2015
Colin Trevorrow’s
highly imaginative and entertaining Jurassic World, the  fourth installment of the Jurassic Park series, is set twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park (1993). Its story takes place on the same fictional island of Isla Nublar, where a fully functioning dinosaur theme park has operated for ten years until a genetically modified dinosaur, Indominus rex, breaks loose and runs rampant across the island.

The film stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. The supporting cast includes Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Omar Sy, and Irrfan Khan. Jurassic World is a co-production between Amblin Entertainment and Legendary Pictures, with Frank Marshall and Patrick Crowley serving as producers and Steven Spielberg attached as executive producer. For the first time, Kathleen Kennedy is not involved as a producer of a Jurassic Park film, due to her commitment to produce Star Wars – The Force Awakens (2015).

Originally, Universal Pictures intends to begin production on a fourth Jurassic Park film in 2004 for a summer 2005 release, but the film remains in “development hell” for over a decade while the script goes through revisions.Steven Spielberg suggests to writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver to explore the idea of a functional dinosaur park. When Colin Trevorrow signs on as director in 2013 (replacing the producer’s original choice Brad Bird who has to drop out due to scheduling conflicts), he follows this idea while writing a whole new draft with Derek Connolly, over a couple of weeks. As their script changes turn out to be more large-scale than expected, Universal executives decide to push the film’s release from June 13, 2014, to an unspecified future date. Delaying the film allows Trevorrow and Connolly more time to work on the script, as Spielberg feels that it needs improvement.

Before his death in 2014, Sir Richard Attenborough is approached about reprising the role of John Hammond; original cast members Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern are also contacted but due to the delays, no actor from the original cast appears in the film – except B. D. Wong (who reprises his role as Dr. Henry Wu from the first Jurassic Park film). Similar to the character of Marcus Brody in the fourth Indiana Jones installment, John Hammond can be seen as a statue in Jurassic World to honor the actor who played the role. Jeff Goldblum’s character Dr. Ian Malcolm can be spotted on the cover of a book that is read on the monorail ride in to the park.

For the male lead role of Owen Grady, a Velociraptor expert and trainer, several actors are considered (including Armie Hammer, Henry Cavill, Josh Brolin, John Krasinski, and Jason Statham) before Chris Pratt ends up chosen for the role. Bryce Dallas Howard steals his show as the film’s brilliant female lead, Claire Dearing, Jurassic World’s operations manager.

Principal photography rolls from April to August 2014, primarily in Louisiana while also using the original Jurassic Park filming locations in Hawaii. Once again the dinosaurs are created through computer-generated imagery by Industrial Light & Magic (with Phil Tippett and Dennis Muren consulting) and life-sized animatronic dinosaurs built by Legacy Effects, a company created by the alumni of Jurassic Park veteran Stan Winston who passed away in 2008.

The film’s impressive production design is created by Ed Verraux who first collaborated with Spielberg as a production illustrator on Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). The gyrosphere is Spielberg’s idea. According to Colin Trevorrow, Spielberg “wanted to create a way for people to get up close and personal with the animals, to make it a self-driving, free-roaming experience. It loads on a track, but once you’re out there, you actually get to navigate around the valley”.

Colin Trevorrow pitches his idea of having the Mosasaurus feed on a shark to Spielberg who loves the idea but suggests that when the animal grabs the shark the whole bleacher section should submerge underwater using a hydraulic system so that the audience will be able to see the Mosasaurus feeding underwater.

Colin Trevorrow states that the Indominus rex is symbolic of consumer and corporate excess. It is “meant to embody [humanity’s] worst tendencies. We’re surrounded by wonder and yet we want more, and we want it bigger, faster, louder, better. And in the world of the movie, the animal is designed based on a series of corporate focus groups.” Fittingly, the product placement in Jurassic World is Colin Trevorrow’s way to satirize the corporatization of popular entertainment, in a nod to Spielberg’s original film which made fun of the merchandizing business. Jurassic World bustles with references to other films. For instance, the pterodactyls attack on the visitors, filmed from bird’s eye view, is a homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963).

The musical score for Jurassic World is composed by Michael Giacchino, who incorporates themes from John Williams’ previous Jurassic Park scores.

Jurassic World premieres on June 10, 2015, 22 years after the original. The film receives positive reviews, with film critics praising its visuals, action scenes and musical score.

The film is (unfairly) accused by some for the ‘sexist’ portrayal of its female lead, Claire Dearing, who is seen running around in high heels for most of the film. Colin Trevorrow reacts to these criticisms by saying:

‘The real protagonist of the movie is Claire, and we embrace her femininity in the story’s progression. (…) There’s no need for a female character that does things like a male character, that’s not what makes interesting female characters in my view. Bryce and I have talked a lot about these concepts and aspects of her character.’

Paul Bullock (fromdirectorstevenspielberg.tumblr.com) drives the point home in his review of Jurassic World:

“The film (…) sees her as a human being, regardless of her gender. At the start of the film, she’s cold and unfeeling. She views the dinosaurs as assets, the park patrons as walking dollar signs, and her nephews as an inconvenience. Her experiences in the park teach her humility and the real value of life. She ends not as a mother, not defined by her gender, but as a rounded, compassionate human being who understands the need to reach out to other human beings and connect with them. (…) Claire is an amalgam of the three core male characters from Spielberg’s film. She has Grant’s lack of connection, Malcolm’s irresponsibility, and Hammond’s inability to see the bigger picture. All those characters develop, becoming better, or at least different, people, and Claire does the same. Yet, when talking about Grant, Malcolm, or Hammond, we don’t consider them solely through their gender.”

