Sam Neill has revealed his involvement in Jurassic World: Dominion amounts to a lot more than just making a cameo.
His character, palaeontologist Dr. Alan Grant, is returning to the Jurassic franchise for the first time since 2001’s Jurassic Park III, for the in-production sequel. It also stars Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern, his co-stars from Steven Spielberg’s 1993 Jurassic Park, alongside Jurassic World stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard.
“We’re all the way through the film, Jeff [Goldblum], and me, and Laura [Dern]” Neill tells Yahoo Movies UK while promoting his new film Ride Like A Girl, out this week on PVOD, but he admits he “probably won’t be running quite as fast as I was 27 years ago!”
Jurassic fans were largely disappointed by the return of Goldblum’s character Ian Malcolm in 2018’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. His name was heavily plastered over marketing for JA Bayona’s sequel, but he only appeared in two short scenes that bookended the film.
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Nonetheless, Neill says he’s “raring to go” on the latest instalment of the franchise. Production on Colin Trevorrow’s film was put on a hiatus on 13 March, ten days prior to the UK's full lockdown, and is due to resume at Pinewood Studios on 6 July. The UK studio is reported to have spent in the region of $5 million to keep their facilities COVID-19 free.
Neill says three of the film’s stars are currently in quarantine ahead of the production restarted, and he hopes to join them in “about ten days”.
He says he can’t wait to work alongside his “dear friends” Goldblum and Dern again, as well as his new co-stars, adding that the entire cast will be in quarantine together while the production continues.
“We’re all going to be living in the same joint for three or four months, so that’s going to be fun. And everybody loves Chris and Bryce as well, so I think we’ll be a very happy bunch.”
In February this year, Chris Pratt – who plays dino-trainer Owen Grady – told Ellen DeGeneres that Dominion would be the Avengers: Endgame of Jurassic movies.
"It's got everybody," Chris explained. "It's got pretty much everybody in it.
"Maybe I just blew it, but I don't care. All the cast from the original Jurassic Park is coming back. It's going to feel very much like how Endgame brought everything together for Marvel."
"It's a massive movie, it's a big movie. We'll be all over the world," he added. "The story is really, really engaging, really cool. It's gonna be big."
Jurassic World: Dominion, the third in the franchise reboot, is scheduled for release in June 2021.