Jurassic World Beat Sheet
Written by: Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Colin Trevorrow & Derek Connolly; story by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver; based on characters by Michael Chricton
Directed by: Colin Trevorrow
Genre: Monster in the House
Opening Image: The eye of a baby dinosaur peers out of its egg as it hatches. This creature will wreak havoc on the park and will change things forever.
Set-Up: Brothers Gray and Zach (Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson) say goodbye to their parents as they go to visit Jurassic World and see their aunt, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), who manages the park. In her thesis world, Claire meets with investors so the park can create bigger attractions and make more money. Too busy to meet her nephews, she has her assistant Zara escort them instead. In the control room, technical operator Lowery (Jake Johnson) laments the corporatization of the park, showing his respect for the original Jurassic Park while reminding Claire that the “assets” are actual animals.
Theme Stated: Claire meets with park owner Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan), who has honored John Hammond’s dying wish to see a functional park. As he demonstrates his helicopter-flying prowess, he declares, “The key to a happy life is to accept that you are never actually in control.” Even with all of its advancements, can Jurassic World do any better at controlling these prehistoric creatures than the original park?
Catalyst: Claire shows Masrani the paddock for their newest creation, the Indominus Rex. This creature, created through genetic manipulation by InGen scientist Dr. Wu, is the park’s attempt to avoid a stasis = death situation; in order for the park to continue to be profitable, the park needed to create something different, something bigger than the T. Rex.
Debate: Masrani wants Claire to make sure the paddock can contain the Indominus Rex and asks her to have Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) examine it for possible issues. Owen, demonstrating his ability to train and control a pack of velociraptors, rescues a worker from them in a “save the cat” moment to top all others. InGen’s head of security, Vic Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio), wants to apply the controlled raptors for military use, believing they are simply animals without rights.
While Zach and Gray abandon Zara to see the T. Rex and the aquatic Mosasaurus, Claire visits Owen to recruit him. Owen criticizes her for treating the dinosaurs like assets that need to be controlled rather than creatures that need to be respected. The two visit the paddock, discovering that the Indominus has seemingly climbed out of its enclosure. Claire races away and alerts operations while Owen enters the paddock. Even though there is no thermal signature from the Indominus, the tracking implant suggests that it is still in the paddock with them.
Break into Two: The Indominus Rex reveals itself and escapes its paddock. This is Claire’s antithesis world, one in which she does not have control over the park’s attractions.
B Story: The B Story is reflected through the relationship between Zach and Gray, whose parents are divorcing.
Fun and Games: The Indominus Rex is tracked by the Asset Containment Unit (ACU), but all members are killed as they learn it can camouflage itself, qualities derived from its cuttlefish DNA. The Indominus also displays intelligence, having removed its tracking implant. Masrani confronts Dr. Wu, who insists that InGen will not disclose the complete genetic makeup of the Indominus.
Zach and Gray board the gyrosphere ride moments before Claire shuts the attractions down. Claire tries to call Zach, but the call fails. She enlists the help of Owen to locate the boys, who have ignored the order to return. Instead, the brothers venture into the restricted area, where the Indominus attacks them. They narrowly escape, plunging into the water below.
Midpoint: The brothers venture deeper into the park, coming upon the jungle-claimed remains of the original visitor’s center. Zach realizes how he has been treating Gray and focuses on comforting him as they try to get an old jeep started. A and B stories cross as their survival and their relationship become one. The stakes are raised as the Indominus moves closer to where the people are.
Bad Guys Close In: Claire and Owen find a herd of slaughtered apatosaurs; the Indominus is killing for sport. They also locate the destroyed gyrosphere but are relieved to find that the boys have survived, tracking them to the old visitor’s center moments after the boys have driven away. Claire and Owen are attacked by the Indominus before it heads toward the aviary. Hoskins presses Masrani to use the trained raptors to track the Indominus Rex as InGen security forces arrive on the island. With the remaining ACU members, Masrani pilots a helicopter to try and bring down the dinosaur, but pterosaurs fly out and attack, causing his helicopter to crash. Now freed, the pterosaurs fly toward the Jurassic World visitor’s center as Zach and Gray arrive safely at the gates. Chaos erupts in the main plaza as pterosaurs attack visitors. The park is out of control as Claire and Owen find the boys and protect them.
All Is Lost: After so much loss of control, all is lost to the Indominus Rex. Visitors are injured and evacuating. Hoskins brings InGen’s security team into the control room and takes over. The whiff of death is in the air as the visitors’ lives are at stake, and it is clear that the park will never recover from this.
Dark Night of the Soul: Hoskins wants to use the raptors to track the Indominus Rex. Owen reluctantly agrees, as long as no harm comes to the raptors. Claire begins to show change by caring for the boys and not just the control of the park, and while Zach comforts Gray, the A and B Stories come together.
Break into Three: Owen uses the raptors to begin tracking the Indominus, a synthesis world of using a degree of control with respect for their wild nature.
