Jurassic Park 3: Pre-Release FAQ

Wow, there’s going to be a Jurassic Park 3?!


Neat. When is it coming out?

The limited US release date has been set for Wednesday, July 18, 2001, with the film going wide that Friday, July 21. Of course, all release dates in Hollywood are subject to change due to filming delays, and JP3 is no exception, and has had its share of production problems since filming began. However, several films have already moved out of the way of JP3, including Sony’s Final Fantasy, and Jackie Chan’s Rush Hour 2, giving that weekend almost exclusively to JP3.
International Release Dates (From IMDB and other sources): Japan, July 20, UK, July 21, Argentina, July 21 (?), Belgium, July 25, France, July 25, Germany, July 26, Australia, July 26 (or Aug. 30), Netherlands, August 2 (or 1), Iceland, August 3, Sweden, August 3, Venezuela, August 8, Belgium, August 8, Yugoslavia, August 9, Taiwan, August 18, Italy, August 24, Denmark, August 24.

Is it just called ‘Jurassic Park 3’?

As far as we know, yes. Unlike TLW, which went through several variations of “The Lost World” names before settling on “The Lost World: Jurassic Park”, since the beginning JP3 has simply been called “Jurassic Park 3” (or “Jurassic Park III”, as Universal seems to like using). Unless they’re planning on surprising us with a subtitle before the film opens, it looks like JP3 is it.
When did filming begin?

Principle photography began August 30, 2000 on the picturesque island of Oahu on Hawaii. After shooting several days on a military base, filming moved to the island of Kauai, where the JP3 crew shot very near to locations used in the first film. The crew left the islands in late September, moving production to Universal Studios in LA. In October, production shot one day at a local college, and later at a warehouse-type studio in downtown LA. Other than that, filming has been confined recently to Universal Studios in Hollywood and the large “cliff set” built on the backlot there. Production returned to Hawaii a few days in January for additional filming, reportedly re-shooting the finale of the film. While we don’t know much about filming itself, the JP3 shoot has reportedly faced several accidents, challenges, and delays.

Who’s in it?

Besides the dinosaurs? See the cast + crew page for the complete details. The short answer is that Sam Neill is back, reprising his role as Dr. Alan Grant from the first film. In addition, William H. Macy plays a “successful businessman” named Paul Kirby, with Tea Leoni playing his (possibly divorced) wife, Amanda. Child-actor Trevor Morgan has been cast as “Eric”, their son. Laura Dern, who played Ellie Sattler in Jurassic Park, is back as well, though her role may only be a cameo.

How about Jeff Goldblum? Richard Attenborough?

Jeff won’t be returning in JP3. Presumably the script simply didn’t call for him, as he seemed to be willing to come back for a third film: “[I’m] looking forward to seeing it,” he has been quoted as saying. Lord Richard Attenborough (John Hammond) is likewise not involved in JP3.

Is Steven Spielberg directing it?

While Spielberg directed the first two films, he is nevertheless handing the third installment off to director Joe Johnston. Johnston is obviously a less-prestigious name, yet a very talented director who has helmed such films as October Sky, Rocketeer, and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. In addition, he directed Jumanji, the film which many fans believe to be the most JP-like, and an indication that he knows how to work well with complicated special effects. Johnston has received praise from many who know and have worked with him: “Joe is wonderfully creative [and a] terrific artist. He [worked on] one of my favorite movies last year, October Sky, [and] he actually designed the robot in Iron Giant.. what a wonderful movie that was,” says Stan Winston. Before beginning his directing career, he worked on several films as lead art designer, including Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and the original Star Wars trilogy. In addition, he directed the “Princeton, 1916” episode of the excellent Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.

What is Spielberg’s involvement in JP3 then?

Spielberg is still reportedly involved to some extent with the JP3 production, and will receive a “Executive Producer” title on the film. He has been seen in several behind-the-scenes shots of JP3 filming, though the extent to which he has been on the set is nonetheless questionable. Reportedly the original plot of JP3 was “hatched from an idea by Spielberg”, though given all the rewrites and script changes, whether Spielberg really had anything to do with the current script is also questionable.