In a record-breaking opening weekend, Jurassic World grosses $500 million worldwide, eventually becoming the highest-grossing film of 2015, with over $1.6 billion in box office revenue.

After the film’s huge success, Steven Spielberg and Colin Trevorrow  develop the story for a trilogy of which Jurassic World is the first part. The first sequel is scheduled for release on June 22, 2018.

2015
Oct 21, better known as “Back to the Future Day”: the day Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) time-traveled from 1985 to 2015 in Back to the Future Part II (1989).

As rumors for another sequel to Spielberg’s film classic Jaws (1975) are making headlines, Universal Pictures releases a film trailer for Jaws 19. Tagline:  “This time it’s really really personal”.

Jaws 19 (“directed by Max Spielberg”) is playing in HOLOMAX theaters when Marty McFly arrives in Hill Valley of the future. Read this hilarious Jaws 19 review.


Universal
’s campaign to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Robert Zemeckis’ classic time-travel adventure Back to the Future (1985) is a smash hit: The Jaws 19 trailer draws a crowd of more than 1,5 million viewers in just 2 weeks after its release on YouTube.

Variety’s Jacob Bryant jokes: “From a cyber Jaws attack in Jaws 7 to the unforgettable battle with Russian shark Ivan Sharkovski in Jaws 15, it’s clear the future Marty traveled to had some of the best pics cinema had to offer.”

To celebrate, here are 15 trivia items you may or may not know about the original Back to the Future – presented by IMDb.com editors. Travel forward

2015
According to Forbes, Steven Spielberg’s “net worth” is $3.6 billion, with a “self-made score” of 8 out of 10.

On the list of the world’s billionaires, Spielberg ranks #481, far behind his friend George Lucas (#309). Films directed by Spielberg have grossed more than $9 billion worldwide.

Four of them are still in the top 20 of All Time Box Office champions (adjusted for inflation):

#4: E.T. – The Extraterrestrial (1982)
#7: Jaws (1975)
#16: Jurassic Park (1993)
#20: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).

1981
Piranha Part Two: The Spawning
, one of many futile attempts by the studios to repeat the success of Spielberg’s Jaws (1975), or at least benefit from it.

The only interesting thing about this film: The screenplay was written
by James Cameron of whom we shall hear later. He was probably not fully
pleased by his entry into mainstream cinema, saying: “The movie gets better halfway through when seen at the drive-in with a six pack of beer.”

1975
Spielberg’s first blockbuster movie Jaws – the most innovative high-sea thriller to date, starring Roy Scheider as a hydrophobic small-town cop and Robert Shaw as old salt Quint, breaks all box-office records and thrills critics and audiences worldwide. For a while no one wants to swim in the sea, because you can’t get John Williams’ menacing Jaws theme out of your head.

Richard
Dreyfuss
plays Spielberg’s cinematic alter ego: the marine
biologist Hooper parries Quint’s gruff behavior with
a lot of chutzpah. Spielberg casts Dreyfuss in two more films: Close Encounters (1977) and Always (1989).

Robert Shaw’s famous USS Indianapolis speech is written by uncredited screenwriter Howard Sackler. Later, John Milius and Carl Gottlieb work on the text which is finally rewritten by Shaw himself. His monologue is shot in one take but for the film, it is edited using different takes
(linked by Roy Scheider’s reaction shots): On day 1, the actor is drunk, so most of his text gets lost, on day 2 he is sober.

26-year-old Spielberg is celebrated as a “child prodigy”, although he almost throws in the towel during the chaotic shooting.

Spielberg vividly remembers the most takes he has ever done on a film:

I did 50 takes on Robert Shaw assembling the Greener Gun on Jaws.
The shark wasn’t working, so I just kept shooting to make the
production report look like we were accomplishing something and to keep
cast and crew from going crazy from boredom. It was a strategic
indulgence.

He sums up his experience making the movie:

Jaws was my Vietnam. It was basically naive people against nature, and nature beat us every day.”

Producers
Daryl F. Zanuck und David Brown have to keep their nerves but

in the end, it pays: Jaws is the first “summer blockbuster” movie and takes the lead on the “All Time Box Office” list. It stays there until the film is dethroned by Star Wars two years later. Today, Jaws still ranks on seventh place (adjusted for inflation).

Inspired by his directorial Idol Alfred Hitchcock, Spielberg applies the dolly zoom, a
camera effect to visualize panic. Hitchcock on Spielberg: “Isn’t that the boy who made the fish movie?” and “Young Spielberg is the first one of us who doesn’t see the proscenium arch.

Disappointment at the Oscars: Spielberg is not even nominated for the Best Director. After all, Jaws wins three Academy Awards for Best Sound, Editing (Verna Fields) and Music as well as a nomination for Best Picture.

Jaws spawns several sequels, Spielberg is not interested in. As one of the youngest multi-millionaires in the US, Spielberg can choose what he likes to direct next.

1958
Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo
: his masterpiece disappoints at the boxoffice but evolves into a cult movie. In 2012, the British Film Institute declares Vertigo the „Greatest Film of All Time“.

For the “vertigo” effect, Hitchcock introduces a camera technique called Reverse Tracking Shot (also: Dolly Zoom)

Spielberg will use the Dolly Zoom in several of his films, including Jaws (1975).