JURAS­SIC IS BACK

The di­nosaur movie fran­chise is part of the col­lec­tive mem­ory for gen­er­a­tions of Chi­nese, and now the lat­est in­stall­ment is about to roar back into cine­mas. Wang Kai­hao re­ports.

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

It might make you scream in fear or burst into nos­tal­gic tears — ei­ther way, T.rex is back. Juras­sic World, the fourth in­stall­ment of the fran­chise Juras­sic Park, will hit China’s big screens on June 10, two days be­fore its re­lease in North Amer­ica. It has been 13 years since the third in­stall­ment in the se­ries was shown in China.

The Chi­nese main­land will only screen the 3-D edi­tion of the new­film.

“It’s a great honor to be cho­sen to carry on the story, but I amonly a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the mil­lions of peo­ple who love Juras­sic Park,” Colin Trevor­row, the39-year-old direc­tor of the new­film, told re­porters on Tues­day in Bei­jing.

“I don’t feel I di­rected it, I feel the whole gen­er­a­tion did.”

Trevor­row isknown­for sev­eral in­de­pen­dent pro­duc­tions such as Safety Not Guar­an­teed (2012). This is his first big-bud­get project.

The pres­sure is also huge— this is a much-loved saga launched by Steven Spiel­berg.

“Since then (1993), the world’s film­mak­ing has changed quite a lot, but noth­ing will ever change the power of this story. We feel great to be able to add new life into the fran­chise with tech­nol­ogy, the true tal­ent to­day … to re­al­ize a brand new chap­ter,” said Spiel­berg in a video state­ment for the Chi­nese au­di­ence at the same me­dia event.

Spiel­berg is the pro­ducer of the new film, but Trevor­row says the leg­endary direc­tor also of­fered ad­vice when the story was be­ing de­vel­oped.

“If I have some ideas, he will be able to add some­thing else,” Trevor­row says. He says he is grate­ful to his pre­de­ces­sor, but con­sid­ers the new film to be orig­i­nal our re­la­tion­ship with science and think of what we want and where are go­ing as one species to­gether,” says Howard, the grand­daugh­ter of a sci-fi au­thor. “Hu­mans have a de­sire to progress, but it also has con­se­quences. So it’s an im­por­tant story to tell right now.”

“It’s im­por­tant to ex­pose chil­dren to the idea of mon­sters, and for par­ents to talk about it with them,” the actress, also a mother, says. “That will help chil­dren over­come any un­ex­pected sit­u­a­tions. If they’re not ex­posed to the world’s dan­gers, chil­dren will cre­ate their own.”

When Juras­sic Park was re­leased in theUS in 1993, the Chi­nese main­land was yet to for­mally in­tro­duce Hol­ly­wood movies to its cine­mas. How­ever, for Chi­nese peo­ple grow­ing up in the 1990s, the iconic sci-fi film was among the first films to open their eyes to the ex­otic world of Hol­ly­wood.

“It was so scary and so cool to see so many dinosaurs. I had never be­fore seen any­thing with such a strong vis­ual im­pact.” says Zhu Xu, 28. Like many Chi­nese, the Bei­jingfree­lancer saw the first episode of the fran­chise on video­tapes at home.

“I was 10 years old watch­ing the sec­ond episode ( The Lost World: Juras­sic Park) in the cinema. I went to the re­stroom once dur­ing the screen­ing and I found my legs shiv­er­ing.”

The fran­chise has al­ways been popular in China, and when the 3-D edi­tion of the first episode of Juras­sic Park was re­leased in China in 2013, it raked in 350 mil­lion yuan ($56.5 mil­lion) at the box of­fice, de­spite the film be­ing made two decades ago.

The new in­stall­ment will pay trib­ute to the pre­vi­ous three, but in “a sub­tle and re­served way.” Though fans of the fran­chise will im­me­di­ately rec­og­nize some places and char­ac­ters in their mem­o­ries, Trevor­row says he wants to present a film for ev­ery­one, not just the fans.

So, will Juras­sic World be­come part of the col­lec­tive mem­ory of a new­gen­er­a­tion? The direc­tor seems con­fi­dent.

“Juras­sic Park can stand the test of time be­cause it tells a very fun­da­men­tal story which is thou­sands’ years old on a char­ac­ter’s birth, death and res­ur­rec­tion,” Trevor­row says. “We make this movie in 2015, and maybe fu­ture gen­er­a­tions will see it again and again.” Con­tact the writer at wangkai­hao@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

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