Given the fact that a Jurassic World sequel was announced almost exactly two years ago, it's kind of surprising how long it's taken to get any details about it. But the Jurassic World 2 title and tagline have finally been unveiled… and the tagline in particular is sure to make lifelong fans of the franchise feel nostalgic.
While the sequel received an official release date just a month after Jurassic World premiered — no surprise when your film has the highest-grossing domestic opening weekend on record — Universal Pictures has been slow to roll out too many details beyond the director (A Monster Calls' J.A. Bayona), the cast (including the return of original cast member Jeff Goldblum), and one image of a young girl staring at a room full of dinosaur skeletons (a museum? a private collection?).
So the reveal of the title and tagline are the biggest pieces of information fans have to go on so far when it comes to speculating about the plot and direction of the upcoming film. And according to the new teaser poster, the sequel won't be called Jurassic World 2 or Jurassic Planet. It will now and forever officially be known as Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. And the nostalgia-inducing tagline? "Life finds a way."
The unveiling comes exactly one year to the day from the film's release, and it's sure to get any diehard fan's blood pumping. First, there's the subtitle. Fallen Kingdom brings to mind the title of the second film in the series, 1997's The Lost World, with its evocative imagery of a hidden or dangerous paradise. (While Fallen Kingdom almost certainly refers to the theme park that's now been taken over by its man-eating attractions as of the end of Jurassic World, I prefer to think that the dinos will somehow find a way to conquer an actual kingdom, like Andorra or Luxembourg.)
But while the title is undoubtedly exciting, it's the tagline that's likely to draw the most speculation from fans. As most people with even a passing memory of Steven Spielberg's 1993 film will know, it's a quote taken directly from the original Jurassic Park. Spoken by Goldblum's Dr. Ian Malcolm, it comes after the revelation that the park's scientists have engineered all of their dinosaurs to be female in an effort to prevent them from breeding. Malcolm is skeptical that the scientists will actually be able to maintain their authority over their new creations. "The kind of control you're attempting… it's not possible," he says before uttering the classic catchphrase: "Life finds a way."
So what does Fallen Kingdom's use of this quote as its tagline tease about the sequel's plot? Well, for one thing, it hints that Goldblum's appearance in the film won't be a mere cameo. The fact that the studio is promoting the character's most iconic line certainly seems to promise that Ian Malcolm will play a sizable role in the story. It also suggests that the dinosaurs will have changed notably from the last time audiences saw them in 2015. Malcolm's speech about control and life is ultimately a paean to evolution:
"If there's one thing the history of evolution has taught us, it's that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers painfully, maybe even dangerously."
What "barriers" will life have crashed through by the time Fallen Kingdom rolls around, and what "new territories" will it have expanded to? The dinosaurs already found a way once to use their amphibian DNA to change their gender and breed in the wild; what other new surprises might be in store within their genetically modified chromosomes? Could they have adapted to the point where different species of dinosaurs are able to breed with each other? When our heroes arrive back on Isla Nublar, will they be greeted by some surprising new dino mashups?
The plot will likely remain tightly under wraps until a trailer debuts sometime between now and next year. But what is certain from here is that the dinosaurs will be more dangerous and unpredictable than ever — so it's a good thing Owen and Claire will have Dr. Ian Malcolm along for the ride next time.