With Jurassic World generating well over $1.6 billion and making one of the biggest opening splashes in box office history, we all knew a sequel was coming. Lead Chris Pratt even signed on for a sequel just about a year ago. And now, Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow and producer Frank Marshall have confirmed the sequel’s director: indie Spanish filmmaker Juan Antonio Bayona.
— IMDb (@IMDb) April 18, 2016
Just who is J.A. Bayona?
According to reports, he has had a rather prolific career. Before jumping into the pool of Hollywood, Bayona’s background consisted of music videos, commercials, and short films. His debut film was 2007’s Spanish supernatural horror mystery film The Orphanage, which became more of a success than Pan’s Labyrinth, another Spanish film.
Since then, Bayona was considered to direct the The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, but was not interested (the film has a 49 percent on Rotten Tomatoes). Additionally, Bayona was in discussion for the directorial role of the World War Z sequel, but he denied that, ostensibly to take this other, perhaps more profitable sequel Jurassic World 2.
A few months ago, Colin Trevorrow was confirmed to direct Star Wars Episode IX. Since Trevorrow was on a much bigger project, he had to leave the role of directing Jurassic World 2 to someone else, but he didn’t want just anyone to direct it. In collaboration with Jurassic World screenwriter Derek Conolly, Trevorrow wanted a good script before searching for a director. Since the two have confirmed the director, we can assume the script is good. Interestingly, both Trevorrow and Marshall are fans of J.A. Bayona.
Proud to collaborate with one of my favorite filmmakers on the next Jurassic adventure. JA Bayona, it’s all yours.
— Colin Trevorrow (@colintrevorrow) April 18, 2016
Thrilled to announce JA Bayona is on board to direct JW2. Welcome to the team @FilmBayona!
— Frank Marshall (@LeDoctor) April 18, 2016
And how could you not be a fan? His most successful project, The Impossible, starring Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts), and Spider-Man (Tom Holland), currently holds an 81 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Furthermore, the film received a perfect rating from acclaimed and influential film critic Roger Ebert — no easy feat, mind you — and a plethora of other accolades. The film also earned four times its budget: it had a budget of approximately $45 million and grossed an estimated $180 million worldwide. If that’s not a success, then I don’t know what is.
Having a new director in charge of a sequel is an alarming thing. However, Colin Trevorrow will still have a small hand in the project. As aforementioned, he wrote the script with Derek Conolly. How else Trevorrow will be involved with the Jurassic World 2 project is yet to be seen, but with a track record like Bayona’s, the film is in good hands. Fans will see when the film releases mid-2018.
— Flickering Myth (@flickeringmyth) April 18, 2016
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]