It was something we were hoping for and now it’s official: Laura Dern, Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum are all reprising their Jurassic Park roles in Jurassic World 3.
The last time we saw Dr Alan Grant (Neill) and Dr Ellie Sattler (Dern) was in Jurassic Park III (Dern’s was a relatively minor role). This will be Dr Ian Malcolm’s (Goldblum) second Jurassic World appearance, though, after last year’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
But the way that the sequel handled Dr Malcolm’s return offers a big lesson that Jurassic World 3 needs to learn.
In Fallen Kingdom, Goldblum’s much-hyped return as Dr Malcolm amounted to two brief courtroom scene: one at the start, with Dr Malcolm saying that the dinosaurs on Isla Nublar should be allowed to die out, and one right at the end where he spoke about the humans and dinosaurs being “forced to co-exist” after the events of the movie.
Dr Malcolm didn’t interact with the main characters in Fallen Kingdom and had no impact on the storyline. What’s more, we’d even seen pretty much the extent of Goldblum’s involvement in the trailers, including the movie’s final line: “Welcome to Jurassic World.”
His scenes could have been taken out with no effect on the movie itself. They were just pure fan service – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it felt especially cheap here as a way to get people to see the movie by promoting his presence.
According to Bryce Dallas Howard, the plan for Jurassic World 3 is to “bring the entire saga together”, so the return of the characters who started it all make total sense.
But Trevorrow has to make sure that their appearance in the concluding chapter of the Jurassic World trilogy aren’t just appearances for appearances’ sake. Drs Sattler, Grant and Malcolm have to have some noticeable impact on the movie as a whole.
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Fortunately, it seems that the director – who is also co-writing the movie – is aware of it as he spoke about Dern returning in a “major role, not a cameo”, adding that Neill and Goldblum would also have a “major role” to play.
You also get the feeling that Dern wouldn’t return to the role if it was just a box-ticking nostalgia thing.
“It’s a good time for powerful, feminist characters to be honoured,” she said last year about why she should return. “I loved Ellie. I feel the proudest that a feminist, sassy, take-no-prisoners energy, who was integral to the storyline in saving the day, was honoured.”
Here’s hoping that Dr Ellie Sattler – and the others – prove as “integral to the storyline” when Jurassic World 3 arrives.
Jurassic World 3 is set for release on June 11, 2021.