Last night, the Twittersphere had a minor eruption when word began circulating that "Jurassic Park IV" might possibly be canceled. The film’s Digital Asset Manager Todd Smoyer and Concept Artist Dean Sherriff sent out (since deleted) tweets (view them via /Film) indicating that the movie was "on hold" or possibly worse. Well, the good news is that it hasn't been canceled, but there does seem to be some minor turmoil behind-the-scenes.
According to the Jurassic Park IV fansite, the movie is still in production but is on a "temporary hiatus" (a contradiction of terms, surely?) so the studio can undergo "restructuring of the guard," as there are apparently some issues involved with the development. Nope, it's not the script and director Colin Trevorrow is still on board, and 80% of the work from the Art Department is done. So what on Earth is the hold up then? Well, Universal supposedly wants to the movie to be even more epic than the previously planned epic-ness (we're not making this up), which has led to some disagreements behind closed doors, with some of the production crew being let go. In short, could the studio be asking far too much from a movie that is already under a tight deadline to meet a release date next summer?
It's certainly a challenge. It will be a major leap for Trevorrow whose previous effort was the small indie "Safety Not Guaranteed," and with 3D in the mix, no casting details yet and the movie apparently still at location scouting stages, are the demands being placed on this too much? Yes and no. Super short turnarounds are not uncommon anymore (see "The Wolverine" and "X-Men: First Class" as recent examples), and as far as we can tell, 'JP4' has been in pre-production longer than most before it was made public. It seems the foundation is there, but it's a question of scale at this point.
So...consider it a bump in the road for now. But as usual, stuff doesn't stay secret long and we're likely to hear more about what's really going on very soon. See you on June 13, 2014?
Update: Looks like where's there's smoke, there's fire. Universal has released a statement and while they haven't set a new date, it's clear that 'JP4' is getting pushed back and our guess is sometime into 2015.
In coordination with filmmakers, Universal has decided to release Jurassic Park 4 at a later date giving the studio and filmmakers adequate time to bring audiences the best possible version of the fourth installment in Universal’s beloved franchise. We could not be more excited about the vision that Colin Trevorrow has created for this film, and we look forward to watching as he and the producers create another great chapter in this franchise's storied history.