This summer, Jeff Goldblum will make his triumphant return as Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, reviving a character that's not only a highlight of the entire Jurassic Park franchise, but a highlight of Goldblum's already highlight-packed career. So far, all we know is that Dr. Malcolm will appear before Congress to testify on the dangers of the franchise's revived dinosaurs, but his re-appearance in the series has also stirred interest in other returning stars.
Now that Goldblum is back, fans are particularly keen on seeing Laura Dern return as well to reprise the role of Dr. Ellie Sattler, who hasn't been seen onscreen since a brief appearance in Jurassic Park III in 2001. Granted, that's a shorter absence than Malcolm had (though his likeness appeared in Jurassic World), but Dern and Sattler are fan favorites, and with the Jurassic series set to continue until at least 2021, there's plenty of room for the character to pop up again.
But will she? Dern herself is already on the record in support of bringing Sattler back, but the real driving force fueling fan speculation right now is Goldblum. Just last week he told Entertainment Tonight it would be "good news to me and to everyone" if Dern came back to the franchise, and on an episode of Watch What Happens Live Monday night he fielded a fan question about Dern's possible return like this:
"Maybe I said too much," Goldblum said when the fan specifically referenced his previous tease to ET. "I don't know for sure ... I can't divulge anything, but maybe, maybe, maybe she will."
Goldblum is certainly leaning heavily on the teases that Dern will be back, but how serious is he? It's always hard to tell with him, particularly on talk shows when he's happy to be as playful as possible. He could simply be indulging fans who really want Dr. Satler back in the franchise, even if he has no knowledge of or control over whether or not that actually happens.
What makes this particular response more interesting, though, is what happens when fellow guest Alan Cumming asks Goldblum to clarify the future of the Jurassic series. Goldblum explains that he'll be back as Dr. Malcolm in Fallen Kingdom, then notes that a third film in the Jurassic World trilogy is also on the way, ending on this very amusing teaser:
"And then there's going to be another one which, you know, some people may or may not be in. That's all I can say," Goldblum said.
We'll know by the end of June whether or not Dern really did make it back for Fallen Kingdom, but even if she didn't, Goldblum has ensured that we'll be wondering about the future of Dr. Ellie Sattler for at least three more years.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is in theaters June 22. The still-untitled third film in the Jurassic World trilogy arrives June 11, 2021. Check out the full clip of Goldblum discussing the franchise below, and pay particular attention to his eyes.