Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is by no means a thought-provoking science fiction thriller like the original Jurassic Park – neither are any of the sequels, for that matter. And while themes of man thinking he is above nature are a constant within the franchise, great writing and subtext aren’t. That’s not to suggest the everything beyond the original film is at all bad – as far as sequels go, fans have been pretty lucky!
But part of the beauty of the film is being able to discover something new on each viewing. It’s a bit like paleontology – the closer you look, the more you see! And despite being panned by critics and fans, there’s a lot more to Fallen Kingdom than meets the eye. Sure, on the surface it’s a big, dumb popcorn movie, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t sprinkled with interesting ideas that aren’t obvious to the casual observer.
We all know that studios have a habit of interfering with blockbusters, and many would agree that Fallen Kingdom feels like a film of two halves. In fact, it’s plain to see which parts were influenced by the studio, and which represent the director’s talents. Director J. A. Bayona clearly had fun playing ‘prehistoric peek-a-boo’ in a gothic-like mansion, while all the explosive volcano and dinosaur stampede stuff was probably studio-mandated.
The film is also filled with twists, but there’s one that has the ability to camouflage like the Indominus Rex in Jurassic World! So here’s some evidence to back up the ‘twist you missed’ in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom…
‘Jurassic Park 4’ Script
The idea of genetically-engineered dinosaur hybrids was first introduced in Jurassic World (2015), in which the ‘Indominus Rex‘ – a dinosaur whose genetic make-up includes T-Rex and Velociraptor DNA – breaks free from its enclosure and plunges the park into chaos. The Indominus was created to reinvigorate public interest in the island Resort, as it’s said in the film that people have “grown bored” of dinosaurs (very unrealistic!).
The concept of hybrids continued in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018), with the ‘scaled-down’ version of the Indominus Rex being let loose in a mansion during the film’s third act. The ‘Indoraptor’ didn’t last quite as long as its predecessor, though, and it looks like that’s the last we’ll be seeing of dinosaur hybrids, as Jurassic World: Dominion director Colin Trevorrow has confirmed that the upcoming 2022 sequel will go back to basics.
The idea of hybrids was first explored in a long-extinct Jurassic Park 4 script. Following the release of Jurassic Park III in 2001, writer John Sayles penned a screenplay for a sequel that involved dinosaur-human hybrids being trained by an ex-military character! Needless to say, the outlandish idea was dismissed by Steven Spielberg and Amblin Entertainment, however, the Jurassic World entries are proof that some of those ideas actually survived.
During the auction scene in Fallen Kingdom, Gunnar Eversol (Toby Jones) declares that the Indoraptor is made of “the two most dangerous creatures that ever walked the Earth”. Given the name ‘Indoraptor’, many fans assume that it’s half Indominus Rex, half Velociraptor – but that doesn’t make any sense. The Indominus was already part-raptor, and the Indoraptor is probably so-named because it’s a raptor-sized version of its bigger counterpart.
So now that we know the dinosaur is half Indominus, what’s the other half? What’s one of two of the most dangerous creatures on the planet? Well, it’s obviously humans! While this isn’t explicitly confirmed in the movie, there are many other clues throughout that lend credence to this theory (besides the fact that humans are able to create other dangerous species, a talent that would of course put them at the top of the list!).
When Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon) wanders too close to the dinosaur’s cage with her back turned, it drags its claws through her hair, almost as if it’s curious. And when it’s toying with game hunter Ken Wheatley (Ted Levine) before eating him, it actually smiles! There are other scenes too, like the way it pulls itself up onto the roof during the showdown with Owen (Chris Pratt), Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), and Maisie – its upper body is eerily human-like.
We all know that young Maisie turns out to be the first human clone within the Jurassic universe – a genetic copy of her own mother who died in a car accident years earlier. Unable to cope with his loss, co-creator of InGen Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) had his daughter genetically cloned and raised Maisie to believe she was his granddaughter. But while Maisie appears to be entirely human, we don’t think this is the case.
Throughout the movie, there are many parallels between Maisie and the film’s prehistoric villain, which suggest that the two share a lot more than having been born in a science lab! In the early part of the film, we see Maisie sneaking around Lockwood Manor’s museum pretending to be a dinosaur so that she can scare her live-in nanny, Iris (Geraldine Chaplin), who even refers to Maisie as a “wild animal”.
