers on the dinosaurs, even in this. And there’s more of that in the film. I just want people to come and see a great story. I think in the end, when you see the movie the second time, you’ve seen what the dinosaurs look like. If it’s not a great story, then we’re wasting your time. So that to me is hopefully why people will show up.

Netflix has a hit with Camp Cretaceous. How much does that show tie into Dominion, if at all?

TREVORROW: It does a bit, but in a way that … It won’t make Camp Cretaceous seem like its only purpose was to set this thing up, because those characters, I think they’re great. I think the writer’s done an amazing job. What may be coming in the future of Camp Cretaceous will tie in a bit more directly to something in Dominion.

I don’t want to give it away, but I think it’ll be fun for people to see what we’ve done. And that show, should we get to go into the future with it, really does evolve and change. And we get to go to some new spaces, which I’m really excited.

The IMAX thing has, I believe, seven dinosaurs that have never been seen in a Jurassic movie. Obviously, the fans love seeing new dinosaurs. So in the movie itself, are you able to introduce new dinosaurs? What can you say?

TREVORROW: Oh, yeah, Absolutely. Major new dinosaurs in the movie. Some of the new dinosaurs in this movie, you’ll see again, in a bigger, a more richer way. I think that what’s exciting about this for me is we get to see these dinosaurs in their paleontologically correct form. It’s the first time that we don’t have dinosaurs that were completed with frog DNA, and therefore inaccurate for those who really pay close attention.

Steve Brusatte and Jack Warner, who are two brilliant paleontologists, really dug in here, to make sure that if we’re going to show the Cretaceous period, that we’re not going to get too many letters about our inaccuracy. And it means a lot to me that this feels like you’re actually in that moment in Earth’s history.


One of the things about Dominion is that it’s, from what I understand, the final chapter with these characters. Is the ending of this film a place where this could be the end of the Jurassic movies, where it could be rebooted in the future, or it’ll be all new stuff? How are you leaving things?

TREVORROW: What I will say is that I don’t entirely consider it to be my choice, because I didn’t make up Jurassic Park. I’m a custodian of this. And for the last three movies, I’ve done with it what I thought was a cool way to move it forward and to respect what Steven and what Michael Crichton have created. But Jurassic Park’s just so much bigger than me and people love it so much. And it was around long before I showed up. And so, I would never suggest that there isn’t a future for it, especially since there’s so many young people, even people who grew up on Jurassic World who are going to want to have their crack at it. So I wouldn’t want to rob them of that.

I know you’re going to wrap on this in the next few months. You’ll have time before the movie comes out. What do you think is going to be the next thing you do? Is the project with Benedict Cumberbatch the next thing?

TREVORROW: We’re talking about that project, which I think is really cool. There’s a couple of things that I’m not really able to think seriously about it until I know that I’ve finished the job. I got to finish the job. But once I do…working with Benedict Cumberbatch, an actor at that level. I think we are working with Laura and Sam and Jeff, it’s spoiled me a little bit. And I just want to work with absolutely the best actors imaginable, and he’s certainly one of them.

What is your actual completion date that Universal wants the movie?

TREVORROW: We just have to come out on June 11th, ’22, right? We’ll be there. Don’t worry.


Sometimes they want the final print in December or January. One of the things that happened when you finished the movie early though, is you can cut even better trailers, because you have final VFX.

TREVORROW: They’ll have a complete movie to work with. My relationship with Universal is a very good one, and everybody agrees that we just want this to be the absolute best version of what it is, the best movie it can possibly be. And that’s what we will deliver. I promise, what you see will be the best it could possibly be.

What was it actually like the first day you had the original cast on set together? The first day of filming, was it one of them, or was it all of them?

TREVORROW: They were in a Jeep, and I took a picture of it, of the three of them in this Jeep. And I sent a picture to Steven of it, and he got very emotional. He surprised, because I thought he would write back a joke or something. I didn’t process entirely, because I was so in it in the moment that, that would be something that was emotional for him. And it really meant a lot, to see their faces all next to each other, so that was it. They were in a Jeep.


Image via Universal Pictures

You’re obviously very aware of how excited fans are, to see all of them return to this. Who was the hardest one to get, or were they all on board?

TREVORROW: Nobody was hard to get. Everybody was so … They all felt like they had something to say, and these are real actors who … They’re not going to come back … It’s not about money. They are so proud of the roles that they played back in 1993, that if they’re going to come back and be in a movie, they really wanted to feel like they were going to be able to grow with those characters and really tell us something new about them and their place in the world that we didn’t already know.

So, each of them came in very, very focused on what they wanted to say and with Ellie and Grant and Malcolm, and you’ll feel that in the movie. It’s undeniable. It was amazing. It’s just a privilege. It is absolutely my privilege to be able to work with these actors. It was amazing.

I don’t know what kind of cameras you used, but how much of the movie will be in full-frame IMAX when it comes out?

TREVORROW: We shoot 35. So we shoot film. We have the ability to … We shoot two to one anyway, like Jurassic World was, so that’s about as close to the full-frame IMAX as you’re going to get. One nine is not that much of a difference. So yeah, it’ll be two to one, just like Jurassic World, take up the whole screen.

Jurassic World: Dominion will be in theaters on June 10, 2022


‘Jurassic World: Dominion’: New Dinosaurs, Cretaceous-Era Prologue, and Everything Else We Learned From the IMAX Preview Footage

The footage also teases the score from composer Michael Giacchino.

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Steve Weintraub
(9261 Articles Published)

Steven Weintraub launched Collider in the summer of 2005. As Editor-in-chief, he has taken the site from a small bedroom operation to having millions of readers around the world. If you’d like to follow Steven on Twitter or Instagram, you can expect plenty of breaking news, exclusive interviews, and pictures of cats doing stupid things.

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