What’s that dinosaur on the JP3 logo?

It’s a spinosaur, JP3’s new head bad-guy dino. (Go to the media gallery to see the poster)

What about the t-rex and the raptors?

Don’t worry, both the t-rex and raptors will have parts in Jurassic Park 3. The t-rex, in fact, will presumably play a large part in the film, with one of the highlights of the movie featuring a battle between the spinosaurs and the Rex himself. The raptors in the film have reportedly been given “subtle changes to their look.”

Tell me a little about this spinosaurs dude and the spino model they’re building.

Well in real life, the spinosaurs was an “impressive sized beast” with a unique skull and a fin running down its back. An adult spino could be quite big, actually growing to be larger than the t-rex. It apparently liked to eat fish, but could really take on anyone who got in its way. “It was the dominant predator of its time,” says renouned Paleontologist Paul Sereno.
The animatronic spinosaur Stan Winston Studios has built for the film is likewise impressive. “The t-rex [model] was 9 tons.. [the] spinosaur is 24,000 pounds.. 12 tons of dinosaur.. the biggest creature character ever made for a movie,” says Stan Winston. The spino is so big, in fact, that they had to tear open one of the garage doors at Stan Winston Studios to get it out. “Dinosaurs are cheap,” Stan has said sarcastically. “It’s tearing the building apart that’s expensive.”

Winston continues: “The most awesome feature of the spinosaur are it’s forearms.. the t-rex has small forearms that don’t do a lot.. the spino has huge forearms.. the forearms are virtually the size of a raptor… so huge, massive killing machine, that is connected to a very big dinosaur with a long, nasty snout that is somewhat dragon-esque or alligator-esque in its look.”

What is JP3 going to be about? Is it a prequel to TLW?

Well that’s the big question, isn’t it? As usual, insiders have been pretty tight-lipped about the plot of the third Jurassic Park film, either because they’ve been instructed not to tell, or because they simply do not know (see the next section about the “problems” during production). What we have heard, however, is that JP3 will not be a prequel, and will take place 4 years after the events in The Lost World. Near the start of the film, Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) finds himself returning to Isla Sorna (aka the island in TLW) against his will, when Dr. Grant and “a bunch of people I don’t necessarily want to be with” (says Neill) crash land on the island. Another possible plot involves Dr. Grant being hired by a divorced couple (Leoni and Macy) to rescue a boy (Trevor Morgan) who has somehow ended up on the island after a parasailing accident. We do know for a fact that there will be a plane crash scene with an attack by a spinosaurs, a parasailing scene with a pteranodon attack, a scene where the group comes upon an old Ingen Compound, and a scene in a hearing room in Washington, DC (which presumably takes place near the beginning of the film). The rocky relationship between Morgan and Macy’s characters will also be emphasised. Many, many other scenes have been rumored.

