“It was a bit of a lesson to me,” he admits. “I took it on knowing no matter what it was we’d be able to figure it out. I think it was less about the actual quality of that [earlier] script than it was that I wanted to make an original film that I felt was my own. Maybe I overestimated my ability to direct just anything, someone else’s story.”
They put the new version in front of Spielberg and asked if they could make that movie, to which Spielberg said yes, though he pushed production a year out because of how massive it had become in scope.
If there’s one thing that made Trevorrow an obvious choice to take on a tent-pole film, it’s how quickly he adapted from indie-sized to blue-sky ambitions.
Eight days before pre-production was to begin on location in Hawaii, back in L.A. Trevorrow gave a pre-vis presentation -- outlining the entire story with storyboards and special effects renderings -- to a room full of Universal execs, financiers and Spielberg (via satellite). While this is a standard formality for the suits, a source tells ET wild clapping ensued, and some attendees even gave a standing ovation.
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“They were quite pleased,” Trevorrow says with a smile. “It felt really good, but I was very confident by then. I had pre-vis’ed a movie and designed it with excellent animators and by then we were going strong. I knew what we wanted to do. I knew the characters and believed in the actors who were going to play them.”
Despite the literally giant scale of the production, Trevorrow held tight to a theory that he’d formed back on the set ofSafety.
“Intimacy between humans need not be relegated to independent film,” he says. “Real characters can exist no matter what the scale of a movie is. That almost became a mandate for this movie. While I was presenting something that has large-scale, scary and exciting dinosaur action sequences, it still has characters who feel like real human beings and moments that are small. Small moments can coexist with big moments, and even back right up against each other.”