The second film in the current killer dinosaurs trilogy ends on a pretty huge cliffhanger: dinosaurs are loose, not just on a remote island, but in our world. Ahead of the 2021 release of the third Jurassic World movie, fans are already getting to see what it looks like when dinos and humans attempt to share space and resources. A new Jurassic World short called Battle at Big Rock dropped online on Sunday, is totally free to stream, and previews a post-apocalyptic society where everyone’s in danger of being eaten pretty much all the time.
Last year’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom revolves around a living creature’s — any living creature’s — right to exist. In the second movie in this trilogy, Bryce Dallas Howard’s character Claire has turned into a dinosaur rights activist and is trying to save the dinos on Isla Nublar from the island’s erupting volcano. Jeff Goldblum’s Dr. Ian Malcolm, on the other hand, argues that it’s best to just let them die via this naturally occurring event and correct the mistakes made by John Hammond’s initial cloning project.
If you saw Fallen Kingdom, you know who wins that argument. Many of the dinosaurs on Isla Nublar are saved and brought to the U.S. mainland, but are then released into the wild at the end of the film, fulfilling Malcolm’s predictions. (He is an expert in chaos theory.) "It’s happening now," he says at the end of the movie. "Humans and dinosaurs are now going to be forced to coexist. These creatures were here before us and if we’re not careful, they’re going to be here after. We’re going to have to adjust to a new threat that we can’t imagine. We’ve entered a new era. Welcome to Jurassic World."
The short is directed by Colin Trevorrow, who helmed the first Jurassic World film and will direct the third. It’s written by Trevorrow and Emily Carmichael, who also collaborated on the script of the upcoming feature, which, as of right now, doesn’t have an official title. The short follows a family whose campground is attacked by roaming dinosaurs. André Holland and Natalie Martinez, who haven’t appeared in any of the other Jurassic movies, star as parents with three kids, all of whom have to fight for survival when their family time is interrupted.
Things start out fairly harmlessly, with a Nasutoceratops scrounging for good. But then an Allosaurus — a T-Rex-like carnivore — shows up, and suddenly the whole camp is in danger. Fortunately, there’s an unlikely hero in their midst.
According to Collider‘s interview with Trevorrow, Battle at Big Rock takes place one year after the events of the end of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. The campground where the family is living is only about 20 miles from where Fallen Kingdom’s climax takes place.
"You have these animals loose in an unfamiliar environment, they’re disoriented, struggling to adapt. The first people they run into are bound to be camping. I wanted to see that," Trevorrow said.
Information has spread regarding what to do should humans encounter dinosaurs in the wild, but it’s obvious from the short that few systems have been put in place to make humans feel totally at ease.
"The world is bigger than just the characters we’ve been following in the films," the director said. "We’ve finally taken the story off Isla Nublar, we wanted to show a glimpse of that new reality. If this really happened, you’d see a series of random disconnected incidents that would create a pattern of chaos. I wanted to see one of those incidents."
That comment suggests that this family won’t be playing a huge part in the upcoming third film. It also explains why Claire, Dr. Malcolm, and Chris Pratt’s raptor trainer Owen aren’t anywhere to be found. In other words, the short basically stands alone.
The short’s closing credits emphasize the randomness of the event even further. The audience gets quick glimpses into more dinosaur encounters and sightings, including a rather unfortunate one at a wedding.
As of right now, the third Jurassic World movie is set to hit theaters on June 11, 2021. And, at under 10 minutes, Battle at Big Rock effectively sets the stage. It also proves what the rest of us have always known: Ian Malcolm is usually right.
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