‘Zeta Gundam’ organized many of the plot tid-bits and rumors to come up with this plotline summary (edited by Dan). Note that this is mostly speculation, and much of this summary is not confirmed: “Alan Grant’s life isn’t going too well. His own prophecy in Jurassic Park is coming to light — he IS out of a job…almost. Nobody wants to see dinosaur bones when the real things exist back on Site B, and his other revenue of funding, Ingen, has folded after the Isla Sorna inciddent. Grant’s role in the original Jurassic Park disaster is now public as well. His relationship with Ellie, despite their compromise on Jurassic Park, never amounted to anything significant, and she married someone else. She still helps out at the dig, but not significantly. Grant mainly trains his new protege, Billy Brennan, who is captivated by the technology that Grant loathes so much. John Hammond is dead, and his attempts to safeguard the islands have been unsucessful. In fact, there is now a paragliding tour around one of the islands that allows people to observe the dinosaurs from high in the air. There’s ONE thing these tours might have overlooked, however — Pteranodons. The flying creatures attack the paragliders. Almost everyone is dead, except one. Eric Kirby, a 15-year old boy, who lands on the island after the line holding his paraglider aloft is cut (or breaks). His divorced parents are freaked out, and immeadiatly get ready to take off on an expedition to rescue their boy. However, there’s one thing they need — a guide. Enter Grant. Convincing him is to go is tough, but Billy sees an oppurtunity. Eric’s father is a wealthy businessman who could save the dig site. He pitches an idea to his mentor — an attempt to regain himself by filming a documentary on the island about dinosaurs in their natural habitat. Grant refuses at first, but slowly begins to yield. As the plane approaches one of the islands, Grant has nightmares about facing the raptors again. He’s jolted out of them by Billy, who discusses how he wants to be a full-time partner to Grant. As they approach the island, Grant notices the long necks of Brachiosaurs. Suddenly, the plane starts to tremble… Pteranodons start attacking the plane as comes towards the island, and they crash. Grant and company emerge from the plane wreck to find a Spinosaurus looking straight at them, but are saved when a t-rex begins engage in a battle royale with the spino. Grant and company take advantage of the battle to escape from the plane and find Eric. The group finds a realitively safe place to camp, in what appears to be an area mostly inhabited by herbivores. However, all is not safe: A pack of raptors suddenly emerge and there is a stampede. Grant and company run from the predators and manage to escape. Coming upon a river, the group sees a group of Baryonx-fish-eaters that at first glance resemble Spinosaurus. However, they’re harmless, and don’t attack. Near an abandonded inGen compound, Grant and company discover an old boat used to transport raptors, and try to use it to travel. However, the Spinosaurus returns, attacking their boat, which sinks. After a final battle with the t-rex, the spino is defeated, and the group is rescued by the Costa Rican army. The Kirbys are reunited and a stronger family, and Grant gets the funding his dig site needs.”

What we know for sure, of course, is that the film will be jam-packed with action (“Action, action. It’s very intense,” says William H. Macy). “We’ve got dinosaurs you haven’t seen before, and it’s action pretty much from the beginning,” says Sam Neill. “There’s a lot of running in terror.”

What problems has the JP3 production faced?

Like all movie productions, JP3 has experienced several setbacks on the set, though perhaps a few more than most. Problems arose right from the start when the script was reportedly still not complete when filming began, and names began to surface of several screenwriters hired to fix the “broken” JP3 screenplay. As the start of filming neared, the production was still negotiating with various actors (Neill apparently refused to sign on until he saw what he believed was a better script), roles still were not cast, and the studio was described as “panicked”. Trouble continued through the first few weeks of filming in Hawaii, when it was reported that the head writer was fired, and Neill and Macy were actually re-writing some of the script as they went along. In addition, several accidents put a damper on the production, including one where a crew member almost drowned when a parachute came down on him in the water, and another when a barge of expensive lighting equipment flipped-over, dumping the equipment into a river. William H. Macy would later speak out in public about the production troubles, asking, “Who launched a $100 million ship without a rudder? And who’s getting fired for this?” and reporting that filming was going very slowly, “roughly a quarter of a page a day.” Whether all these problems will delay the release of the film still remains to be seen.

Is John Williams doing the musical score for JP3?

No, Williams is not returning to compose the music for the third JP film, probably because Spielberg is not directing, as well as the fact he is busy with several projects (including the score to A.I. and Harry Potter). Instead, Williams personally recommended Don Davis, who has worked on various films in the past, first as an orchestrator on dozens of projects, then as composer on movies like The Matrix and House on Haunted Hill, as well as several television series. Williams is apparently assisting Davis, providing his sketches and notes on the first two films to the younger composer. “The plan is to use Williams’ Jurassic themes extensively,” Davis says.

That JP3 trailer on the Jurassic Park and Lost World DVD’s — what the hell was that? And when can we expect a real trailer?

