As we open up the gates again for another disastrous trip into dinosaur theme parks, the casting for J.A. Bayona's #JurassicWorld2 is heating up. While Sam Neill has confirmed he is done with the franchise and that Dr. Alan Grant is "probably dead" by now, another nod to the past comes with the (already suspected) announcement that #BDWong will be back as Dr. Henry Wu.
Wong has arguably become the unofficial face of the Jurassic Park franchise as its longest-serving member. Premiering in a minor role in #StevenSpielberg's original film, Wu was absent from the next two films, then popped up to tread into villain territory with 2015's Jurassic World. Both Neill and Jeff Goldblum starred in two films, but with Wong about to add a third raptor rumble to his belt, he is the actor to star in the most films apart from Rexy the T-Rex.
While the diehard Jurassic Park fans are waiting for Goldblum to hop over from the MCU and back into Dinoland, the under the radar announcement of B.D. Wong's return for Jurassic World 2 is the most important announcement yet.
The Evolution Of The Franchise
While #ColinTrevorrow's Jurassic World attempted to reboot the #JurassicPark franchise after its lackluster threequel, the director still aimed to remain loyal to fans of the first three films. There were nods and Easter Eggs to what came before, such as the original visitor center and a posthumous mention of Richard Attenborough, but then we had a full-blown cameo from B.D. Wong. True fans of the series will remember that Wong's Dr. Henry Wu had a minor part as the surrogate father of the baby dinos, hatching the eggs in Spielberg's original.
22 years after he first helped John Hammond open the first park, Wu was back in a more senior role, helping craft the Frankenstein-esque Indominus Rex and heading up the Hammond Creation Lab as its chief engineer. One of the few park workers to make it off Isla Nublar alive (again), Wu's ambiguous ending left it open for a possible return or an end of his story. For those new to the films, or for those of us who have been with the franchise from the start, Dr. Wu's work in Jurassic World 2 will continue the legacy of John Hammond's work, but also takes the films into a darker territory of warfare and the use of dinosaurs as more than just theme park attractions.
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It's Good To Be Bad
While Wu may not yet be a full villain, Jurassic World set him up as an unlikely human antagonist. As Vincent D'Onofrio's Hoskins put the doc on a helicopter to safety, Wu took his experimental research with him to carry on InGen's nefarious schemes. In October 2016, executive producer Frank Marshall teased that we hadn't seen the last of Dr. Wu, and now Wong has taken to Instagram to snap himself next to one of the franchise's formidable raptors. Could this tease that he will be doing some gene splicing on those clawed creatures?
Nothing is known about the plot of the fifth Jurassic film, but Trevorrow teased that it would be inspired by a quote from Sam Neill's Alan Grant from the 1993 film:
“Dinosaurs and man, two species separated by 65 million years of evolution have just been suddenly thrown back into the mix together. How can we possibly have the slightest idea what to expect?”
It implies that dinosaur and man will be working closer than ever, which could lead to InGen weaponizing the Velociraptors with the help of Dr. Wu. A long-abandoned storyline was that the army would strap explosives and weapons onto the heads of the dinosaurs, but given Wu's background, it is more likely to be more meddling gene splicing. For those who doubt the 56-year-old's ability to turn a role as a villain, check him out at the psychotic Dr. Hugo Strange in Fox's Gotham. Serving as one of the primary antagonists of the show's second season, Wong wowed as Strange, becoming one of the greatest adaptations of DC's villains.
Wu're On Your Way Out
The problem of placing Wu as the next film's villain is that it would likely be his last trip to the prehistoric. One thing that the Jurassic films have always done well is kill off the human bad guys in a single runtime. Admittedly the roles of James Cromwell and Toby Jones haven't been announced yet, but with their acting past straying into bad guy roles, could they be teaming up with Wu to exact a master plan of hybrid dinosaurs?
One thing almost certainly bound to happen in the next film is the demise of Dr. Wu. Surviving four run-ins with escaped carnivores is a feat that even Alan Grant himself couldn't pull off. Also, as a bit of a sh*t, fans would surely lovely to see Wu bow out in style. One way that it could be done would be to make another link to his Raptor Instagram and follow his fate from the novels. In Michael Crichton's 1990 novel, Wu is depicted more like his current state of mad scientist, holding the company's interest at heart. Similar to what happens to Bob Peck's Robert Muldoon in the films, novel Wu was attacked by a Raptor, fell on his back, and was promptly sliced down the middle. With the typical Jurassic Park legacy of imaginative character dispatches, that looks like the most likely way that Wu would go — that, or to have his genes spliced with a dinosaur to end up like an Alien: Ressurection clone.
With an all-star cast and an unknown direction of the franchise, Jurassic World 2 promises to be the most expansive film yet. Breaking out of the confines of Isla Nublar, it is anyone's guess whether the film will stick to its Costa Rica setting, or head to a more urban location. Just as long as we don't send T-Rexes back to San Diego, that's OK with me. Obviously having Goldblum back on board would be the real coup, but settling for Dr. Wu hatching into a new era of Jurassic Park films will have to do for now. Don't say we didn't warn "Wu."
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Will Dr. Wu be the villain of 'Jurassic World 2'
[Poll Image Credit: 'Jurassic World' - Universal]