Will the original Jurassic Park cast return in Jurassic World Dominion? After teasing the return of original characters since the theatrical release of Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom, Colin Trevorrow officially announced the return of Laura Dern (Dr. Ellie Sattler), Sam Neill (Dr. Alan Grant), and Jeff Goldblum (Dr. Ian Malcolm). During a Collider screening of Jurassic World hosted at ArcLight Hollywood, Trevorrow was asked if we would see any original characters return in the next movie.
He shocked the crowd by bringing forward Laura Dern who broke the news of her return. Dern and Trevorrow went on to reveal that Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum would also return in major roles. What does this mean for the upcoming sequel? Quite a bit. The world that Trevorrow has built over several years has finally reached a tipping point.
When Jurassic World released in 2015, many fans were disappointed that major characters from the past movies were left out of the film. However, Trevorrow made the right call. Having stars of the previous film return without a solid reason would not have enhanced the movie.
Dr. Henry Wu returned in a major role because his character served to continue the story. Both Dr. Grant and Dr. Malcolm have appeared in Jurassic Park sequels, returning to run from dinosaurs on Isla Sorna. Their return to action for a third time begs the question: why would any of the survivors of Jurassic Park ever willingly return to danger?
The plot of the prior films would need considerable twists to fit the return of these characters into the narrative. At the end of the day, audiences would feel cheated. After these two Jurassic World films, a truly worldwide scale of dinosaur threats will facilitate a logical return of our old protagonists.
Trevorrow and Dern Reveal: Jurassic Park Cast Return
Trevorrow and co-writer Emily Carmichael sat for a Q&A session at the event. When asked, “Will we see any older characters in the third film?” Trevorrow beats around the bush for a bit before introducing Laura Dern to the audience. The crowd goes wild and she ups the ante even more by revealing that Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum will return as well.
The reveal comes as no surprise to many fans who actively follow the news regarding the final film in the Jurassic World trilogy. Trevorrow stated on an MTV interview with Josh Horowitz that he felt that Laura Dern deserved a featured role in a sequel.
We felt like this (Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom) was Malcolm’s return, this was his moment… let him have his moment. I feel that way about everyone, especially Laura in that she never got to have her own movie, and you know that I identified as being something that’s important.Collin Trevorrow – MTV interview
Further evidence of original cast members returning for Jurassic World Dominion came from tweets between Sam Neill and Chris Pratt. The two tweeted about Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom and Pratt mentioned that he would love the opportunity to work with Neill. Did these subtle hints beforehand give away the big reveal?
These comments worked well to keep the conversation going and to excite fans during the downtime. The official confirmation garnered substantial buzz from media outlets and brought casual moviegoers into the loop. It also prompted the next question: can we expect other former characters to return?
What Other Classic Characters will Return?
The reveal that Dern, Neill, and Goldblum will return has stolen the spotlight. Fans might also wonder what other characters will return given this news. Undoubtedly, Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt will return in major roles for the final film. Dr. Henry Wu’s story arc will likely meet its end with Jurassic World Dominion? Those who have read the novels may hope that the film pays homage to his character’s fate from Michael Crichton’s original story.
Isabella Sermon’s character Maisie Lockwood proved central to the plot of Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom. Her significance to the story will likely facilitate a more prominent role as she comes to terms with her very existence. Human cloning brings the topic of genetic power to the next level. While people may scoff at this direction, the reality is that human cloning remains much more plausible for modern science than dinosaur cloning.
Fans have been speculating whether or not the kids from Jurassic Park, Joseph Mazzello (Tim Murphy) and Ariana Richards (Lex Murphy) will make a comeback. Still no word on that front, but we cannot rule it out just yet. There are not enough facts at this time to speculate further.
The return of Ian Malcolm opens the door to more questions about his relationships with Dr. Sarah Harding and Kelly Malcolm. Characters from the original trilogy, such as the Kirby family, have seen noticeably less hype from the fans. It’s likely that the interest of a succinct plot, the writers will direct focus to the most impactful characters rather than a roundup of former survivors.
What Impact will Dern, Neill, and Goldblum have on Jurassic World Dominion
Now that fans have gotten the return of these iconic Jurassic Park cast members, we must ask just how they will fit into this new trilogy. Dr. Ian Malcolm’s cameo from Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom did not resonate well with longtime fans of the series.
