BD Wong teases his return in Jurassic World 2 with Velociraptor selfie from Pinewood Studios!

Finally our speculation about BD Wong’s return as Dr. Henry Wu in the upcoming Jurassic World sequel can be out at ease. After months of coyly denying his involvement, and only a hint that he may return from Frank Marshall, BD Wong took to Instagram to seemingly confirm his involvement in Jurassic World 2 with a bang (or should I say roar?).

 

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A post shared by BD Wong (@wongbd) on

This picture is tagged to Pinewood Studios – the very place where Jurassic World 2 will be filming, and home of its current production offices. As far as I can tell, the Velociraptor in the picture is one of the 1:1 busts created by Legacy Effects for Jurassic World (this very one being Blue if I am not mistaken).  While it’s possible it represents a Velociraptor in Jurassic World 2, I think it’s simply a really cool prop making its home in the production offices.

Bust of Blue made for Jurassic World (2015) by Legacy Effects

I’m thrilled that we can finally rest knowing BD Wong will return as Dr. Henry Wu – he is perhaps the character I am most interested in learning more about, and I know other fans feel similarly. He joins Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, James Cromwell, Ted Levine, Toby Jones, and Rafe Spall in the highly anticipated Jurassic Park sequel.

Just where did Dr. Wu go at the end of Jurassic World?

Jurassic World 2 is expected to begin filming in just two weeks, so stay tuned as more news is sure to come!

Toy Fair 2017: New Jurassic World VRSE Headset & Game coming this Fall!

Toy Fair 2017 has officially kicked off in New York City, and while it appears neither Mattel or Lego have anything Jurassic World there, a company called  Skyrocket Toys has filled the void. While little is known about the product, Newsday unveiled the set in their article about the hot new 2017 Toy Fair items.

Jurassic World VRSE: A virtual reality system from Skyrocket provides a 360-degree experience that brings to life the Jurassic World adventure. The set comes with a VR headset, motion controller with a case and a free downloadable game. For ages 8 and older. $59.99, available fall 2017

Unfortunately there are no other details at this time, but it’s intriguing to note that this isn’t just a viewing experience like the past Jurassic World VR game – this has a controller, and gives the player the ability to move around. A long while back we heard that a Jurassic World VR experience was being created to allow players to visit the open parks dinosaur exhibits, and while we have no idea if this rumor was true, perhaps it was indeed tied to this item.

Judging by the included controller, the free game experience must be simple in play mechanics, and is unlikely to be related to the ‘Jurassic World Survivor‘ game by Perfect World Entertainment. Check back often, as more details surface we will be sure to share! Skyrocket Toys is at booth 3019 at New York Toy Fair, so if you can visit them, take pictures, ask for more details, and relay them all our way!

Special thanks to Andrew Lappin on Facebook for sending this our way!

Source: Newsday

James Cromwell joins the cast of Jurassic World 2!

Following the addition of Ted Levine only 6 days ago, the Jurassic World 2 cast continues to take shape, adding James Cromwell to its impressive roster. This news was broke first by The Hollywood Reporter, who provided no further details on the role he will be playing.

 (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Humane Society)

James Cromwell is perhaps best known for his role as Warden Hal Moores in ‘The Green Mile’ though many may also know him from his Oscar nominated role in ‘Babe’ as Farmer Arthur Hogget. His past lineup of films and television shows is nothing short of impressive, from ‘L.A. Confidential’, ‘I, Robot’, and ‘Deep Impact’ to ‘ER’, ‘The Young Pope, and ‘American Horror Story’, in which he earned an Emmy for the latter.

There are no details about who he’ll be playing, or if he’ll be ‘good’, ‘bad’, or somewhere in between – but make no mistake that whatever role he’s playing, he’ll do fantastic job! Not much is known about InGen or Masrani Global, but I could see him heading either company after the passing of John Hammond and Simon Masrani. Time will tell, and we’ll be sure to keep our ears open for more details.

