Jurassic World: Battle at Big Rock Director on Pulling Off the Secret Short Film

Colin Trevorrow, writer-director of Jurassic World and the Jurassic World: Battle at Big Rock short film that premiered on FX Sunday night, admits he “honestly never thought” he’d be able to secretly develop and then shoot an eight-minute mini-movie bridging last summer’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and 2021’s Jurassic World 3.

“We shot it in Ireland last winter. They have a grove of redwood trees outside Dublin that look exactly like the national parks in Northern California,” Trevorrow told Collider of the short film, which finds a family’s camping trip to Big Rock National Park interrupted by a terrifying encounter with dinosaurs following the creatures’ release into the wild one year earlier. “I honestly never thought we’d make it this far without getting found out. The Irish can keep a secret.”

Trevorrow, who returns as writer-director on the third entry in the Jurassic Park sequel series, says he was approached by studio Universal Pictures for a project showing a world where dinosaurs once again rule the Earth — a premise that will drive Jurassic World 3.

“Universal asked if I’d be interested in making a short film and I didn’t give them any time to reconsider,” Trevorrow said. “I wrote it with Emily Carmichael, who is co-writing Jurassic World 3. It felt like a first step into a larger world after the last film. You have these animals loose in an unfamiliar environment, they’re disoriented, struggling to adapt. The first people they run into are bound to be camping. I wanted to see that.”

The short was “very carefully planned,” Trevorrow said when asked if any material had to be cut from the short’s already limited runtime. “We did it in 5 days with a small crew. We had two child actors, a giant animatronic dinosaur and a baby. It shouldn’t have worked, but it did.”

Because the inhabitants of the Jurassic franchise must now share the planet with wild dinosaurs, Trevorrow wanted to explore that new status quo with characters unrelated to leads Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen (Chris Pratt) ahead of Jurassic World 3.

“The world is bigger than just the characters we’ve been following in the films. We’ve finally taken the story off Isla Nublar, we wanted to show a glimpse of that new reality,” he said. “If this really happened, you’d see a series of random disconnected incidents that would create a pattern of chaos. I wanted to see one of those incidents.”

The real goal of the all-new short film, expected to debut online shortly, was to make eight minutes “that could stand alongside the movies,” Trevorrow said.

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And of the next entry in the beloved movie franchise, Trevorrow teased, “This is the movie I’ve been wanting to make since we started. It’s a celebration of everything we love about the franchise and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. You’ll hear more about it soon.”

Jurassic World 3 opens June 11, 2021.