The Jurassic world Fallen Kingdom trailer was released yesterday. And if you’re like me and millions of others, then you probably had a chance to see the trailer yesterday as well. I am pleased that as we can see by the dark lighting and dark tone of the movie, that this will not be your average Jurassic movie. The dinosaurs in the movie look great, the CGI looks unbelievable, and the amount of action being pitched to us looks downright intoxicating. I was beyond excited to see the Carnotaurus introduced into the franchise. The way it moved and then slowly stalked Chris Pratt’s character Owen Grady was as captivating as it was terrifying. However it was extremely disappointing to see that the Carnotaurus was killed so quickly by the T-Rex. I can only hope that there are more scenes with the Carnotaurus in earlier parts of the movie. But nonetheless it was captivating to see a new predatory dinosaur introduced into the franchise. Judging the visuals that the trailer displayed, the great cinematic music, the fact that the franchise has stated we will see more dinosaurs than ever before, it is seeming more and more that Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom is moving towards grossing over one billion dollars once again. All in all the trailer looks great, and the Jurassic world Community has really been talking quite a bit about Baryonyx lately. It was really cool to see this new predator emerge from the sewers. The scene itself appeared to be very reminiscent of Stephen King’s movie IT, where Pennywise comes out out of the sewers and terrifies the kids. Hopefully in the coming months we will learn more about the role of Carnotaurus, Baryonyx, and the overall movie in general. I look forward to seeing more teasers and more information as we get closer to the films arrival. Let us know your comments and thoughts on both the trailer as well as the movie. JURASSIC WORLD FALLEN KINGDOM is set to hit movie theaters June 22, 2018.
MICHAEL ESOLA/ EDITOR-in-CHIEF/PREHISTORIC MAGAZINE
When paleoartists sit down to come up with a concept, they inevitably have quite a difficult task for two reasons. The first being that no one has ever seen a dinosaur or extinct creature, and the second that no one truly knows what color they were. That’s the bitter irony of life that a seismologist can spend their entire life studying fault lines and earthquakes and they cannot say with certainty when the next earthquake will be. A volcanologist can spend their entire life as well studying volcanoes and they cannot accurately say either when the next one will erupt. And lastly an economist can spend their entire lifetime as well studying the markets and financial trends, and they cannot say with certainty when the next crash or recession will happen. The bottom line is that no one really knows. So much of life is made up of educated guesses, and paleoart is essentially no different.
To recreate something that no one has ever seen before is no doubt a big task. But it also leaves a tremendous amount of room for creativity. I have been working with several paleoartists now for many years in and around my projects. Most recently for going on two years now, I have been working closely with paleoartist extraordinare Stevie Moore. For those of you who haven’t done so, you can check his work out at http://www.StudioSpectre.com. But for two years now he has been helping me design my book covers for the creature novels I write and also designing the covers for Prehistoric Magazine. Through his work he has literally breathed life into the projects that I have worked hard to bring to fruition.
Working closely with Stevie has allowed me to see the behind the scenes of just exactly what it is that paleoartists do. When I need either a book or magazine cover done, I give Stevie my concept. I like to consider myself a marketing person and hopefully I have and will continue to think up creative ways to push my brands forward. But when I give Stevie my concept, he then follows this up with studying the anatomy of whatever extinct creature I have given him, or in the case of several of my novels, uses animals skeletal structures that are similar in nature to the creature or creatures that I have created. Paleoart starts from real sciences, real facts, and real dimensions. Meaning the science behind the basis of it is rooted in the same type of science that paleontologists operate under. What happens after that can essentially be seen as where the magic officially happens.
Once the dimensions have been studied and the numbers check out properly, this is where the creative part of paleoart begins to take over. This is where the artist’s mind officially comes into play as well as looking at and examining the real world for examples. It’s a fine balance between imagination and what actually existed from the fossil record. But still, at the end of the day, it all comes down to what the paleoartist sees in his or her head. Interpretation, interpretation, followed by more interpretation. That’s what it comes down to, and I am a firm believer that the hardworking men and women who make up this amazing small, yet growing, industry will remain our closest link to the past.
