The tagline for the latest attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood reads “It Just Got Real” — and things got very “real” as dinosaurs walked the red carpet and photobombed stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard at the grand opening ceremony for “Jurassic World: The Ride” on Monday night.
“I used to sneak onto this ride. Don’t tell anyone at the studio, but they used to have this door over there that was just open,” director Colin Trevorrow admitted to Variety. “For about 10 years, I was a struggling screenwriter and then I would come to meetings here and you could go through this door and ride the ride and I would do it all the time.”
Now, after directing “Jurassic World” and with the third film on the way, Trevorrow has gone from sneaking onto the ride to putting his stamp on the revamped attraction. The new ride features appearances from Pratt’s raptor trainer Owen Grady, Howard’s Claire Dearling and BD Wong’s Dr. Henry Wu.
“I honestly think the last time that I rode it was probably when I was 13 years old, honestly…sometime in the ’90s,” Howard recalled. “[But] we rode the ride this morning and, I mean, it’s the craziest thing. First of all, to also like be on a ride and then suddenly you look in and there’s a screen and that’s your face and your friend’s face…so it’s, it’s pretty wild.”
Guests Yvette Nicole Brown, Tori Kelly, and Wilmer Valderrrama were treated to a first look at the redesigned “Jurassic World” during a late-night presentation that featured dinosaur-themed cocktails at Isla Nu-Bar and the park’s animatronic dinosaurs, including Blue the velociraptor from the film, a triceratops named Juliet and a baby raptor named Tango (who walked the red carpet with her “handler”).
NBCUniversal’s Vice Chairman Ron Meyer also took a ride on the new attraction, telling Variety, “It was the same experience I had when I saw ‘Jurassic Park’ for the first time. It’s kind of a mind-blowing experience. [The original] ride was extraordinary; I rode it the day it was done 23 years ago and it was amazing. And it’s amazing now.”
In some ways, the new ride is an indicator of what’s to come for the “Jurassic” franchise, with Trevorrow and stars Howard and Pratt set to begin filming “Jurassic World 3” in spring 2020. So what about those rumors that original stars Jeff Goldblum (who appeared as Dr. Ian Malcom in “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”), Laura Dern (Ellie Sattler) and Sam Neill (Alan Grant) will return for the film?
“I can confirm nothing,” Trevorrow teased. “But nothing would make me happier than to be able to work with any of those people.”
Will this be the final film in the “Jurassic World” series? Trevorrow is non-committal: “I’m kind of a one movie at a time kind of guy, so my eyes are on this one. And it’s a celebration of everything that has existed in the franchise up until now.”