Spielberg considering return to Jurassic Park

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Umpteen years after rumours of one first surfaced, and only a couple of years shy of the last denial, talk of a “Jurassic Park 4″ has again reared it’s menacing Megapnosaurus head.

Heat Vision says “JP” director Steven Spielberg is probing the mind of “Thor” scribe to see whether he’s any ideas that might service the template of a fourth “Jurassic Park”. At this stage it’s just talk – like most internet rumours.

The trade reports :

Both Universal, which released the trilogy, and Spielberg’s camp stress that no one has been engaged to write a script and that the discussions have been purely exploratory. But the idea is kind of a no-brainer.

The franchise, born of the late Michael Crichton’s 1990 novel, has been in stuck in amber since 2001, when Joe Johnston directed Jurassic Park III from a script by Peter Buchman, Jim Taylor and Alexander Payne. That last entry signaled the series’ fading fortunes, as it grossed just $369 million worldwide — Jurassic Park and The Lost World: Jurassic Park grossed $915 million and $619 million, respectively.

Spielberg’s original 1993 film adaptation, which came on the heels of James Cameron’s groundbreaking Terminator 2: Judgment Day, greatly advanced CGI technology (courtesy of ILM) in its depiction of colossal dinosaurs re-animated in the modern day. With the recent rebirth of 3D and soaring improvements in digital design marshaled by everyone from Cameron to Pixar, Jurassic Park is ripe for evolution into a 21st century phenomenon.

And Universal could use the revived sci-fi tentpole.The Fast and the Furious franchise remains healthy, but The Mummy has lost momentum, the Bourne series lost star Matt Damon (a reboot with Jeremy Renner is in the works) and Van Helsing, The Wolfman and Land of the Lost never caught fire. Battleship remains a gamble for summer 2012 but could spark a new alien-related franchise.

Stampeding dinosaurs endangering humans, fighting each other and smashing things never gets old, and Cameron showed how far an ambitious filmmaker can push an integrated, immersive 3D world with Avatar. A new Spielberg-produced Jurassic Park that takes full advantage of those tools could be (pre)historic.

At one stage there was talk of “Jurassic Park 3″ helmer Joe Johnston directing a fourth (and possibly fifth and sixth) instalment, but with he now in bed with Marvel on the “Captain America” series and Spielberg rumoured to be interested in directing the new “Jurassic Park” himself, all previous plans for this particular film are probably now off.