Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Director J. A. Bayona talks about working with the dinosaurs and his plans to surprise as first trailer drops

On Friday, after a couple of 15 second teasers sent tails wagging all over the internet, the first full length trailer dropped for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. After feasting our eyes on it for the first time, we had the chance to catch up with the film’s director, J. A. Bayona, to talk about lending his take to the iconic franchise, working with animatronic Dinosaurs and what he hopes we will experience when we see the film.

First, let’s unpack what we learnt from the trailer. Jeff Goldblum is back, and while he’s not expected to be a big character in the film, the return of his character – last seen in the series’ original sequel, 2007’s The Lost World, is not only a welcome one, but the inspiration for Fallen Kingdom’s tagline, “Life Will Find a Way”.

This time, however, it’s not about running from the dinosaurs (though this is inevitable anyway), but rather saving them from an erupting volcano; which we already know erupts thanks to that 15 second clip we saw earlier in the week. But now we get to see all the action in the full length trailer:

On this all-important plot point, Bayona highlights how this is a change in direction for the series, “for the first time it’s not about saving people from the dinosaurs, but rather about saving the dinosaurs… the film starts out with a debate: are we going to give the dinosaurs the same protection that we give every other species on the planet, or we going to let them die? And I think that’s very interesting.”

All the same, there’ll clearly be a good deal of running and hiding from dinosaurs in the film; something that’s been used to popular effect throughout the franchise. In this respect, J. A. Bayona seems to have been chosen as the film’s Director for his experience in suspense genre. His 2007 Spanish language film El Orfanato (The Orphanage), as one example, was acclaimed for its clever use of the horror genre, focusing on genuine suspense rather than cheap scares. It seems like this is something that will follow through to this film, as Boyana explained,

“I remember watching the first film (Jurassic Park), and I wanted to bring that impression that I had, if you experience that sense of wonder, from seeing a beautiful dinosaur for the first time, but at the same time you can talk about terror of being in front of a T-Rex. So somehow I wanted to play with the experience of having a great adventure, while bringing back that element of fear that we’ve had in past chapters. That is one of the reasons I wanted to do this. Colin (Trevorrow, Executive Producer and Director of the previous installment) and I we talked for a long time about bringing back that sense of suspense, to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.”

One of the more exciting aspects of the film, from a production point of view, is that the makers of the film have brought back a lot of the filmmaking techniques from the original Jurassic Park – combining large scale animatronics with CGI to create the action you witness on screen. It’s something that Bayona was particularly excited about – and was a first for the actors, too,

“Going back to animatronics has been so good for the actors. There were some who just couldn’t believe how real they looked. It was so good for the performance. And with the visual effects, I’m so interested in mixing CGI with animatronics. I think that one of the secrets of the success of the first film, was how they combined different technologies – you never knew if you were watching CGI or animatronics.”

I wondered if he’d prefer to do it without CGI all together, to which he replied, “I really enjoy working with visual effects, it’s a great tool, to do the things you can’t do within the camera. But it’s so exciting when you can capture the reality within the lens, thanks to the animatronics. ”

As for what fans can expect from the final product? “I think they can expect plenty of surprises. It’s going to fun, very entertaining. There’ll be things fans haven’t seen before. But at the same time this is the second chapter of a trilogy,” Bayona explained, “so it will follow on from some of the familiar themes of the first, while setting up a third film. And it will be playing with ideas that the Jurassic franchise has dealt with since the very beginning, such as the ethics in bringing back the dinosaurs all those years ago.”

For more behind-the-scenes action from the film, featuring J. A. Bayona and the cast, watch this special featurette:

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom hits Australian cinemas on 21st June 2018.