Why do I write creature fiction? For starters, I have been working on my creature novels now for going on 9 years. And when I really sit back and think about why it is that I do what I do, the reason is because I love it. It allows for both an escape and break from reality, which so many of us need from time to time. These are the type of books and movies that I loved as a kid. Jurassic Park, Congo, and many other adventures filled my childhood days. It was these types of books and movies that allowed me and millions of others to escape mentally. We live in a day and age that whenever you turn on the news or read the internet, you are filled with sad and depressing news. I think first and foremost this is why I write the type of prehistoric thrillers or creature fiction that I do. They allow us, if only for a few minutes or maybe an hour a day, to fully escape from the reality that we are fully invested in. But let’s look a little bit deeper into what exactly entails writing a good creature thriller.
When I sit down and begin to work on my novels at the computer, I want something that is fast-paced, filled with tons of action, has good characters, and of course is loaded with plenty of creature scenes. But this isn’t easy. Each of what I just mentioned could take an individual an entire lifetime to learn to master. But ever since 2009, I have been working diligently on my creature fiction writing. Now let me be honest with you, my all-time favorite book is Jurassic World by Michael Crichton. The novel came out in 1991 and has spawned millions of book sales since and now five Jurassic Park movies. It was a great inspiration to me, and it’s been a great inspiration to many other writers. But unfortunately, the topics and themes that Michael Crichton tackled in the novel have already been done, so when I began to think about my own writing career, I made it my goal to try and come at these type of books from another angle.
So I have been working very hard to come up with new and believable concepts, concepts that if you stretch both reality and reasoning a little bit, you might be able to see how such a story could be possible. But once again this is easier said than done. As stated, I just don’t want to write down that someone walks into a deep rainforest somewhere in the world and they stumble upon some huge monstrous dinosaur. That concept seems to have run its course. So I’ve been straining my brain to find a way to keep these creature thriller books alive, while still keeping the story within the bounds of reality. I’m always wanting to create or write about some type of exciting animal, something that will bring a lot of blood and guts and terror to the very pages of the book. Case in point, its always my goal to write a movie on paper. I always envision my book and imagine what it would look like up on the big screen. I picture a family of four going to the movie theater, purchasing the movie tickets, buying popcorn and sodas, and sitting down for 2 hours to be entertained. I think this is what drives me the most, to write something that I truly believe is not only worthy of the big screen, but which also deserves the chance to be converted from a book into a movie. A lot of writers will tell you that you should ultimately write the type of book that you want to read. Well hopefully I do them one better. I write the type of book that I would love to see turned into a movie. But most importantly, I try to write something with the potential to captivate, thrill, and terrify millions of people.
I’ve wanted to write creature fiction for as long as I can remember now. I’ve wanted to invent creatures and animals that have never been seen before. And while some of my books have had animals in them that have never been seen by, I’ve hopefully chosen topics that aren’t as inundated as others. My new novel Gigantopithecus is indeed going to be tricky. There are plenty of books out there about Bigfoot. But what I’m really hoping to achieve is a realistic creature book that showcases not a mythological monster, but a real animal. For the past several months now, I’ve been looking at how gorillas interact with both their environment and one another. And most importantly, I’m looking at the how and when they become violent, and display signs of aggression. As I am working on my new novel Gigantopithecus, I am also working on my short novella SILVERBACK. The story takes place on a short hiking trail in San Francisco. The two books are indeed different, but they still possess many elements that feel as if they go hand-in-hand, even though one is a short novella and one is a full-length novel.
