Entertainment & Arts

Jurassic World 2 hires Impossible director JA Bayona

JA Bayona Image copyright AP
Image caption Juan Antonio Bayona was previously signed up to direct the sequel to World War Z but left the project in January

Juan Antonio Bayona is to direct the sequel to Jurassic World, film company Universal has announced.

Bayona will take over from Colin Trevorrow, who successfully rebooted the dinosaur adventure franchise in 2015.

Spanish-born Bayona previously directed tsunami drama The Impossible, which earned Naomi Watts an Oscar nomination.

Jurassic World 2 will feature the stars of the first film, Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard.

The announcement was made by Universal on Twitter saying: "We are pleased to announce that [JA Bayona] will direct the Jurassic World sequel." It also confirmed a release date of 22 June 2018.

The film's plot details are currently unknown but Trevorrow - who will co-write and act as executive producer on the new film - has previously said the sequel will not be like its predecessor.

Image copyright Universal
Image caption Jurassic World made more than $1.7bn (£1.2bn) worldwide and stands as history's fourth most successful film to date

"It will get to be a different kind of film," he said in September in an interview with Gamespot.

"The audience has given us permission to a certain extent to take this to the next level, and I don't necessarily mean in scale.

"I feel very strongly that it's not about more dinosaurs or bigger and better dinosaurs, it's about using this as a starting point for a much larger story about our relationship with these animals."

Either way, Bayona will be hoping the new film will emulate the success of Trevorrow's work, which went on to earn more than $1.7bn (£1.2bn) worldwide.

The film ranks as the fourth most successful movie of all time, following after Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Titanic and Avatar.

The plot resumed the original film's story of philanthropist John Hammond's dream to create a theme park filled with real dinosaurs, which disastrously managed to escape.

Still situated on Isla Nublar, Hammond's dream has come true and the the island now boasts a fully functioning state-of-the-art theme park attracting some 20,000 visitors a day.

As visitor numbers start to decline, the park's scientists decide to create a new hybrid dinosaur to boost interest - with inevitable consequences.

Speculation over Bayona's next project has been in the air since January when he stepped down from directing Paramount's sequel to World War Z.

The company then issued a statement saying: "Because of pre-existing film commitments, Bayona is not able to make World War Z this year and it is our ambition to do so.

"He is a wonderful director and we hope to work with him soon."

Bayona is at present finishing up on A Monster Calls, an adaptation of a Patrick Ness book, starring Liam Neeson and Felicity Jones.

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