James Cromwell joins Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ted Levine, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, Toby Jones, and Rafe Spall. BD Wong is also heavily rumored to return, though has yet to be formally confirmed. The newest Jurassic park sequel starts filming soon in London – in fact, much of the cast are already onsite and living in their trailers!

Are you excited by this latest news? Sound off in the comments below, and stay tuned! We may have a new filming location scoop coming your way soon…

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Ted Levine (Silence of the Lambs) joins the cast of Jurassic World 2!

As Jurassic World 2 gears up to film in just a few short weeks, the upcoming sequel has shown no signs of slowing down when it comes to adding cast members. Variety just exclusively revealed that Ted Levine has joined the cast, though have no details on the role he will be playing.

Ted is a fantastic actor, with a large pedigree of projects under his belt, perhaps best known from his role of the troubled and twisted ‘Buffalo Bill’ in ‘Silence of the Lambs’. Some of Ted’s other films include ‘Shutter Island’ and ‘American Gangster’ and has also had staring roles in TV shows such as ‘Monk’ and ‘The Bridge’.

Ted has played a variety of roles, and can play a fantastic pessimist – whether he’s filling an antagonistic role remains to be seen, but I certainly could imagine him spearheading InGen’s exploits. On the contrast, I could see being quite outspoken against dinosaurs and perhaps even filling an Malcolm like role. A third option that occurs, however unlikely, is that he may be filling and recasting the shoes of Lewis Dodgson – something long awaited since the first Jurassic Park film.

Ted Levine joins Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Justice Smith, Toby Jones, Daniella Pineda, Rafe Spall and BD Wong. The fifth Jurassic Park film has already amassed a fantastic cast, but the story remains shrouded in mystery. I’m pleased that nothing has leaked, but I do hope Universal roars in with some official details soon.

Are you excited with the cast so far? Sound off in the comments below, and stay tuned for the latest news!

Source: Variety

Jurassic World 2 veers from Legacy, bringing in Star Wars’ Neal Scanlan for Animatronics

When you’re part of a team for a website like this one, you hear lots of interesting rumors. Some end up being true, lots end up being false, and plenty end up somewhere in between. We usually apply a filter to what we end up sharing online, it’s not our wish to ‘scoop’ the production, or more potently, spoil the story. However, sometimes interesting news comes in that isn’t a spoiler of any sort, but rather just an update on the happenings of the production.

We’ve all heard Colin Trevorrow and J.A. Bayona say that animatronic dinosaurs would be featured more heavily in the upcoming Jurassic World sequel, and likely all assumed the same franchise alumni would be involved in creating them. However, a couple of months ago we heard an interesting rumor that Legacy Effects would likely not be involved with the Jurassic World animatronics – this was surprising to us, as Legacy essentially is the studio that did the practical FX for each Jurassic film (in actuality Stan Winston Studios did Jurassic Park – JP3, but when that studio closed after Stan Winston’s passing Legacy was formed by the key members of the old team).

Neal Scanlan & an assortment of practical FX from Star Wars The Force Awakens

Upon further digging, we heard that in fact Neal Scanlan’s ‘Star Wars Creature Shop’ team would be heading the animatronic front this time around. We sat on this news for some time, and within a few weeks of learning it saw a new update to the Jurassic World sequel on IMDB – Neal Scanlan had been added. Now this was hardly confirmation, as essentially anyone can edit the IMDB page, but as the Neal Scanlan rumor had not gone public it did pique our interest. The probability of this tipoff was looking more credible, especially when you look at the circumstances practically.

Jurassic World 2 is operating primarily out of Pinewood Studios, London – this studio is also home to the ‘Creature Shop’ of Neal Scanlan and the numerous talented artists he enlists. It would make sense for JW2 director J.A. Bayona to work with a team close to the base of production, as it would make overseeing and collaborating with their work all the easier. Further, animatronics are usually used in a studio setting rather than on-location, and moving the work from Legacy in California to Pinewood in London would certainly be an added expense. Logistically, it makes sense, and once you look at Neal Scanlan’s pedigree with the recent Star Wars outings it all falls nicely into place.