Finale: The raptors locate their target, but as the Indominus Rex emerges, it is clear in the high-tower surprise what InGen was keeping secret: raptor DNA was part of its make-up, the “sin” that sets the “monster” loose in the “house.” It communicates with the raptors, becoming the new alpha. The raptors turn on Owen and his team, attacking them as they flee back to headquarters. Claire and the boys are pursued by raptors but escape to find Owen. As the four flee to the main plaza, the raptors find them, but Owen reestablishes his bond with them before the Indominus arrives, and the raptors attack it instead. While Owen protects the boys, Claire digs down deep, realizing that she cannot control these “assets” but must respect them as wild animals. She asks Lowery to open the T. Rex paddock and lures it to the Indominus. The two giants fight as a final raptor joins in. As the fight nears the water, the Mosasaurus delivers a final bite, dragging the Indominus with it into the depths.
Final Image: At the park, the T. Rex ascends to the roof of the headquarters, asserting its place as king of the dinosaurs with a bellowing roar.
Check out the beat sheet for Jurassic Park.
- Bryan Reeves
I saw a different Theme Stated. In the control room there is a discussion about the Indominus Rex. I don’t remember who makes the statement, but the actor is looking directly at Ms. Howard and says, “She’s ready.” The ensuing thematic debate is to determine if Claire is ready to meet the challenges of a life outside the theme park. She proves her mettle in a several ways. She “slays” the previous version of Mr. Pratt in their conversation about their first date, and then later when we see she rescues him from the pterodactyl. The Owen that “resurrects” from this has a new found respect and admiration for Claire. In her telephone conversation with her sister, she ends it with the phrase, “Bye, Mom”. She rescues the children and finally she demonstrates her new identity when she leads the T Rex into the final battle. In the Final Image she is the one who walks away from the theme park and is ready to take the next step in her life.
Good job with the beat sheet. I always like to read your analysis.
- Cory Milles
Tom, thanks for the compliments. I agree with you 100%… the movie is infused with Fun and Games. From the beginning to the end, it’s a blast to watch, especially if you’re a die-hard fan of the original. The original is perhaps my favorite movie of all time due to the sheer fun it was. Watching this sequel, I felt like I was back in 1993 again, feeling that same enjoyment. And you’re certainly dead-on in your point that the there are echoes of the original throughout. The soundtrack has slight hints at the original, but remains its own. It contains just enough notes from the original to pay homage, but never copies it. From the old visitor’s center to opening paddock 9, everything was directed at letting the audience enjoy themselves and get lost in the park. And speaking of Fun & Games, the entire third act was a wonderful example of how to have fun with a concept and allow the audience to enjoy in that fun. I can’t stop listening to that part of the soundtrack!
Bryan, you have a wonderful observation. I hadn’t seen that angle of the Theme, but it makes sense. I had concluded that it was about control because that seems to be what Claire’s character seemed focused on. In her thesis world, everything was in control, run in that super-huge control room. Only when things got out of hand did she have to think outside her normal ways. But I think it goes hand in hand with your idea of the theme, of course; Claire is the character who changes the most.
Another reason for my choice of theme was based on articles I read after viewing it; the director had stated that one of the themes of the movie was focused on the excessive corporatization of things. That, supposedly, is why the park has a lot of product placement; I read somewhere that he wanted it to look like a lot of corporate sponsorship, all of the park becoming about money and controlling nature. The second time I viewed it, I noticed many more references about control, although this might be purely coincidental. Still, when I go to see it a third time, I will definitely watch it through the lens of your theme. Thanks!
- Johann Botha
I think the theme was, “if something chases you, run” The line the two boys’ mother delivers right before they leave.
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Well done, Cory. Great analysis. I would only add that there’s a lot of Fun & Games going on here, starting with the writers and the premise: how do we succeed by creating the best of all sequels to Jurassic Park? By going back to the original, of course, and taking the premise and escalating it in a relevant, timely way, in this case using the insatiable desire to “top oneself” that rules the roost in movies and show business in general and applying that logic to the dinosaur park business. I think they did an admirable job executing that basic idea throughout the entire movie. There are echoes of the original in almost every scene, and yet it’s amplified, usually in an organic way, and right up to the very end where the biggest topper of all swallows the Indominus. Fun & Games. I also think much of the appeal of this movie is in the casting and performance of Chris Pratt as Grady, an actor who typifies a Fun & Games appeal. Whether it’s in Guardians of the Galaxy or here, so far his screen persona is consistently warm, winning, clever, sexy and cool. He is just so damn likable, and always seems to be having such a good time being in a damn movie. No wonder his name is in play to resurrect the Indiana Jones franchise. May it be so. Fun & Games! Whenever I think of that phrase I thank Blake for gifting us (along with all else) this awesome contribution to the writer’s lexicon, an invaluable tool to apply to every aspect of writing and storytelling. Long live F&G!