A pandemic-proof production, a series of delays, and filming restrictions imposed by COVID-19 all made Jurassic World: Dominion a stronger movie, according to writer and director Colin Trevorrow. The sequel from Universal Pictures emerged as the first major studio movie to resume production in the wake of industry-wide shutdowns in March, in part because of a strict regimen implemented by Universal Chairwoman Donna Langley: the executive says the blockbuster managed nearly 100 days of safe shooting with stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and returning Jurassic Park trio Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum.
"I'm not sure I can put it into words," Trevorrow told Deadline about the 18-month total process from pre-production through wrap. "It has been remarkable. Our crew and our cast have been so resilient. All producers have worked around the clock to make it the best it can be. It has been inspiring."
Universal set up temperature test zones and a private medical facility where it conducted more than 40,000 COVID-19 tests, most of which were returned negative. Only .25% of those, about 100 tests, were positives. The studio spent in the neighborhood of $6-$8 million on protocols, including nearly 2,000 signs, 150 hand sanitizer stations, and dozens of additional sinks.
"As we continue to contend with the challenges facing our industry during a global pandemic, the collaborative nature of this production allowed us to safely complete nearly 100 days of shooting, and we are so proud of what this team was able to accomplish," Langley said.
"We designed our return-to-production guidelines with safety being the foremost priority and everyone associated with Jurassic World: Dominion stepped up, held themselves and those around them accountable, and the results have been amazing," Langley said after filming wrapped on Saturday. "Congratulations to our filmmakers and cast for their tireless efforts that paved the way for other productions across the industry to get back to work."
The cast and crew grew closer during four months inside a bubble set up in a UK hotel — something Trevorrow says ultimately strengthened his Jurassic World threequel.
"I think that close proximity to each other has made the movie better," he said. "Everything we were going through emotionally we would share. We would rehearse on Sundays, we crafted the characters, which made the emotion of the film richer. I think the movie will be stronger for it."
Plot details remain under wraps, but this sixth Jurassic movie is "about the need to co-exist and survive together," Trevorrow explained. "If this pandemic has taught us anything, it's that we need the different generations to protect each other. It was the right movie to be making at this moment."
Also starring Jake Johnson, DeWanda Wise, Mamoudou Athie, Isabella Sermon, and BD Wong, Jurassic World: Dominion is scheduled to open in theaters on June 10, 2022.