To most everyone who saw it, including die-hard JP fans, the trailer on the DVD’s was an embarrassment. It featured no actual footage from the film, and was obviously thrown together in a hurry just to meet the deadline for the release of the two films (they came out on DVD on October 10th, 2000). I suggest you simply ignore it and wait for the theatrical trailer (if you really want to see it, it’s available for download in the media gallery). As for when that trailer will appear, your guess is as good as mine. Rumor has it that a trailer was produced around Thanksgiving 2000, but never attached to a film by Universal. Check the front page for the latest on the subject.

Who is doing the special effects for JP3?

Mentioned above, Stan Winston and his creature creators at Stan Winston Studio will be returning to create life-sized animatronic dinosaurs, including the 12 ton Spinosaur model. Industrial Light and Magic will be working on the CGI effects again for JP3, though Dennis Muren, the man who supervised the effects in the first two films has been replaced in JP3 by Jim Mitchell, who has worked on Mars Attacks! and Sleepy Hollow. Michael Lantieri, in charge of ‘special dinosaur effects’ on the first two films, is back as the special effects coordinator for JP3.

What other dinosaurs will be in JP3?

According to a few sources, there will be 10 dinosaurs in JP3. They include T-Rex, Velociraptor, Pteranodon (with a 40ft wing span), Brachiosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Triceratops, and the new Spinosaurus. Other names tossed around include Apatosaurus, Parasaurolophus, Compsognathus (compy) , Pachycephalosaurus (pachy), and Pteranodon.

What JP3 video games are in the works?

Several JP3 titles are in the pipeline for some next-generation video game consoles.. Japanese game-maker Konami will be working on a game for Microsoft’s upcoming X-Box console, named “Jurassic Park X”. Similarly, a JP3 Playstation 2 game is in the works, being developed by Savage Entertainment, an upstart game design team which has developed an impressive graphics engine called “Sabertooth” for use in their games. Konami is also working on a JP3 game for Nintendo’s upcoming “Game Boy Advance”, and Univeral-owned Knowledge Adventure has been signed on to create three “edutainment” titles for the PC. Dreamworks Interactive is also rumored to be planning two PC games, though they “haven’t fully decided yet.”

Will there be JP3 toys?

Unlike the previous films, there will be no JP3 toys. Just kidding! Actually, Universal has again teamed up with Hasbro to produce a bevy of JP3 products for your collection. Click here for a preliminary list of toy dinosaurs and action figures (pictures of a lot of these toys can be found in the media gallery). The whole collection will reportedly be released in April 2001. Probbaly the most promising toy Hasbro is working on (with Tiger Electronics) is the “Robotic Raptor”, an animtronic “robot” with realistic skin which actually walks around and interacts with you and other raptors. Along with the Hasbro action figures, we can presumably expect the whole line of JP3 merchandise as well: pencils, trading cards, t-shirts, book bags, lunch boxes, etc.

Will there be a JP3 novel by Crichton?

While Michael Crichton was orignally coy about his involvement with JP3 near the beginning of production, he has since said that he will not be writing a novel for JP3 (In fact, he’s reportedly said will not write a sequel to one of his novels again). However, we are getting a JP3 junior novelization by experienced dino-writer Scott Ciencin.
What is JP3’s budget? And how much of that is going to Spielberg? How much to Sam Neill?
JP3’s budget was originally set at 83 million (for TLW it was 74 million), though, of course, we’ll probably never know the real amount Johnston & Co. burned through on the set. One thing is for sure, however: Despite Steven Spielberg’s questionable involvement in JP3, he nonetheless will be racking in the dough come July 21st. According to reports (including this one from “Inside Film”), Spielberg will receive 20 percent of the film’s so-called “first dollar gross”, which comes out to be something like half the box-office earnings. Sam Neill, likewise, is reportedly getting a tidy $15 million (his highest paycheck every) to star in the film.

I didn’t like the last JP movie, do we really need another?


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