So last evening, as I'm watching the boobtube, the latest teaser trailer for JURASSIC WORLD popped on. After enjoying the spectacle of it, I had the nagging feeling that the story beats were very familiar to me. Not just that it's eerily similar to the original JURASSIC PARK film from 1993, but something further back.
And then it came to me...
That's right! The story beats for both films are near identical. Here's the plot summary for WESTWORLD (1973) taken from IMDb:
An amusement park for rich vacationers. The park provides its customers a way to live out their fantasies through the use of robots that provide anything they want. Two of the vacationers choose a wild west adventure. However, after a computer breakdown, they find that they are now being stalked by a rogue robot gun-slinger.
Now for comparison, here's the plot summary for the original JURASSIC PARK:
On the remote island of Isla Nubar, Scientists are using genetics enhanced with frog DNA, create cloned dinosaurs. While giving a preview tour, the power goes off in the rain and leaves a group of scientists and two kids to survive an island with meat eating dinosaurs.
and the new sequel JURASSIC WORLD:
Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park (1993), Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. After 10 years of operation and visitor rates declining, in order to fulfill a corporate mandate, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitor's interest, which backfires horribly.
Notice any similarities?
- A vacation park for the rich and affluent
- exhibits from a by-gone era that are supposedly safe
- a technical kerfuffle (accident) that endangers the park
- a main exhibit that goes on a killing spree
- a hero who must outwit and survive the super-killer
Oh, and here's an even more interesting tidbit. The entire JURASSIC PARK franchise is based on the best selling novels by MICHAEL CRICHTON, who co-wrote the script for the first film.
Guess what else Michael Crichton wrote? That's right! He not only wrote the script for WESTWORLD, he also directed the film. How crazy is that.
None of this deters me from eagerly anticipating this newest cinematic incarnation of excessive human pleasure-seeking gone wrong. Maybe the next sequel will be cyborg-dinosaurs fighting mutated cowboys!
BONUS: HBO has ordered a WESTWORLD series to be scripted and produced by Jonathan Nolan and J.J Abrams for 2015, starring the likes of Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright, James Marsden, and Rodrigo Santoro.