“Nothing in Jurassic World is natural,” Wu exclaimed at the time. “We’ve always filled gaps in the genome with the DNA of other animals. If their genetic code was pure, many of them would look quite different. But you didn’t ask for reality, you asked for more teeth”
In the context of that movie, it was easy to forget about this line since Wu was trying to justify making a Frankenstein’s dinosaur via the Indomnius Rex. However, Trevorrow clearly wants to further explore this in Jurassic World: Dominion. And indeed, it was always the intent of author Michael Crichton to reveal in the original text that the idea of recreating dinosaurs exactly as they were 65 million years ago is a dangerous and impossible pipe dream.
In the original 1990 novel, the much more rational Henry Wu character, as well as Ian Malcolm, argue amongst themselves and in their own minds as to whether the dinosaurs in he park are, technically speaking, dinosaurs. Like the 1993 movie, the novel’s InGen relied on bullfrogs and other modern creatures to fill in holes in the genetic code left by DNA strands which survived throughout the eons frozen inside amber. But because of that, it’s impossible to truly know what the dinosaurs looked like, and Wu even concedes to himself they are more like new genetically engineered species than actual dinosaurs.
But director Steven Spielberg completely omitted this detail in the iconic 1993 popcorn blockbuster. Instead the summer movie maestro preferred to bask in the majesty that comes from the idea that animals lost more than 65 million years ago could actually be walking the face of the earth again, exactly as they were.
The new Jurassic World: Dominion prologue shatters that illusion by showing the series’ most iconic dinosaur, the original movie’s Tyrannosaurus Rex, to have been a far different creature in her original lifetime before she was cloned into the familiar “terrible lizard” that’s always captured the imagination.
Granted, this is also a chance for filmmakers like Trevorrow and his legion of digital animators to acknowledge the great strides paleontologists have made in understanding the physiology of dinosaurs in the last 30 years, which has generally skewed increasingly toward more bird-like visions of the mighty beasts.