HEAR THEM ROAR
BLOCKBUSTER REVISITS JURASSIC WORLD
The lava pours from the ceilings. It explodes from the mountaintop. It creeps, then pours and roars down the mountainside as people frantically try to escape – with dinosaurs chasing after them.
It’s the opening act of a major blockbuster, but the eruption part is reality for people who live under Hawaii’s Kilauea and Guatemala’s Fuego volcanoes.
The cast and crew of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom say it’s unfortunate that their big film revolves around a massively destructive erupting volcano. It’s also – obviously – not their fault.
The film shot in Hawaii and the United Kingdom in 2017 premiered in Madrid in May, three weeks after Kilauea started sending lava into neighbourhoods.
The first Jurassic World ranks among history’s biggest box-office hits with $1.7 billion in worldwide ticket sales.
The stars held a media day recently to promote the dinosaur sequel on Oahu, less than 160 kilometres from Hawaii’s Big Island where lava from Kilauea has destroyed more than 600 homes since early May. In Guatemala, at least 110 people were killed when a volcano erupted June 3, sending waves of superheated debris on to villages on its flanks.
The film’s writer and producer, Colin Trevorrow, says the timing of the film’s release was not something they could have planned for.
“Obviously not something that was anticipated in any way,” Trevorrow says at Oahu’s Kualoa Ranch, where some of the movie was filmed. “And if anything, I think it just is a reminder of the unrelenting power of planet Earth and how just dwarfed we are by that.”
Characters in the film go to a tropical island where their man-made dinosaurs face extinction from an erupting volcano.
Actor Bryce Dallas Howard, who plays Clare, the head of the park in the previous film who now sets out to save the animals she once oversaw, says she is uncertain how volcanoaffected people might receive the fictional depiction of spewing molten rock that dominates the first part of the film.
“I really don’t know,” she says. “I mean, it’s intense what’s happening. And a natural disaster is one of those things that kind of, those moments I think bring everyone together because that’s not a political act, you know, it’s something where we are all vulnerable to the power of this planet.”
Though the scenes of molten rock exploding from the volcano in the movie smack of Hollywood dramatisation, Trevorrow says the Jurassic team worked diligently to create realistic imagery.
“We had volcanologists as consultants and we watched a lot of film and a lot of video of various kinds of volcanoes and how they erupted,” he says.
Some of the computergenerated characteristics of lava in the film mirror what is actually happening in Hawaii and Guatemala, Trevorrow added. “It was interesting for me to watch, you know, with the speed of the Kilauea lava flow that started off so slowly and grew faster and faster to the point where it was as fast as our lava,” he says.
Actor Justice Smith, a newcomer to the Jurassic franchise, says the film’s release timing is an “unfortunate coincidence” and that his “heart goes out to the people that are suffering over there”.
Director J. A. Bayona was hesitant to draw parallels between fantasy and realworld disasters.
“In this case, I think it’s a movie to have fun,” Bayona says. “Of course, it’s terrible what’s going on right now in Guatemala or in Hawaii, but I don’t see the connection in there.”
Bayona also oversaw the making of The Impossible, which was based on the true story of a tsunami in Thailand.
Longtime Jurassic actor Jeff Goldblum echoed the sentiments of the rest of the cast. “I’m just concerned about, you know, the effects of it and the impact … and hope everybody’s OK,” he says.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom opens in cinemas today
The fictional depiction of spewing molten rock dominates the first part of new blockbuster Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.