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Life most certainly finds a way in the first batch of production stills from Jurassic World: Dominion (out this summer). From fresh environments to newly-concocted dinosaurs hungry for human flesh, the conclusion to director Colin Trevorrow's Jurassic World trilogy promises to pull out all the jaw-snapping stops. With genetically-engineered lizard monsters now running amok all over the globe — co-existing alongside tasty bipedals — the stakes have never been higher.
"I'm very much engaged in the idea that dinosaurs are animals that are deserving of our respect and they're deserving of our fear, all at the same time, in the way that lions are," Trevorrow, who co-wrote the film's screenplay alongside Emily Carmichael (Pacific Rim: Uprising), explained during a conversation with Total Film for the magazine's Christmas 2020 issue. "So this is a movie that starts to venture into a completely new dynamic, and a completely new world in which we have to figure out who has dominion over this planet."
Fear is certainly on display in the image below, where Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) literally finds herself neck-deep in a swamp, hunted by a sharp-taloned Therizinosaurus (Trevorrow revealed the species on Twitter).
The "respecting nature" aspect of the director's comments can be seen in the following still of Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) gently wrangling a Parasaurolophus against the backdrop of a snowy locale near Benjamin Lockwood's estate.
"He's not too far from where the dinosaurs got out in the last film," Trevorrow told Entertainment Weekly. "The parasaurs are in danger of being poached. There's a lot of shady types out there who want to get their hands on dinosaurs, so he's working to protect them."
One of those "shady types" is Lewis Dodgson, the unscrupulous Biosyn executive who bribed Dennis Nedry to engage in corporate espionage that led to the downfall of Jurassic Park. In Dominion, Dodgson — we got Dodgson here! — is played by The Amazing Spider-Man's Campbell Scott (taking over the role from Cameron Thor, who was sentenced to six years of prison time in 2016).
"He is the main villain throughout both of [Crichton's] novels, and I think what Campbell's done with the character is just amazing," Trevorrow added. "I can't wait for people to see it."
Still, it's not all peaceful interactions with herbivores. In another part of the movie that takes place in Malta, Owen hops onto his vehicle of choice, a motorcycle, for a quick getaway from a new dino menace known as an Atrociraptor.
"If they catch up, he's gonna die, I can tell you that," Trevorrow said during a Q&A for Empire Magazine's February 2022 issue. "Where the Velociraptor is a little bit more of a stealth hunter, the Atrociraptors are a bit more brutish. These things will just come at you. And in this particular case, they've picked up his scent, and they're not going to stop until he's dead. They're pretty brutal. They're pretty vicious."
As for why the chase is set in Malta, the filmmaker explained that he didn't want to go the usual route. "I think when people think of what Dominion might be, they're assuming it's going to be a T. rex walking through New York City. We made a lot of different choices. And one of them is that I wanted to see dinosaurs around old stones, around something that's ancient to us, just to illustrate how much more ancient these things are. Also, the Atrociraptors are made to blend in with that background. There are oranges and tans and bronzes and all these colors we haven't been able to see before, which I'm really fired up a about."
In the words of Ian Malcolm: "Must go faster!"
A fourth image gives us our first look at a brand-new character played by DeWanda Wise (The Harder They Fall). We don't know anything about her, except that it looks like she's ready for action alongside Owen. He's got a knife and she's got some sort of taser-like device — neither of which seems as though it would be effective against anything larger than a Compy.
Yet another tweet from Trevorrow indicates that she's one of the good guys.
"She’s your resourceful, scrappy, adventure-loving [and] newest Mesozoic HERO," Wise teased on her Instagram page. "Can’t wait for you to meet her in 5 months!"
The official Jurassic World Facebook page added a few more adjectives into the mix: "Fiery, fierce, and ready for a fight."
And last — but most certainly not least — we have Trevorrow giving direction to Pratt and Omar Sy (back in the role of Owen's fellow velociraptor keeper, Barry Sembène, who hasn't been seen since the events of the first movie).
"We shot an entire movie in the height of this damn pandemic," Pratt wrote while sharing the photo below on his Instagram account last May. "We started February 2020. It was actually insane. And the movie is incredible. Thanks to Colin Trevorrow, our fearless leader. Seen here: Omar Sy and I take a quick break to take some direction or maybe talk about something who knows it’s all a blur."
Jurassic World: Dominion stomps into theaters everywhere Friday, June 10. Click here to watch a special five-minute prologue.
Universal Pictures & SYFY WIRE are both owned by NBCUniversal.