Everyone's favorite rampaging dinosaurs are stomping into theaters - literally.
Jurassic World: Dominion won't debut until June 10, 2022, but Universal has announced that starting June 25, a five-minute teaser for the film will play exclusively before IMAX showings of F9. It's the first real look at the sixth Jurassic movie, which will unite Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard with original franchise stars Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum, and on Wednesday, EW caught up with director Colin Trevorrow for a preview of the new footage.
The five-minute teaser starts 65 million years before Jurassic Park was so much as a twinkle in John Hammond's eye: These are not the dinosaurs of Isla Nublar, but the original creatures at the height of their power, grazing in ancient fields and soaring above rivers. The clip also introduces several never-before-seen dinos and teases an encounter between a certain prehistoric mosquito and a familiar T-rex.
"It begins the story that we're telling in Dominion," Trevorrow explains. "It's a bit of a self-indulgent thing for the child in me because I always wanted to see dinosaurs as they were in the Cretaceous period."
Universal Pictures A scene from 'Jurassic World: Dominion'
Later, the footage cuts to the present day, picking up after the events of 2018's Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Dinosaurs have been released into the modern world, and we see a T-rex dashing through a drive-in movie theater. There's also a brief cameo by Trevorrow's son, who also popped up in the beginning of the original Jurassic World as the kid riding a triceratops. Since then, Trevorrow says, his son has come up with a whole character arc. "He originally suggested that he died in the first one, and I was like, 'That's really dark, man, we can't do that!'" he adds with a laugh.
The director says he originally wrote the drive-in scene years ago with co-writer Emily Carmichael, but watching it in 2021, it feels like a particularly apt love letter to movie theaters, many of which are slowly starting to reopen in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"To suddenly have a scene where a T-rex is tearing up a drive-in as we're finally getting back into movie theaters is certainly not something we could've predicted," he says. "It gets meta in a way that was never planned."
Jurassic World: Dominion was initially scheduled for release this month, before the pandemic shuttered theaters and delayed production last year. Filming wrapped in late 2020, and Trevorrow says he's currently working on the visual effects and sound mix. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, he says returning to the franchise after 2015's Jurassic World has been a thrill - with a few challenges. Some of the problems have been technical, like figuring out Dominion's even bigger scale: On the first Jurassic World, for example, they had one animatronic dinosaur, but on Dominion, the crew built about 18 animatronics of varying sizes.
Universal Pictures A new poster for 'Jurassic World: Dominion'
But his biggest challenge, he says, was telling the right story, one he views as "a culmination of six movies."
"I'm a little older," he says. "I don't quite have the confidence I used to. I was very confident on that first movie, but as you make more movies, I think your confidence gets chipped away at. It's the opposite of what you might expect. But it was very collaborative - and obviously unexpected because we were all living together in a hotel and sharing our lives on a daily basis, and we got to know each other really well. It was much more personal, like being at summer camp with Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern and Sam Neill."
As for those familiar faces, Trevorrow says they were indispensable in helping him and Carmichael chart Dominion's story.
"They know their characters better than I ever could," the director says. "We did this one a little differently, and we wrote together. Emily and I worked together with each of the actors on their dialogue - not on set, but while we were at the hotel. We had these weekends, and we would sit down and write stuff together because Sam Neill knows Alan Grant better than anyone in the world. And Ellie Sattler has a lot to say about the state of the world right now, and so does Laura Dern. We wanted to make sure that we reflected that, and it wasn't just some surface-level thing."