by: Anthony Zangrillo
Jurassic World took over New York Comic Con last weekend. The Jurassic World gates were moved from the coast of Costa Rica to New York Comic Con 2015! Attendees had the opportunity to walk through the majestic archway and doors at the main entrance this weekend. Some even encountered a life-size Velociraptor who recently escaped from Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure theme park. Tread lightly, though, as this pack hunter measures over nine-feet high and can run up to 60 mph! Luckily, Jurassic World’s own raptor trainers kept the vicious predators under control. On Saturday, Jurassic World star Nick Robinson stopped by NYCC to meet with fans and keep the vicious raptor at bay.
The Motion Picture Club received the opportunity to interview Nick as part of a roundtable discussion. The first question involved Nick’s “knowledge of the dinosaurs.” Nick jokingly replied that he “knows all of the secrets.” He’s excited that “Chris [Pratt] and Bryce [Dallas Howard] are coming back” but the rest is all “hush hush” as the creative team hatches new dinosaurs. It’s an exciting time for the franchise and Nick awaits the future development of his character. Nick would like to see “Zach and Grey’s brother relationship grow a little bit more. Maybe they get a long a little bit better.” Nick speculated that maybe Zack and Grey should “join a secret Owens Navy Seal program and become raptor fighters (or trainers).”
Following this introduction, I asked Nick how many times he watched the original Raptor scene in Jurassic Park, where the vicious dinosaurs stalk their children prey throughout the kitchen of the Discovery Center. Nick exclaimed “that’s the best,” informing me that he must’ve watched the scene “over a dozen times.”
I remarked that the creative team replicated the success of the original film through iconic scenes, such as the famous Gyrosphere. Nick explained that one of the driving forces for everyone involved on the project was the idea that this film “means a lot to people” as the franchise has a “history stretching back over 22 years.” As a result, the entire cast was very excited to “be a part of the [Jurassic Park] legacy and carry the torch.”
Reporters wanted to know if Nick had foresaw the tremendous success that the movie has recently attained on a global scale. Nick thought that no one expected the film’s monstrous success as “the third biggest grossing movie of all time.” To Nick, “it was a crazy, but good experience” and it’s great when you make something that “people get the chance to see it, especially if they like it.”
On to the hard-hitting questions, a journalist quizzed Nick on his favorite dinosaur. Nick went with the “raptor, a classic.” One of Nick’s favorite scenes involved the raptors tapping on the kitchen floor. Following up on Nick’s love of one of the Park’s most deadly dinosaurs, I asked Nick about his excitement for kids to experience the same verocity of this predatory animal through the interactive raptor experience at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Nick exclaimed “It’s pretty cool.” He loves to see people “experience it for the first time.” It reminds him of how “excited and in awe that people used to be around a Power Rangers suit.”
A journalist asked Nick why he thinks the public is drawn to dinosaurs. Nick thinks that it’s the “fear, the prehistoric primal sense that we’re no longer top of the food chain…It’s an interesting idea to play with.” Nick also thinks it’s cool to see ancient bones from the Smithsonian brought to life on the screen.” He speculates that the appeal is “having a part of history come to life.” Following up on fan reactions, Nick was asked, which country had the craziest fan reactions to the Jurassic World release. Nick recounted his experience with audiences in Japan. Nick talked about Japan’s vastly different culture, where audiences remain very reserved. When he walked into a theater and the audience remained silent out of respect, it was “unlike anything he had ever experienced.” Nick really enjoyed this different cultural experience.
Nick fondly reminisced about the original Jurassic Park. “It was a part of my childhood growing up…When you first watch it, it transports you. John Williams knows how to put some notes together and make you feel a certain way.” Moreover, “it’s pretty cool to be a part of [the movie]…you get a sense that something big is happening.” Nick’s coolest pieces of swag from the set included some “stuffed animals from the gift shop and a mini raptor head.” Nick joked that many had to “sift the wreckage” from the film’s final scene and see what could be retrieved.
I asked Nick about his hope for future sequels. In the past, Jurassic sequels veered from the original theme park premise, which the creative team revived in Jurassic World. Nick definitely suggests that the horror viewpoint of Jurassic Park 3 will definitely be avoided. He advocates a return to the theme park environment, as the “original is the truest form of the film. The first was the most heartfelt, and you could feel it in your nerve-endings.”
Then, a fan favorite question was asked: what original Jurassic Park cast member would Nick want to see return. Nick confidently responded with a one-armed Samuel L. Jackson. Nick thinks it would be awesome to see Samuel L. Jackson return to the franchise after so many years. Nick was asked about his interaction with executive producer Steven Spielberg. Nick mentioned briefly “geeking out” when he got the opportunity to meet Spielberg during the shoot. Nick recalled being star-struck as Spielberg made a joke about Nick growing, since the audition.
A reporter noted that Nick is much older than the kids from the previous films, mentioning that Zack has the potential to “kick ass.” Nick agreed, explaining that he “would be very down to kick some ass and it would be fun.” As we began to dive into the future possibilities for Nick’s character, I thought it could be possible that Zach becomes an apprentice to Owen, learning how to communicate with the raptors. Nick thought that “would be pretty badass…get to seek the language of the raptors.” In fact, Nick said “you know what, pitch that,” where I jokingly responded, “sure, give me the number to call.”
On to a bigger subject, the discussion moved to why people want to tame everything, such as locking the dinosaurs in an amusement park. Nick felt that it is “human nature to want to piss on everything. To stick your flag in the mountain top.” He thinks that humans “have a great capacity for emotion and learning, but at the same time, we’re very fickle and greedy.”
Down to the final question, I asked what every fan wants to know: T-Rex or Indominous Rex? Nick answered, “T-Rex, no question.” I echoed his reply, stating “right answer.”
You can own Jurassic World now on Digital HD and on Blu-ray and DVD on October 20, 2015.