And yet, Fallen Kingdom is just a shadow of the monumentally stupid Jurassic Park 4 that could have been. As detailed in a YouTube video from ScreenCrush, the ill-fated sequel that would eventually be abandoned in favor of Jurassic World is something of a dinosaur-inflected fever dream. A screenplay written by John Sayles, leaked on the internet before the film series received its 2015 refresh with the first World, offers a vision of what could have been.
Rather than center on the creation of a new, predictably ill-fated park, Sayles’ concept for a fourth Jurassic Park was about mercenaries and drug lords and dino-human hybrids. (Y’know, exactly what you think about when you think about Jurassic Park.) The film would have centered on rival armed factions racing each other to retrieve valuable DNA left behind at the original park. The movie’s hero, one of these soldiers, would eventually end up held hostage in a “medieval castle in the Swiss Alps” by a villain named, of all things, “Baron Herman von Drax.”
As these things naturally work out, the evil von Drax is found to possess (and be able to control) genetically engineered super-raptors that he needs the movie’s heroic soldier to finish training for combat. Other drafts of the screenplay take this concept even further, introducing dinosaur-human hybrids just begging to be turned into absolutely hilarious-looking action figures.
It’s worth watching the entire video not just to hear about the intricacies of this proposed Jurassic Park 4—the combat raptors apparently parachute jump from planes at one point—but to enjoy how some of these batshit ideas eventually found themselves transplanted into Jurassic World and its sequel. Shady military plans, human/lizard gene splicing, a goddamned dinosaur-haunted gothic castle: even the campiest elements of the new movies are just minor riffs on the Jurassic Park madness that never was.
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