We see Maisie scaling the roof and picking door locks too, which are things the deadly dinosaur does during the film’s third act, as well as sneaking around the museum. There’s also a scene that’s particularly revealing, in which Maisie’s reflection in a window merges with that of the Indoraptor. And later in the film, when she releases the dinosaurs into the wild, she says, “They’re alive, like me”. If the Indoraptor is part-human, then is Maisie part-dinosaur..?
The setting of the film’s third act alone is a big clue, and there are also many visuals that compliment the director’s choice to trap the characters in a dark mansion during a thunderstorm. J. A. Bayona has admitted that he’s a fan of gothic horror movies, and he also directed his own in the form of The Orphanage (2007). But we’re talking about horror that’s much older – specifically all the classic ‘Universal monsters’, such as Wolfman, Frankenstein, and Dracula.
Besides being creatures of the dark, what do these three iconic movie villains have in common? They’re all half-man, half-beast! Is this even further proof that the Indoraptor may actually have human DNA? We’ve already talked about how it appears human in certain scenes, as well as references to the dinosaur being made from the two most dangerous creatures on the planet, but there are a couple of ‘gothic’ visuals that really support this theory.
Towards the end of the film, we get a beautifully-framed shot of the Indoraptor roaring against a full moon, which is obviously a reference to The Wolfman. And when the dinosaur opens the door to Maisie’s bedroom, its incredibly long claws also look very familiar. The director confirmed that he took inspiration from the iconic silent horror Nosferatu (1922) for this particular scene – and in case you didn’t know, Nosferatu is a vampire!
Like all the other Jurassic films, there are themes of parenthood present in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. This is first established when Owen decides to return to Isla Nublar to rescue Blue, the raptor he reared from birth. Later on in the film, Maisie finds a video diary of Owen training Blue and the other raptors as infants. It is said in the film – and in both Jurassic Park and Jurassic World too – that a Velociraptor “imprints” on the first person it comes into contact with.
We also learn from geneticist Henry Wu that the Indoraptor – which is a prototype – doesn’t obey human orders as well as it could. To create a more efficient version of the hybrid, Wu explains to villainous financier Eli Mills that the Indoraptor “needs a mother” so that it can be properly trained and learn to follow orders, and that Blue the raptor is the key, having been trained by Owen at Jurassic World for many years.
Beyond the fact that Maisie and the Indoraptor are both orphans of genetic engineering, it becomes increasingly clear throughout the third act that the dinosaur is imprinting on Maisie. When the dinosaur is chasing our heroes through the mansion, it seems only to focus on the girl, yet doesn’t once try to harm her. Instead, it seemingly inspects her while she’s hiding under her bedsheets, almost as if it can sense that she’s a clone, or perhaps even part-human…
In addition to all the clues we’ve excavated from Fallen Kingdom, there happens to be a lot of emphasis on Maisie throughout the film. If she is simply a human clone and nothing more, then why does Eli Mills try to assume guardianship of her after he murders Benjamin Lockwood? He tries to do the same again in the basement, and even refers to Maisie as “valuable”. Does this suggest that Maisie and the Indoraptor really do share the same DNA?
Finally, when Owen, Claire, and Maisie leave the mansion after all the dinosaurs have escaped, the camera pans in on the girl’s eyes. At first, it seems like we’re about to see something strange – perhaps a lizard eye or something (which would have been ridiculous!) – but we cut to the next scene. Does this emphasis relate to the fact that Maisie is now responsible for a major natural crisis, or does it foreshadow the events of Jurassic World: Dominion?
It’s possible that director J. A. Bayona wanted to take elements of that farfetched Jurassic Park 4 script and build them into the subtext of his own Jurassic World film – which seems to be the case. And is this so hard to believe? After all, it’s exactly what director Colin Trevorrow did with Jurassic World (2015), which featured the franchise’s first hybrid, and also an ex-military character who is tasked with training raptors. Need we say more?!
Maybe we’ll get some answers when Jurassic World: Dominion finally releases in theaters on June 10, 2022. The film will see the return of several original characters – alongside Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern, and Sam Neill will once again be pitted against dinosaurs.
Did you miss this huge plot twist in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom?