The director and cast of Jurassic World Dominion on bringing back old favorites and knowing their dinosaurs

Jurassic World: Dominion director Colin Trevorrow, and stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas-Howard, DeWanda Wise, Mamoudou Athie, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum talk about the return of original Jurassic Park characters Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler and then take their best shots at naming as many dinosaurs as they can.

Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

ALAN GRANT: Ellie Sattler.

ELLIE SATTLER: Alan Grant.

ALAN GRANT: You didn't come out all this way just to catch up now, did you?

ELLIE SATTLER: You coming or what?

KEVIN POLOWY: Legacy legends Sam Neill and Laura Dern return for this one. You've wrote and/or directed all three of these installments now. Was that always the master plan, that these-- these two would come back for number three?

COLIN TREVORROW: It was-- it was a wish. It was a hope and a dream. And the fact that it came true still kind of astounds me to this day. Jeff Goldblum and I were the first ones to form a relationship because he was in "Fallen Kingdom," at the beginning and the end. And so we got to work together then.

And then I sat with, you know, Sam Neill and-- and Laura, and just got to ask them, you've known these characters for 30 years. Where are you now? Where would you be? What would you care about? And we built a movie really based on what Laura feels that Ellie Sattler would be doing in the world right now and what she would care about. And that part of it, that level of interaction, was pretty exciting.

KEVIN POLOWY: Colin said it was a really collaborative process between you two in determining what Ellie Sattler would be up to today. Have you thought a-- a lot about her over the years? Like, did you have a pretty good idea, like, off the bat, where you imagined her today?

LAURA DERN: I hadn't thought of it. You know, especially because even though there have been sequels, when you play a role in 1993, you don't think franchise because it wasn't this common tradition. I love this character.

And I think my fierce protectiveness which Colin was so generous in-- in including me in the collaboration of her today, is from all the fans who've come up to me, in all the young girls and women who've said-- and young men-- who've said, you're the first female, you know, action character that I saw. You're the first female that was equal to the men in a story that I saw at that age. I went into science or tech or politics because of you.

I mean, that has moved me so much. So I felt protective because she's meant so much to so many people who talked to me about her that I feel like I needed to be the guardian for all of us. And Colin and Steven felt the exact same way.

KEVIN POLOWY: Chris, you described it as like the endgame of the "Jurassic" series. Did it have, like, a similar vibe?

CHRIS PRATT: Totally similar vibe. I mean, people who watched "Avengers-- Endgame," "Avengers-- Infinity War," they're like, god, I can't believe we get to see Ant-Man share the screen with Black Panther or whatever. So that's the kind of thing that you can really only do if you have serialized stories over the course of several decades, which is what we have here.

So this is 30 years in the making. It is the perfect finale of the "Jurassic Park" trilogy and the "Jurassic World" trilogy. They come together. It's the "Jurassic" universe. What's amazing is Colin Trevorrow and Emily Carmichael came up with a script that really justifies the presence of every character. It's not just some, like, willy-nilly thing, throw them in there so we can say they're there. The story is incredibly inventive, meaningful, powerful. And they obviously do an-- an amazing job because they're all at the top of their game. And it was just truly surreal to share the screen with them.

KEVIN POLOWY: Dr. Ian Malcolm makes-- he made his glorious return in "Fallen Kingdom." This is number two back for him. This is the first movie back for Laura Dern and Sam Neill. Did you play any role in recruiting? Were you like, come on in? The water-- the water's warm in here?

JEFF GOLDBLUM: Well, I would always, if I had anything to do with it, if I could have such string-pulling or leverage, I would always ask for and invite them into the warm, warm waters of Goldblum activity. But no, it was-- it was the grand plan from, I guess, the giant of cinema, the genius, Mr. Steven Spielberg, who has been the godfather--

KEVIN POLOWY: I've heard of him.

JEFF GOLDBLUM: --through all-- yes, of course-- through all these decades. And Colin Trevorrow, he introduced it to me a couple of years ago, while we were shooting a commercial, in fact, and said, yes, and I think Laura Dern and Sam Neill-- and I was, as you can imagine, drenched and purged from the whole idea. And you know, they were great.

KEVIN POLOWY: What kind of vibe does Jeff bring to the set after all these years?

