How many ways are there to say "there will be dinosaurs in our movie!". Well, Jurassic World is finding quite a few. One such piece of extra-narrative marketing is this informative featurette from InGen, the genetic curation organisation behind Jurassic World and the Indominus Rex. This video features the sole actor from Jurassic Park, BD Wong, returning as a Steve Jobs-like figure, and boasting about cloning dinosaurs. BECAUSE THAT ENDED SO WELL LAST TIME!
I love this kind of marketing. To create content that intentionally won't be featured in the film shows the best intentions, and a real dedication to the constructed fiction. Jurassic World isn't the first to do this. It worked with Prometheus, it worked with The Hunger Games. Hell, I even bought it when The Matrix tried to sell me Powerade, because the filmmakers are essentially peering at you through the fourth wall, and saying "yeah, we know you're sold on this movie, so we'll just give you something extra!"
This promo for Jurassic World is certainly having fun. The degree of smugness all these genetic engineers exhibit puts you in a giddy, all-knowing position. Seriously, did none of these people see Jurassic Park? BD Wong's character was involved in all that. Is he really cool with just starting all this up 20 years later? Then again, they didn't have Chris Pratt and his motorbike raptors in 1993, so it must all be safe now, right? Right?
My favourite moment is when this scientist mocks the original process of filing in the genetic code with frog DNA. What was once a stroke of genius to Sam Neil and friends is now a hokey cartoon that looks almost as ancient as dinosaurs themselves. Jurassic World is styling itself upon the promotional trappings of today. Sterile, friendly, ambitious for the future, and completely unaware of the dinosaurs about to eat everyone. At least, that's the impression I get from Apple. And how is InGen giving us the improved scientific landscape before Jurassic World?
It's basically a printer! The Hammond XB20 you-sunk-my-battle-ship is the secret behind the Indominus Rex that Jurassic World is touting. I hope everything goes wrong because they weren't able to download and install the correct drivers. I'd be interested to see what characters in Jurassic World make of the late John Hammond, considering that his career basically consisted of botching Jurassic Park, getting people killed, then sending Jeff Goldblum back to the island for the lols. This isn't the only hint to the older films in this promo.
See the skeleton of the Spinosaurus there? Yeah, I'm trying not to. I know the Spinosaurus was a real creature, unlike the Indominus Rex. I'm just surprised Jurassic World is associating itself with this misfire. The fight between Spinosaurus and the T-Rex in Jurassic Park 3 was simply egregious to fans, and cemented the creature as the Jar-Jar Binks of Jurassic Park. No one is gonna like this thing! Just scrap it, and move on!
"How do we do it? Wouldn't our rival companies like to know?"
Wait, there are rival companies in Jurassic World? Is this promo trying to tell me that InGen and the Hammond legacy STILL don't have a monopoly on that oh so accessible market of cloning dinosaurs? Corporate espionage was the whole reason shit went down in the first film. Are we really styling BD Wong as Willy Wonka? Will Jurassic World end with that one kid from Iron Man 3 being given the lease to the park, and ownership of all Chris Pratt's umpa-lumpas I mean Velociraptors!
It seems InGen's genetic efforts have changed the world itself, according to one line in this Jurassic World promo that states "you will see InGen's impact in medicine, agriculture and defence." I'm starting to believe that Jurassic World's universe is one without cancer, with endless food resources protected by super soldiers. I start to worry these ideas might be more interesting than the film itself, then the promo is like "yeah but dinosaurs", and I'm like "oh yeah, okay."
The best thing about this promo is the way it embodies the hubris that punctuated the first half of Jurassic Park, and got you totally ready to see some dinosaurs let loose! The way these characters casually talk about the philanthropic uses of genetic alteration, alongside creating monstrous affronts to nature actually makes them seem naive.
The characters in Jurassic World have had so much time to grow confident that they don't even realise the natural power they wield. Right before June 12th, this promo turns everyone into Jeff Goldblum. And who doesn't want theatres full of Jeff Goldblums making idle quips towards the film? To be honest, I would watch that instead of Jurassic World!