Jurassic Park is an American media franchise consisting of novels, films, comics, and video games centering on a disastrous attempt to create a theme park of cloned dinosaurs. It began in 1990 when Universal Studios bought the rights to the novel by Michael Crichton before it was even published.
The book was successful, as was the 1993 film adaptation, which led to three sequels, although the third and fourth films were not based on novels, as the first two were. The software developers Ocean Software, BlueSky Software, Sega of America, and Telltale Games have had the rights to developing video games since the 1993 film, and numerous games have been produced.
The Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy was released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on October 25, 2011 in North America. The first film was re-released in 3D on April 5, 2013. On June 21, 1996, Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal's Islands of Adventure opened Jurassic Park: The Ride and Jurassic Park River Adventure. The rides are heavily themed on the main trilogy. The rides are similar to Thorpe Park's Tidal Wave and Parc Asterix's Le Grand Splash which translated in English is The Big Splash.
The fourth film Jurassic World was initially scheduled to be released in the summer of 2005, but has since been pushed back to a June 12, 2015 release. In March 2013, Colin Trevorrow was announced as the director. Frank Marshall and Patrick Crowley are still signed on as producers with a script written by Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow.
Jurassic Park (1993)
Before Crichton's book was even published, studios such as Warner Bros., Columbia TriStar, 20th Century Fox, and Universal had already begun bidding to acquire the picture rights. Spielberg, with the backing of Universal Studios, acquired the rights to the novel before its publication in 1990, and Crichton himself was hired by Universal Studios for an additional US$500,000 to adapt the novel into a proper screenplay. David Koepp wrote the final draft, which left out much of the novel's exposition and violence, and made numerous changes to the characters.
When an incident results in the death of an employee, Jurassic Park owner John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) brings in three specialists to sign off on the park to calm investors. The specialists, paleontologist Alan Grant (Sam Neill), paleobotanist Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), and chaos theorist Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), are surprised to see the island park's main attraction are living, breathing dinosaurs, created with a mixture of fossilized DNA and genetic cross-breeding/cloning. However, when lead programmer Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight) shuts down the park's power to sneak out with samples of the dinosaur embryos to sell to a corporate rival, the dinosaurs break free, and the survivors are forced to find a way to turn the power back on and make it out alive. The film also stars Bob Peck, Martin Ferrero, Ariana Richards, Joseph Mazzello, and Samuel L. Jackson.
Jurassic Park is regarded as a landmark in the use of computer-generated imagery, and received positive reviews from critics, who praised the effects, though reactions to other elements of the picture, such as character development, were mixed. During its release, the film grossed more than $914 million worldwide, becoming the most successful film released up to that time (surpassing E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and surpassed 4 years later by Titanic), and it is currently the 15th highest grossing feature film (taking inflation into account, it is the 20th-highest-grossing film in North America). It is the most financially successful film for NBCUniversal and Steven Spielberg.
Jurassic Park was converted into 3D and it was re-released on April 5, 2013 for its 20th Anniversary.
Jurassic Park II: The Lost World (1997)
After the success of the first 1993 film, fans and critics alike pressured Crichton for a sequel novel. Having never done one before, Crichton originally declined, but when Steven Spielberg finally started pressuring Crichton, a sequel novel was announced. As soon as the novel was published, a film was in pre-production, with a target release date of mid-1997. The film was a commercial success, breaking many box-office records when released. The film had mixed reviews, similar to its predecessor in terms of characterization. Much like the first film, The Lost World made a number of changes to the plot and characters from the book, replacing the corporate rivals with an internal power struggle and changing the roles/characterizations of several protagonists.
When a vacationing family stumbles upon the dinosaurs of Isla Sorna, a secondary island where the animals were bred in mass and allowed to grow before being transported to the park, Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) is called in by John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) to lead a team to document the island to turn it into a preserve, where the animals can roam free without interference from the outside world. Malcolm agrees to go when he discovers his girlfriend, paleontologist Sarah Harding (Julianne Moore) is already on the island, while at the same time Hammond's nephew Peter Ludlow (Arliss Howard) has taken over his uncle's company and leads a team of hunters to capture the creatures and bring them back to a theme park in San Diego. The two groups clash and are ultimately forced to work together to evade the predatory creatures and survive the second island. The film also stars Pete Postlethwaite, Richard Schiff, Vince Vaughn, Vanessa Lee Chester, Peter Stormare, and a young Camilla Belle.
Jurassic Park III (2001)
Joe Johnston had been interested in directing the sequel to Jurassic Park and approached his friend Steven Spielberg about the project. While Spielberg wanted to direct the first sequel, he agreed that if there was ever a third film, Johnston could direct. Spielberg, nevertheless, stayed involved in this film by becoming its executive producer. Production began on August 30, 2000 with filming in California, Oahu, and Molokai. It is the first Jurassic Park film not to be based on a novel. The film was a success and had mixed reviews from critics. Most were split on whether the third installment was better or worse than its predecessor. The film once again suffered reviews mentioning little to no characterization.
When their son goes missing while parasailing at Isla Sorna, the Kirbys (William H. Macy & Téa Leoni) hire Alan Grant (Sam Neill) under false pretenses to help them navigate the island. Believing it to be nothing more than sight-seeing, and that he will act as a dinosaur guide from the safety of their plane, he's startled to find them landing on the ground, where they are stalked by a super-predator, the Spinosaurus, which destroys their plane. As they search for the Kirbys' son, the situation grows dire as Velociraptors (more intelligent than ever) hunt their group, and they must find a way off the island. The film also stars Alessandro Nivola, Michael Jeter, Trevor Morgan, Mark Harelik, and Laura Dern.
Jurassic World (2015)
Steven Spielberg devised a story idea for a fourth film in 2001, during production of Jurassic Park III. In 2002, William Monahan was hired to write the script, with the film's release scheduled for 2005. Monahan finished the first draft of the script in 2003, with the film's plot revolving around dinosaurs escaping to the mainland. Sam Neill and Richard Attenborough were set to reprise their characters, while Keira Knightley was in talks for two separate roles. In 2004, John Sayles wrote two drafts of the script. Sayles' first draft involved a team of deinonychus being trained for use in rescue missions. His second draft involved genetically modified dinosaur-human mercenaries. Both drafts were scrapped. In 2006, a new script was being worked on. Laura Dern was contacted to reprise her role, with the film expected for release in 2008. The film was further delayed by the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike. Mark Protosevich wrote two film treatments in 2011, which were rejected. Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver were hired in 2012 to write the script, but they were replaced by Derek Connolly. In 2013, Colin Trevorrow was announced as a director and co-writer, with the film scheduled for release on June 12, 2015. The film will be shot in 3D.
While no official plot has been released, the film is said to feature a new park, Jurassic World, built on the remains of the original park on Isla Nublar. The film sees the park run by Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan) and Masrani Corp, and features the return of Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong) from the first film, who harbors a grudge against his former employer. Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Jake Johnson star, while Vincent D'Onofrio will portray the main antagonist, Vic Hoskins. The cast also includes Lauren Lapkus, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Omar Sy, and Judy Greer.
Future Jurassic Park Sequels
On the possibility of potential sequels, Trevorrow said: "We wanted to create something that would be a little bit less arbitrary and episodic, and something that could potentially arc into a series that would feel like a complete story."