LAURA DERN: The exact same vibe. I mean, the exact same vibe that you probably know well having interviewed him for films too. He's always in the moment, you know, ever kind of musical and feeling jazz through his body. And you know, the most hilarious thing you've ever heard coming out of his mouth from take to take. You know, it's a dream come true being back with he and Sam. It was really amazing. And we all lived together for months, given coming back-- having started the film before the pandemic.

So it was a-- as we all know, a very terrifying, unsettling time that we were all living in. And this became my family, a couple of whom, like Mr. Neill and Mr. Goldblum, were already my family from years before.

KEVIN POLOWY: Did you ever consider bringing back Tim and Lex, Joseph and Ariana, who play the kids?

COLIN TREVORROW: We-- you know, we talked about everything, you know, and Vanessa Chester, and everybody. And ultimately, we recognized that each of them are icons and each of them take up a certain amount of oxygen in the room. And so to be able to figure out a way to organically fit in the characters we have, BD Wong included, all of them need a story and an arc and all of them need to feel integrated into to what is a much more complex narrative than-- than what we've attempted in the past. So we felt like, four, that was a lot.

KEVIN POLOWY: Yeah.

The question now on everyone's mind, though-- or maybe just my mind-- when is Sam Jackson's disembodied arm finally going to return to this franchise?

BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD: Dude, I've discussed this with him.

KEVIN POLOWY: You have? Thank you.

BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD: I have discussed this with him. He's game. [LAUGHS]

KEVIN POLOWY: He's game?

BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD: I was like, he lost an arm. That doesn't mean the dude is dead.

KEVIN POLOWY: I feel like this has the most dino species we've seen in a "Jurassic" movie.

COLIN TREVORROW: Yes.

KEVIN POLOWY: Is this true? There are so many. Do you know how many there are?

COLIN TREVORROW: It's in the 30s now--

KEVIN POLOWY: It's in the 30s.

COLIN TREVORROW: --as far as how many we-- we actually have represented in this franchise, yes.

KEVIN POLOWY: How many can you name?

MAMOUDOU ATHIE: Giganotosaurus, triceratops-- OK, I got a couple more-- brontosaurus, I got T. rex. I mean, that's kind of the easy ones. And then prehistoric locust. But see, I'm fading. I'm fading quick.

DEWANDA WISE: But I know the quetzalcoatlus, the giganotosaurus, the T. rex, of course, Tyrannosaurus rex. The-- ooh, lystrosaurus, which is kind of like Kayla's little dinosaur. That's her pet dinosaur.

LAURA DERN: Giganotosaurus, brachiosaurus, triceratops, dimetrodon, T. rex, raptor. I'm trying to think of more that are in the movie. But those are a few of my closer friends.

JEFF GOLDBLUM: Oh, I can name them all. How many are there in all? Not the 30. That's easy, the 30 from this movie. But I can name every single species ever.

KEVIN POLOWY: Ever?

JEFF GOLDBLUM: Yes, oh yes.

KEVIN POLOWY: In alphabetical order?

JEFF GOLDBLUM: In alphabetical order.

KEVIN POLOWY: Just give us the As.

JEFF GOLDBLUM: The allosaurus, which is, I believe, a kind of a hand-- hand cream also.

KEVIN POLOWY: [LAUGHS].

JEFF GOLDBLUM: The b-b-b-- the Bebe-Neuwirth-saurus. I've run out. That's-- that's all I know, really.

CHRIS PRATT: T. rex, quetzalcoatlus, giganotosaurus, dilophosaurus, pteranodon, dimorphodon.

BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD: What was the thing with feathers?

CHRIS PRATT: Triceratops, pyroraptor, spinosaurus.

BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD: OK, yeah. What about the one with me?

CHRIS PRATT: What's the one that was chasing you?

BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD: It starts with a T. Therizinosaurus.

CHRIS PRATT: Oh, therizinosaurus, or as I like to call him, Edward Scissor-Raptor.

BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD: [LAUGHS]

KEVIN POLOWY: Goldblumosaurus.

CHRIS PRATT: Goldblumosaurus.

BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD: Always-- jazziest dinosaur in existence.

CHRIS PRATT: The jazziest dinosaur in the--

BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD: In the galaxy. [LAUGHS]

JEFF GOLDBLUM: Yahoo. (HOWLING) Yahoo.

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