This article was originally published on on May 3, 2022. To read the original, click here

The ending of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom promised a very different sequel. In the final moments of the 5th film in the long-running franchise that started with Jurassic Park, Maisie triumphantly decided that these animals deserved to live and freed them to roam the world. Jurassic World: Dominion picks up that thread and returns to a world now changed by these new dinosaurs roaming free. There are a number of new dinosaurs being introduced to the franchise with this film, including one of the largest carnivores that ever walked the Earth: the Giganotosaurus.

Fans who saw the IMAX screening of F9: The Fast Saga will probably remember the Jurassic World: Prologue that was available to see for a limited time. It introduced audiences to the prehistoric version of the Giganotosaurus (It’s the one that killed poor Rexy in her past life). Recently director Colin Trevorrow expanded more on what the Giganotosaurus’ role in Jurassic World: Dominion will be by explaining that the enormous dinosaur just “wants to watch the world burn”. With this quote, Trevorrow is channeling Michael Cain’s Alfred Pennyworth from The Dark Knight. He explained that he wanted something that felt like the Joker. But that’s certainly an odd way to describe something that is essentially an animal.

Interestingly, this goes back to a struggle that the Jurassic World films have been facing since the first reboot in 2015. An issue that might have even started in Jurassic World III. Villain dinosaurs have always been important for the franchise. In order to go through any sort of challenges, characters like Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) have to go up against some of the most dangerous predators this world has ever seen. The first two films, Jurassic Park and The Lost World: Jurassic Park relied on the Velociraptors with a healthy dose of Tyrannosaurus Rex action. Not wanting to go back to that well for a third time, director Joe Johnston and writers Peter Buchman, Alexander Payne, and Jim Taylor, used the Spinosaurus and had him kill the Tyrannosaurus Rex to show how dangerous this new dinosaur could be.

Talk of a 4th Jurassic Park film started almost immediately after Jurassic Park III was released. From the beginning, talk of hybrid dinosaurs had dominated the discussions around the film. Initially, concept art pointed to the idea that there would be human/dinosaur hybrids that would be used in some sort of war scenario. Eventually, Colin Trevorrow came on board the project, and that idea evolved into the Indominus Rex. Not wanting to repeat the mistakes fans felt Jurassic Park III made by killing the Tyrannosaurus Rex and a plotline that relied heavily on hero Velociraptors, the Indominous Rex was created to fill the role of the “villain” dinosaur. The Indominous Rex was a large predator that was exploring its place in the world and was created because Masrani, the company that took over InGen, wanted to create something that would scare the visitors who they felt were beginning to get bored with the standard dinosaurs. It was an idea that was handled to the best of their abilities.

In total, the franchise has created three hybrid dinosaurs. One being the Scorpious Rex from the Netflix animated spin-off Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous. Another included the Indo-Raptor from Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom which was portrayed as a truly evil and unhinged monster. Quite honestly, Indo-Raptor was not unlike the Joker. It’s refreshing that the creative team for Jurassic World: Dominion didn’t want to go back to the hybrid dinosaur route and going bigger makes a certain amount of sense, so it can go up against Rexy. But giving it the kind of motivation that villains in superhero films have seems like an odd choice for something that has something more in common with a crocodile than a person.

These carnivorous dinosaurs see humans and other animals as food. They’re essentially predators at the top of the food chain. Describing one of the newer dinosaurs like the “Joker” of the Jurassic World franchise creates the idea that it’s an intensely smart and calculating creature that assigns preemptive thought to everything that it does. But, it’s not like the Giganotosaurus has some sort of endgame plan. The franchise isn’t a superhero story and it’s not one with supervillains. The Raptors from the first two films wanted to eat the main characters, the Spinosaurus wanted to eat the main characters, the Indominous Rex and the Indo-Raptor wanted to kill the main characters, and so on. So why is the Giganotosaurus the one that is assigned something more than what has come before? What make’s this animal so special?

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