Our suspicions were mostly substantiated when certain ‘Star Wars Creature Shop’ artists confirmed their involvement in the upcoming sequel. For the sake of anonymity, we aren’t going to publish – while these were done publicly, we’re unsure if the studio would react negatively (it’s not our intention of causing any internal conflict simply due to people being excited about their new gig). However, this certainly is exciting news, as the practical FX work done on ‘The Force Awakens’ and ‘Rogue One’ is nothing short of fantastic – but the news is also bittersweet.


Assuming the first part of the rumor about Legacy not being involved at all is true, this is a bit of a bummer. This will be the first Jurassic Park movie artists such as John Rosengrant have not worked on, and the sudden passing of the torch was not expected by myself. Of course, there is a chance that Legacy Effects is still involved in some capacity – we have reached out to the studio for comment, but as of this time have not received a reply. (It’s worth noting that IMDB lists several Legacy Effects artists, but as previously pointed out IMDB is not the most reliable for these matters.)

With that in mind, if the team behind the animatronics had to change, Neal Scanlan and the Star Wars Creature Shop team would be my first choice. They’re loaded with incredible talent and enormous passion, and I think they have done phenomenal things on the new Star Wars films. That said, their more complex creations seem to favor more fantasy humanoid designs, and something like dinosaurs for the Jurassic Park franchise would be a huge change in style. I imagine they’re entirely up for the challenge, but I do hope they’ve had ample time to prepare, and blow away audiences once again. While I feel a pang of sadness to hear that Legacy will likely not be involved this time, I won’t deny that I’m incredibly excited to see what the new team creates – until then, here’s a few videos on how the animatronic Jurassic Park dinosaurs were made!

 

 


Are you excited for the team behind ‘The Force Awakens’ creatures to tackle the Jurassic World sequel animatronics? Sound off in the comments below, and as always stay tuned for more news!

Daniella Pineda joins cast of Jurassic World 2!

Jurassic World 2 begins filming in roughly one month, but is still shrouded in mystery. While news has been slow, we’re excited by the latest casting announcement: Variety reports that Daniella Pineda has joined the upcoming Jurassic Park sequel in a leading role!

Pineda is perhaps best known for her role Vanessa in the TV comedy ‘The Detour’ on TBS. Other roles include that of Ruby Simms on American Odyssey, and Sophie Deveraux on ‘The Originals’ and ‘The Vampire Diaries’. As Variety notes, this will be her first major theatrical role in Hollywood.

The cast for the Jurassic World sequel is finally shaping up with her inclusion, as she joins Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Justice Smith, BD Wong, Toby Jones, and Rafe Spall. At this time, it is unclear what role she will be playing, other than it will be a lead. While little is known about the plot, you can check out our comprehensive speculation article!

Are you excited by this lasting casting news? Sound off in the comments below, and let us know what type of role you think she will be playing, and if you have any other actors you’d like to see join the project! As always, stay tuned as more news is surely around the corner.

Source: Variety

Jurassic World 2 director J.A. Bayona on Ian Malcolm: “He’s a great character!”

As 2017 roars in, the Jurassic World 2 news machine shows every sign of ramping up. The movie, which begins filming this February in London according to producer Frank Marshall, is said to be a darker and scarier sequel taking inspiration from the original Jurassic Park. Recently, director J.A. Bayona joined Collider to promote his new movie “A Monster Calls”, which opened wide today, and towards the end of the interview he talked a bit about the upcoming Jurassic sequel.

When the subject movies to Jurassic World (around the 9 minute, 20 second mark) Bayona reiterates it will be a darker and scarier film, but also reassures the movie will still have a sense of fun, in part due to Chris Pratt’s Owen. The subject then shifts to the classic Michael Crichton novels, as the interviewer asks if any material from them will make it to the film. J.A. says that he loves the science of the novels, and did return to them for inspiration, but then the subject goes slightly astray, and Ian Malcolm gets brought up. J.A. Bayona wastes no time enthusiastically stating “He’s a great character!” before dropping the subject.

