When Steven Spielberg hand-picked little-known director Colin Trevorrow to revive the Jurassic Park franchise, the 38-year-old director, who had only the 2012 sci-fi indie hit Safety Not Guaranteed to his credit, seemed an unlikely choice.
"Steven wanted Colin because he was a child of the Amblin movies, of stories with adults and children and conflicts you try to resolve," explains film's producer, Patrick Crowley.
"Steven never went to the set, though he watched the footage every day. From the very first day of shooting he said the material Colin was sending back to him was so good that he knew he was in good hands."
Still, Trevorrow hadn't immediately agreed to helm the gargantuan production, which takes place in the theme park Dr John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) had always dreamed of creating in the original trilogy of films.
"It was such a tremendous responsibility," Trevorrow recalls. "When I came in to discuss it I spoke in a way that was probably surprising to them, because if you were going to make another Jurassic Park movie it needed to be something truly special."
The original Jurassic Park (1993) had been the first movie to create dinosaurs with CGI. There's been nothing like it since Jurassic Park III in 2001.
Still, Jurassic Park: The Lost World (1997), also helmed by Spielberg, and Jurassic Park III, where Joe Johnston took over the reins, had increasingly lost the plot -- quite literally, notes the new film's star and JP connoisseur Chris Pratt.
"I didn't want to join it if it was a movie that was being made simply because Universal knew that people would line up to see it. I figure it was partly a fault in the third Jurassic Park movie. I loved the first movie and I liked the other two, but part of the reason I didn't like the sequels as much was because they were contrived and silly.
"In the third movie it was like, 'Why would you literally have to f***ing club Sam Neill over the head to bring him back to the island?' He was like, 'No, why am I here?'"
Pratt's fears were allayed after 10 minutes of talking to Trevorrow, who co-wrote this new incarnation of Michael Crichton's original story with his regular writing partner Derek Connolly. It was based on the fundamentals of a story by Spielberg featuring an open park, a trainer communicating with raptors and the threat of a genetically modified dinosaur. This would very much be a character-driven piece, with the dinos, after years of being around humans, developing their own personalities -- though there are some bad dinos in the mix as usual.
Filmed in Hawaii and New Orleans, Jurassic World is set 22 years after the first movie.
Pratt's Owen, an expert in animal behaviour, is working at a secluded base in the park, training and studying a pack of aggressive velociraptors over whom he's developed an alpha relationship. Needing to constantly introduce new attractions, the park's latest creation is the genetically modified indominus rex, which has yet to be trained or even to meet a human.
It's the work of Dr Henry Wu (B.D. Wong from Jurassic Park), a geneticist at InGen, the company behind the first park, now headed by the dastardly Simon Masrani (Irfan Khan from Life of Pi).
Owen has had a fling with the park's administrator, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), and he wouldn't mind another. He gets his chance when the perennially busy Claire neglects her niece and nephew and she enlists the burly Owen to help her find them - out in the park after things get hairy. Or, rather, scaly. And scary.
The film may not be directed by Spielberg but it feels like it is. Jurassic Park had been his brainchild, his vision to combine animatronics and the new world of computer visual effects with human storytelling as had never been done before.
"Colin didn't rip off Steven Spielberg," says Pratt. "They paid him to make a Steven Spielberg movie. So he got to utilise all those techniques, the building of tension and almost tantric suspense that is Spielberg's speciality.
"With these types of movies, creature movies like Jaws and Jurassic Park, it's like, 'Oh God, Oh God! Something's going to happen!' Then you get a slight bit of relief and then no, there's even more suspense. This movie's a lot like Raiders [of the Lost Ark]."
"I question whether people want a lot of special effects in movies," explains Trevorrow. "I actually think they want great stories and great characters who have exciting special effects to support them - and they so rarely are given that.
Watch the Jurassic World trailer here
"Instead of having three or four epic set pieces I have nine or 10 that are relatively short. The pteranodon attack may seem like it goes on forever but it's three minutes long. I'm more interested in finding the proponent for a sequence and letting it live but not overstay its welcome and move on to the next. That scene is like a Bosch painting with 25 different stories happening at once and your eye can choose which one to follow.
"If you look closely, one of the pteranodons is tearing the stuffing out of a toy T-rex, and it's easy to miss the guy who stands up and takes his drinks with him when he runs, which is actually Jimmy Buffet in his cameo."
Most importantly, notes Pratt, "Colin added a new relevance to the themes. Jurassic World is not just about the dangers of meddling with nature but a reflection of society today and how our relationship with science has changed over the years."
What: Jurassic World, the revival of the Jurassic Park franchise
When: Opens at cinemas on June 11