I've heard a lot of talk about Jurassic Park 4 over the last few months, and I'm not sure how true any of it is. I'll go with Hit Fix when they report that the director is being kept secret, though.
And I don't mean secret from us, the public. I mean secret from the crew who are going forward for jobs on the project. This doesn't mean the big department heads, but other folk, further down the pecking order.
So why do you keep a director secret? Well, it may be because there's a contractual wrinkle or two to iron out.
Or it might be because you're planning a big, splashy PR reveal. And you don't do that with just any director.
So… could it be that Steven Spielberg is returning to the series? He's certainly got a gap in his schedule where Robopocalypse used to be… and it coincides with where Jurassic Park 4 has to go.
On the other hand, Spielberg has been making it pretty clear that he's no longer interested directing action. He told 60 Minutes:
I knew I could do the action in my sleep at this point in my career. In my life, the action doesn't… attract me anymore
And if it isn't Spielberg… maybe Frank Marshall, the producer of Jurassic Park 4, is also going to direct, and put that Congo and Alive experience to use.
Would that be something to keep secret?
In any case, Marshall yesterday took to Twitter to allay fan fears, saying:
All's well on JP4, updates soon.
— Frank Marshall (@LeDoctor) March 13, 2013
It's entirely possible there is no director yet, and that the crewing-up must get underway now if the film is going to make it's release date. That's the less encouraging version of these events, the one that suggests a rush. But it is clear that Marshall and and Universal have already been making a lot of choices for the film, whether or not there's a director sitting at the table with them or not.
It seems set that some of the film is going to be shot in Louisiana, and I understand that the production has also been looking into a return to Kualoa Ranch, where the first film was shot. This suggests a trip back to Isla Nublar in the plot.
And Legacy Effects, the studio that continues the work of Stan Winston, have at least been trying to lock down the Jurassic Park 4 gig. They may have succeeded by now… or Universal may have taken the business elsewhere. It's been a little while since I heard anything about this. I'll be curious to see how it pans out, but a deal with Legacy was definitely on the table.
Meanwhile, I haven't heard word on who would be engaged for the CG work, but I'm sure those negotiations are happening, or have happened.
In short, Jurassic Park 4 continues to hurtle towards its mid-2014 release date, secret director, no director, or director with a contract written just in pencil.
I think we can expect to hear a lot more, and soon.