Spoilers ahead. Following yet another ill-advised, warned-against dinosaur encounter, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom brings the dinosaurs to our home turf. And from what both the ending and the post-credits scene show, the question isn't will Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom have a sequel, but when — and what will the final film in the franchise deliver?
Chaos, that's what. Fallen Kingdom opens with a throwback to the original movies, with Ian Malcom speaking to a government panel about a looming volcanic eruption on Isla Nubar, aka Dinosaur Island. The question is whether to let these animals go extinct (again), or to preserve these miracles of science and history. Malcolm argues to let them die in the ensuing eruption, and put an end to what John Hammond should never have started in the original Jurassic Park. On the other side of the argument is Claire Dearing, former manager of Jurassic World and current dinosaur rights advocate, who joins a private team heading to Isla Nubar to evacuate the dinosaurs.
Unfortunately the team turns out to be not a rescue operation, but a secret plot by a greedy estate manager to auction off the dinosaurs to the highest international bidders. Held in an underground lab at the estate of John Hammond's partner, some of the dinosaurs (of course) escape, but at the film's end, many are still trapped in cells quickly filling with toxic gas. Claire is presented with a difficult and painful choice: watch her beloved animals die forever, or hit the button to open a door leading to the outside world, unleashing them on the general population.
Without revealing too much, the dinosaurs get free, and as a result, humans are now living in a world where dinosaurs rum rampant. Over at SlashFilm, co-writer and director of Jurassic World and co-writer of both Fallen Kingdom and the upcoming Jurassic World 3, Colin Trevorrow, said the movie's ending is meant to get people intrigued about what's to come. "It’s not a cliffhanger, but it’s designed for people to want to know what’s going to happen next, whereas the earlier Jurassic Park movies had pretty clear definitive endings," explained the filmmaker.
Though Jurassic World 3 is officially slated for release June 21, 2021, the script is still in progress. Bryce Dallas Howard, who plays Claire and is slated to return for the third film along with Chris Pratt as Owen, has said she's excited about the possibilities — especially if they include Laura Dern's Ellie Sattler from the original films. In an interview with Bustle's Kelsea Stahler, Howard said, "I think that now the characters of Claire and Ellie... would totally be on the same page, and a powerhouse duo. That's something story-wise that I'm like, oh man, that would be so cool."
Dallas-Howard's not the only one thinking about the possibility of the original paleontologist returning. Dern, who played the character in Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III, told Entertainment Weekly that she actually demanded the character make another appearance in a sequel. “As I said to the people who are making the new series, ‘If you guys make a last one, you gotta let Ellie Sattler come back,'" Dern explained. "She’s always the one who’s saving the day, man!”
That wouldn't be the only interesting old/new character combo; as mentioned earlier, Jeff Goldblum's Ian Malcom's definitely back in Jurassic World as a voice of reason, and Dallas Howard thinks Claire would have some interesting things to say to him. "What if Claire met Dr. Ian Malcom, who's like "let those animals burn"? What would their interaction be?" the actor said to Bustle. "I think there's a connection to all of these characters who are part of the genesis of this story... getting to play out these potential dynamics and relationships would be really, really, really exciting."
So far there's no further details on Jurassic World 3's plot points, but given the clear direction Fallen Kingdom points to, it looks like humanity's opened Pandora's Box and now everyone will have to deal with the consequences directly.
Additional reporting by Kelsea Stahler