Now, of course this doesn’t mean Malcolm is returning in Jurassic World 2 – but that won’t stop us from hoping for his return! If there is one character from the classic Jurassic Park films that would make sense to see in the mix of things again, it’s Malcolm. His character would bring a welcome injection of science and cynicism that Jurassic World was missing (in my opinion), and plus the charisma of Jeff Goldblum would be welcome anytime. Perhaps this is the “closer connection to Jurassic Park” which was previously hinted at by Bayona?

Whether or not Ian Malcom returns in Jurassic World 2, we cannot wait. Everything is sounding great, and the news will surely continue to inspire confidence. As always, sound off in the comments below, and stay tuned for the latest news!

Source: Collider

 

Universal Pictures trademarks new Video Game ‘Jurassic World Survivor’!

In June 2015, a rumor had surfaced that the recently closed Cryptic Studios Seattle location was working on a secret Jurassic World video game. In November of that year, we shared screenshots and art from the game posted by artists who had worked on the project – they had thought their contract was voided as the studio closed, but soon after the publisher Perfect World went after them. We had removed the pictures as a favor to the artists, but as many of you know, the story had already went viral.

jurassicsurvivor2015leak

Some time went by without an update, and most assumed the project was extinct – but in June of this year we had heard the project was still alive, and being developed at another studio. Today this news has been confirmed with recent trademark applications of the games title: Jurassic World Survivor.

jwsurvive2015leakn8raptor

The trademarks were applied for on December 24th, 2016 – so it’s likely an announcement is right around the corner. Doing further digging, I discovered www.JurassicWorldSurvivor.com was purchased by Perfect World Entertainment, the projects publisher, in October of this year. The game was initially planned for release on Steam Early Access before going wide on consoles in 2015 – and while the development has changed hands, and the project no doubt evolved, perhaps a similiar roll-out will occur.

The game itself is shrouded in mystery, though it was reported to be an open world third person survival game taking place on Isla Nublar. Similar to titles such as H1Z1, crafting and player interaction was to play a role – though it was apparently light on story. However, since its delay it is likely the scope of the title has continued to expand and evolve in the hands of its new developer (likely Cryptic Studios California). All we know is the play style and story concept are married with the title: survival. Reportedly, it takes place during or shortly after the events of the Jurassic World movie, and centers around player created characters simply trying to outlast the subsequent carnage.

Whether or not the upcoming title will have any easter eggs or tie-ins to the currently untitled Jurassic World sequel remains unclear. However, this game definitely presents an opportunity to do so, and as the upcoming IDW comic series will tie-in to the 2018 film, it’s not improbable this will as well.

Stay tuned: an official announcement of the game is surely coming soon! While it remains unconfirmed, I wouldn’t be surprised if the title is released some time in early, or mid 2017. As always, sound off in the comments below, and let us know what you want from the game!

Source: Trademark Applications, Domain Registry

Jurassic World 2 adds Oscar Faura as Cinematographer

Jurassic World 2 has added a crucial player to the team: the incredibly talented Cinematographer, Oscar Faura. Oscar has previously worked with director J.A. Bayona on The Orphanage, The Impossible, and A Monster Calls – all of which are beautifully shot films. This news come straight from J.A. Bayona himself on Twitter.

the-impossible1

Cinematographers work with the director to define the visual style of the film, and are in charge of the camera operation. Faura is a newcomer to the Jurassic cinematography family, which includes Dean Cundey (Jurassic Park), Janusz Kamiński (The Lost World), Shelly Johnson (Jurassic Park 3), and John Schwartzman (Jurassic World). Each of these talents brought a unique look to the franchise, and Farua will certainly provide an incredibly striking refresh. There is no doubt in my mind his inclusion will lead to one of the best looking films in the franchise.