The way that my silverback gorilla interacts with the main character in the novella will indeed be similar to how my characters will interact with the monstrous Gigantopithecus in my full-length novel. There will indeed be crossover similarities, but the main difference is simply in scope and scale. The Gigantopithecus would have stood roughly ten feet in height, weighed well over one thousand pounds in weight. So as you can see by these dimensions, this was a monstrous beast by any stretch of the imagination. But it is now my job as a writer to put it in a suitable habitat, make its movements and interactions as lifelike and realistic as possible. My goal is to make this animal not a cartoon-like character, but a living breathing animal, one which may or may not have died out as recently as 100,000 years ago.
What are your hopes for the upcoming Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom movie? If you’re anything like me, then most likely you’re looking for a great action adventure thrill ride. I always like my creature movies to have plenty of action, teeth, claws, creature scenes, and of course blood. But let’s delve into the movie a little bit more.
For years now, many of us have been following the official Jurassic World website. Let’s be honest and real with one another, the site is not great. It has many problems. One of the main problems as expressed in the Jurassic World Community revolves around the size dimensions of the Indominus Rex. The site claims that the animal is forty feet in height and fifty feet in length. This makes no sense. If a predatory dinosaur could in fact attain such a spectacular height, then it would have been much longer than the proposed fifty feet. It’s simple math. A fourteen foot tall T.Rex in real life would have been around forty feet in length. I believe you see where I’m going with this, so let’s move on.
Despite a few inaccuracies here and there, the Jurassic World website has yielded many new and intriguing surprises over the years. Since 2014 I have routinely found myself checking the website from time to time to stay up to date on the latest. My excitement around the site has always revolved around the new dinosaurs that the franchise would update and post from time to time. For anyone who has been following this franchise since the beginning back in 1993, it’s always exciting to think about the possibility of a new dinosaur or dinosaurs being introduced.
Now before we continue to delve into this topic of new dinosaurs being introduced to the movie, its important to remember that the filmmakers, producers, financers, executive producers, and the studios have big decisions to make when they decide to introduce something into the franchise. For starters, the general movie-going population are not dinosaur experts and have very little if any knowledge of the prehistoric past. Now this is not meant to be an insult, merely the fact that people love to be entertained by dinosaurs rather than be educated about them. Case in point: go look at your local museum and go stand in front of one of the dinosaur exhibits. See how many people are there. You will see a few, but you most likely won’t see thousands. Then go to the premiere of the Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom movie in 2018, and look at the throngs of people that will line up to watch the movie. Hopefully, my point is made here. Entertainment is quite a bit different than education when it comes to this subject matter.
My own personal opinion is that it’s high time some of the dinosaurs that have been on the Jurassic World website finally get a chance to make their way off the website and officially onto the big screen. I’m talking primarily about Suchomimus, Baryonyx, and Ceratosaurus. These animals deserve a chance to be seen by the public. The only question that remains is: will people be confused by them? For people that follow this type of stuff, these three predatory dinosaurs that were need no introduction. But to the common public, Suchomimus, Baryonyx, and Ceratosaurus are about as unfamiliar as rocket science is to the average person. An interesting fact was that in the first Jurassic Park movie, one of the reasons why the Dilophosaurus was a juvenile instead of a full-grown adult was that the filmmakers feared that the Dilophosaurus would be confused with the size that was given to the Velociraptors. Therefore, they made the Dilophosaurus smaller, and they also gave it the ability to spit venom and have a frill that opened up around its neck. This was all to ensure that for the movie-going population, there would be no confusion between the Dilophosaurs and the Velociraptor.
Now, we know that in real life, the Velociraptor was nowhere near the size that it was in the movie Jurassic Park. In real life, Velociraptor would have been around the size of a domesticated Turkey. Dilophosaurus also had a size that was nowhere what it was when it existed way back in the Jurassic. In reality, the fearsome predator would have been twenty five feet in length, ten feet in height, and nearing one ton in weight. This truly is a monster compared to the animal that ate and consumed Dennis Nedry back in the first movie.
