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Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park III, Jurassic World
The franchise that started with a novel
The Jurassic Park franchise started with a novel in 1990 and continues to generate interest and new movies up until now. The rights are owned by Stieven Spielberg backed up by Universal Studios.
At the moment, there are 4 movies, with the first one released in 1993 and the last one in 2015.
The novel that started it all
This is the novel by Michael Crichton that started the whole franchise.
At the time of the first movie, there was only 1 novel, the sequel was written by special request of Stieven Spielberg and the forth movie is not even based on a novel.
A bidding war before the book was published
Even before the book was published, there was already a bidding war on the movie right for the novel.
Warner Bros., Columbia TriStar, 20th Century Fox, and Universal Studios were all interested in the rights. Universal Studios made the winning bid with Stieven Spielberg and 3 years after publishing the novel the movie was released worldwide (1993).
The movie script has many changes compared to the novel, but the main plot remains.
John Hammond managed to clone live dinosaurs from blood trapped in fossils combined with genetic manipulations. He created a theme park where visitors can walk and drive amongst the dinosaurs.
To calm investors, he invited 3 experts into the park to make a judgement on safety conditions and general ideas. Alan Grant (a paleontologist), Ellie Sattler (a paleobotanist) and Ian Malcolm (a chaos theorist) together with Johns grandchildren explore the park when lead programmer Dennis Nedry shuts down the power supply to escape with dinosaur species to sell to a rival business, all dinosaurs break free and the park turns into a dino deathtrap for the visitors who try to make it out alive.
The movie is a pioneer in computer aided animations resulting in lifelike dinosaurs that interact with the main characters. The movie was a huge success for Universal Studios grossing almost a billion in movie theaters, followed by a train of merchandising, computer games and spin-off novels and series.
The sequel on demand: The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Michael Crichton wasn't planning on making a sequel to his Jurassic Park novel. But due to the huge success of the first movie, people started pressuring him to create a second novel based on the same story.
It wasn't until Steven Spielberg himself asked Michael Crichton to make one, that he agreed and started working on The Lost World: A Novel (Jurassic Park). The book was finished and once more a movie was produced based on an altered script. In 1997 The Lost World: Jurassic Park was released to the public.
Most main characters of the first movie see a return in the second movie. The plot is largely the same as well.
The existence of a second island is revealed to Ian Malcolm where dinosaurs are bred before being moved to the actual park. After a hurricane, the island was abandoned and became a free-haven for the dinosaurs to live, breed and flourish.
A team is assembled to investigate how the dinosaurs live in their own natural environment and Ian Malcolm is asked to join the the team, which he does after he learns his girlfriend is already there.
The nephew of John Hammond sends in a team of his own not to study, but to capture the dinosaurs for profit.
Obviously, nothing goes as planned and both teams soon struggle and have to cooperate to stay alive.
The movie was once more a financial success with a box office of more than half a billion. Reviews were mixed, especially focusing on characterization and whether or not the movie was better or worse than the first.
The first movie not based on a novel
The third movie in the series, called Jurassic Park III, was released in 2001 and not based on any novel. The script was written only for the movie.
It wasn't even Steven Spielberg, but Joe Johnston who directed the third Jurassic Park.
The story starts with a boy, Eric, para-sailing at the coastline of Isla Sorna. When his boat goes into the mist, the two occupants disappear and the boy is left alone with his moms boyfriend on what they think is a deserted island.
Alan Grant is persuaded (in return for funding) to take a trip to Isla Sorna with a small plane to shoot some photographs and make a fly-over, instead, the plane makes a landing and it turns out Alan was hired by Erics parents to try to find the boy. The plane gets destroyed by a giant dinosaur and the story continues once more with an escape from the Island.
Jurassic World, the upcoming new release
Jurassic World is the 4th movie in the series, planned to be released in 2015. The story saw light in 2001 during production of the third movie, but due to numerous script rewrites.
The movie is about a new park, Jurassic World, built on top of the remains of the original park.
It's no longer run by John Hammond but by Masrani Corp who owns InGen. A battalion of experts are supposed to ensure a safe and thrilling park for an incredible experience.
After 10 years research, backed by dwindling visitor numbers, scientists figure out how to make a new hybrid dinosaur, which doesn't work out as planned.