Jurassic World 2 begins filming in Hawaii and London March 2017, and releases June 2018. More crew and casting news is surely around the corner, so stay tuned!

Source: Twitter

 

 

Director J.A. Bayona talks Balancing Animatronics and CGI in Jurassic World 2

Back in September Colin Trevorrow confirmed to us that the upcoming Jurassic World sequel would feature more animatronics than its predecessor. Jurassic World skewed noticeably CGI heavy, only utilizing an animatronic neck and head for the dying Apatosaurus. Now, speaking to The Hollywood Reporter J.A. Bayona elaborated on their upcoming plans and challenges:

“Obviously you don’t have real dinosaurs — sometimes you have people playing dinosaurs — but we love animatronics and we’re trying to do as much with them as possible, it’s complicated because the audience now is so used to seeing CGI that they’re sometimes reluctant towards animatronics. But at the same time, I think animatronics bring soul and reality to it. We’re trying to find the balance between animatronics and CGI in order to cheat the audience so they don’t know what they’re seeing.”

Unfortunately, the mention of audiences having a reluctance to accepting animatronics as ‘real’ on screen feels like pushback from the studio. It’s no secret those in charge of the business end have a tendency to prefer CGI over practical effects for numerous reasons – and they often seem to covince themselves it’s an artistic favor for the audience, when in reality it is not (for more on the challenges modern filmmakers face with utilizing practical effects, give our podcast with Matt Winston a listen). The Thing (2011) particularly made a name for itself when the studio forced to replace all its practical effects work with CGI.

The Jurassic Park franchise has always done an amazing job balancing its practical effects work against CGI, and the results show. The first Jurassic Park still holds up – namely with the practical effects, which look stunning and lifelike. Jurassic World is a strange film, visually. In terms of the technology, it is the best looking Jurassic film – however, the majority of its creatures are the worst looking in the franchise, coming off as cartoony and not grounded in reality. The major exception for this tends to be the Indominus Rex, who looked stunning in almost every scene, and had a sense of reality behind her animation. There is certainly nothing wrong with CGI when done right, and 90% it is done right and the audience doesn’t even realize what they’re seeing isn’t reality. However, when you can actually put something real on screen, it’s going to have a sense of reality that computer generated images do not.

Take the Tyrannosaurus Rex from Jurassic Park, and compare her to the Rex from World. Park outclasses her entirely, and while World’s CGI may be more advanced, it has almost no sense of reality behind it when compared to the orginal.

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No audience is going to say that the top image from Jurassic Park looks less realistic than the bottom one from World. However, that’s not to say practical VFX are always the answer – I think the CGI compys in The Lost World look far better than the practical counterparts. Actually, I think the CGI Compys look ridiculously ahead of their time and more real than most creatures in World.

There is nothing wrong with animatronics/practical effects when used right – nor is there anything wrong with CGI. For some reason those in audience (and sometimes the industry) tend to lead a crusade against one or the other, which is certainly unnecessary as both are phenomenal artistic tools. But make no mistake, practical effects are the underdog currently. They’re more difficult to get right, take more planning and time, which tends to scare studios. However when they are done right they will almost always outclass CGI (unless we’re talking about real jaw droppers like Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean.)

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All I ask is that Universal listens to the artistic talent heading the franchise, and listens to the fans. Jurassic Park made a name for itself for cutting edge practical effects, and CGI. Take a note from Lucasfilm and Disney with the Star Wars franchise: embrace its history, its legacy, its identity. Let the franchise continue to be what made it special, and let it blow audiences away with what they see on screen.

Jurassic World may have visually faltered at times, but now that the franchise has proven itself in the box office, let it redefine cutting edge effects as it resurrects dinosaurs once more. Jurassic World 2 is in a position to usher in a new epoch of visual effects, and I hope it embraces its chance fully. I dare say fans would even embrace a delay if that is what it took to get realistic animatronic work in the film.

As always, sound off in the comments below and weigh in on the discussion, and check out our interview with Matt Winston below:

Source: The Hollywood Reporter