So, after crushing the box office, breaking all the records, and generally just making Marvel look especially incompetent Jurassic World has been issued a sequel, set for June 22, 2018. 2018 is shaping up to be a major year in geekdom but that’s overall to be expected. Culturally speaking we’re all living very much in the shadow of 2008, that was the year the Marvel cinematic universe began as well as the year of the Dark Knight. What’s more that whole era in history from 2007-2010 gave rise to a number of forces that still dominate popular culture like the rise of streaming video and social media as well as the birth of the zombie craze. 2018 marks 10 years of living in the world 2008 made and is brining a ton of competition with it for the follow up to Universal’s latest dinosaur smash.
Jurassic World 2 or whatever it ends up being called is actually going to be dropped smack into one of the few empty portions of summer 2018, the month of June. Preceding it in May we’ll see the start of the Infinity War with Avengers 3 followed by July in which we’ll be crushed by Black Panther, Aquaman, an X-Men movie, and an animated Spider-man film. Even then all of these flicks are going to end up sandwiched between Ezra Miller’s solo Flash film in March and a Captain Marvel film in November. 2018 is set to be a very busy year it seems and that’s not even getting into whatever Star Wars, Fast and Furious, Pixar, Universal Monsters, Star Trek, Transformers, G.I. Joe, and whatever else studios decide to stuff into that year. I’ve never bought into the superhero fatigue narrative myself but I do think blockbuster fatigue is real and 2018 seems to have it bad.
Still, all that aside, Jurassic World is a large looming challenger in this arena especially after the absolute thrashing it’s given Marvel studio’s Avengers films this past year. Marvel is already staring down the barrel of Fox’s untitled X-Men film over the summer of 2018 and with Jurassic World throwing its sequel hat into the ring things are going to get real ugly real quickly. It’s hard to imagine what else could angle for a summer slot as major competition as most of the other big name franchises will be getting their films out in 2017 like Transformers or waiting for the winter months like Star Wars. Between X-Men, Jurassic World, and Infinity War I’d definitely say Marvel has the most ground to recover. I’m not just referring to Marvel’s recent fan woes in the wake of Age of Ultron and Ant-Man, I’m talking about how out of these 3 films Marvel’s stable of heroes are less applicable to the kind of ‘90s nostalgia that’s driving a lot of interest in both X-Men and Jurassic World.
As for the content of Jurassic World 2, we already got a bit of a teaser for that in the first film. If you haven’t seen Jurassic World, firstly congratulations on being a statistical anomaly, but near the end of the film a bunch of loose ends are introduced involving the nature of the antagonistic I-Rex dinosaur. The main idea that’s laid down is about some shadowy component of In-Gen looking to create custom made dinosaurs of war to sell to the US military because simply training raptors to hunt terrorists isn’t really working out so far. Chances are this clumsy and obvious plot point is where the sequel will be headed though I kind of doubt they’ll do anything as completely insane as armored and weaponized dinosaurs. What’s more likely is that the story will contrive some reason for Chris Pratt’s character to be sent back to the now abandoned Jurassic World to retrieve some McGuffin from the now feral mutant dinosaurs. Another thing I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw was the revelation that Dr. Henry Wu, the returning scientist from the 1st film, was somehow responsible for everything going wrong in Jurassic Park. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if the shadowy corporation that hired Dennis Nedry to steal the dinosaurs embryos in Jurassic Park makes a reappearance for Jurassic World 2. Only time will tell.