Trailers for the film revealed nearly all of his dialogue. Many hoped that his return would have been more significant to the plot. Yet, as stated earlier, this scenario would not have met with the goals of the movie.
Setting up the ambitious world has been beyond the scope of a single movie. Rather than use older characters for the sake of appeasing fans, the writers took the responsible step to ensure that all appearances made sense for the story.
The limited use of Goldblum in Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom reminds me of the outrage over the lack of screen time for Bryan Cranston in the film Godzilla (2014). See more in my Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom discussion.
Critics argued that overlooking Cranston for less interesting characters hurt the film overall. Yet, the original Jurassic Park trilogy showcased original characters in slight cameo roles without the same level of backlash from critics. John Hammond, critical to Jurassic Park, better served The Lost World Jurassic Park in a supporting role.
In Trevorrow’s statement, he clarified that these returning cast members would play major roles. This could mean a top-level billing to the scale of Bryce Dallas Howard or Chris Pratt as primary protagonists. Alternatively, they could fall into a prominent supporting role such as that of B.D. Wong as Dr. Henry Wu. Dr. Wu has starred in three films of the franchise but spent a majority of that time in the background. Based upon motivations for their return, its possible that Claire and Owen might work against the veterans of the series.
Why Would Grant, Sattler, and Malcolm Return?
Given their prior encounters with these theme-park monsters, one must wonder what could prompt anyone to return to danger for another adventure. This question proves vital to speculating about the course of the final film. I feel that the only cause for their return is to ensure the extinction of the dinosaurs.
While both Grant and Malcolm were compelled to visit Isla Sorna again, neither demonstrated ill-will toward the animals. Malcolm simply does not care about their well-being. Yet, he later actively leads the rescue of the infant Tyrannosaurus and helps Dr. Sarah Harding in tranquilizing the adult.
The two could have left the task to InGen to carry out lethal measures. The action to save the animals and to return them safely to the island allowed for the most positive biological outcome of the incident.
Likewise, Grant proved that he still found the animals fascinating. Grant calls the animals, “theme park monsters,” yet he understands they provide our closes link to the extinct dinosaurs. Even while fleeing danger, he stops to observe Velociraptor social behavior. When rescued, he is content to leave the island without calling for its destruction. In the time that follows, its unclear what public opinions Grant expressed toward the new park.
After all that has occurred, one thing is clear: people will not stop exploiting these animals for profit. The effect of time will likely show that these once sympathetic characters now see that there is no path to coexistence for dinosaurs and man.
Owen and Claire sought to rescue the dinosaurs because they both believe in redemption. It’s doubtful that Grant, Sattler, and Malcolm see the world with such idealism. Maybe these characters have a change of heart as the story progresses, but the writing on the wall seems clear to me. The final film will address extinction.
Jurassic World Dominion Wish List
The Jurassic World trilogy is poised to end the movie franchise. Never since the original film has such finality been suggested. Despite the years of gap between Jurassic Park 3 and Jurassic World many fans held out hope that more movies would see the light of day.
Though fans view the films as mostly positive, the direction for the new trilogy has left some disappointed. This film serves as a final opportunity to tie all the sequels together for a satisfying ending. With this in mind, here I have compiled my top four wishes for Jurassic World Dominion.
- Return to Isla Sorna: While a brief reference was made to the island, promotional material suggests that the island has been ravaged. While Isla Nublar was the iconic island for the parks, Isla Sorna has always proven a more mysterious and more diverse habitat. If saving the dinosaurs can occur, then Isla Sorna should become their final home.
- Do not kill off original cast members: While the finality of the series may leave writers with more flexibility, killing off fan favorites is not necessary. We have seen this too often from major franchises seeking to signify what’s at stake.
- Return to thought-provoking dialogue: The most underrated portion of the original Jurassic Park is the critical conversation that takes place between action sequences. In this aspect, Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom fared better than its predecessor in establishing complex discussions of morality and advancement. Just imagine the possibility when these three brilliant scientists reconvene after decades off-screen.
- Reach a 3-hour runtime: To tell the story that we need for closure, the movie needs to be much longer than its predecessors. A longer movie could be possible to tie up all loose ends created throughout the progression of the Jurassic Park franchise as it stands.
These are just some of our considerations for Jurassic World Dominion. Leave a comment if you have any suggestions for the upcoming movie. If you find this content useful, please share it with your friends.