My hope for Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom is that we might finally get to see a full-grown Dilophosaurus, or possibly a full-grown pack of these things. How terrifying would that be? A full-grown Dilophosaurus would in fact also satisfy the need for a mid-sized predator in the franchise. We’ve seen enormous predators, we’ve seen small predators, but we’ve never really had a predatory dinosaur that’s in the middle. A full grown Dilophosaurus would indeed satisfy that need. The animal would be fearsome and terrifying and would be able to enter into buildings and tight passageways, and interact with its environment in a more terrifying and up close way than the larger predators such as the T.Rex, Spinosaurus, and Indominus Rex have been able to. I seriously hope this is something the franchise has looked into and is willing to explore. It would most definitely be a real treat for all of us who grew up seeing a relatively small yet fearsome Dilophosaurus attack and kill Dennis Nedry.
In regards to Suchomimus, Baryonyx, and Ceratosaurus, it is my sincere hope that we might at least have the slim chance of seeing at least one of these amazing predators in the new Fallen Kingdom movie. But I am not holding my breath. I know the Jurassic World and Park franchise is slow to put new animals up on the screen. It’s a big decision, one that hinges back and forth between educating the public as well as being able to physically differentiate different species of dinosaurs with the human eye. Ceratosaurus, in fact, had a thirty second cameo in the 2001 Jurassic Park III movie, but the encounter between it and the characters was so quick and fleeting that it has all but nearly been forgotten now. I hold out hope that Suchomimus, however, might have a slim chance of appearing in the Fallen Kingdom movie. My reasoning for this is simple. In Jurassic Park III, it appears that Spinosaurus was the new main villain introduced simply because physically, it appeared so different from T.Rex. If they had made the decision to introduce a monstrous Giganotosaurus instead of Spinosaurus, then the average person might have had a hard time telling the two different species apart. They decided to go with Spinosaurus, for both its enormous length and height, but primarily for the enormous sail that adorns its back. You don’t need to know a single thing about dinosaurs in order to tell that an animal with a brightly-colored, six-foot top sail atop its back is in fact a different species of dinosaur from one that does not have a sail.
I truly hope that some of the things discussed in this article might happen in the upcoming Fallen Kingdom movie. If for some reason or another they do not, I’m fully confident that I will be both thrilled as well as entertained when the movie finally comes out. Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom is set to hit movie theaters June 22, 2018.
The original Jurassic Park movie from 1993 could have just as easily been titled Cretaceous Park instead. While some may be aware of this small and minor detail, the vast majority of people who have heard of the film franchise and seen the epic movies, is not aware that the film could have in fact been called Cretaceous Park. When Michael Crichton was busy working on the novel Jurassic Park in the late eighties, he made the timely decision to title the book Jurassic Park instead of Cretaceous Park. Four movies later, the franchise has grossed billions of dollars and is an iconic film that has captivated people of all ages. As it turns out, it seems that the legendary Michael Crichton knew quite a bit more than just how to write cutting edge page turning techno-thrillers. He knew about branding, and picking a name that would stick for generations to come as well as making unparalleled amounts of money. The word “Jurassic” seems to be better understood and creates far superior imagery than the word “Cretaceous” does. In fact, just ask any person on the street if they’ve ever heard of the word “Cretaceous,” and I’m pretty sure that the answer will be no. Consequently the word “Jurassic” has consistently grown in popularity given the continued success of Jurassic Park and the more recent 2015 Jurassic World movie.
The dinosaurs that make an appearance in the Jurassic Park movie are T.Rex, Velociraptor, Dilophosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Triceratops, Gallimimus, Parasaurolophus, and Alamosaurus. Out of these eight dinosaurs featured, Brachiosaurus and Dilophosaurus are the only ones that lived during the Jurassic period. I guess in the end it really doesn’t matter. Jurassic Park stands the test of time and I truly am looking forward to Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom in 2018.