Jurassic Park 4, the blockbuster that will charge across cinema screens in June 2014, will feature a previously unseen dinosaur, but none of the creatures will have feathers.
Consulting paleontologist Jack Horner has said that the film will have a new dinosaur but added to the mystery by saying: “I can’t actually tell you who that will be.”
The appetite for the new Jurassic Park film will be enormous.The original film, made in 1993, was adapted from a Michael Crichton novel and won three Oscars, taking in £800million at the box office globally and has just been re-released in 3D. Jurassic Park 3D, which opened in the US on Friday, was fourth in the box office ratings list. The conversion to 3D took more than 700 artists over nine months to complete.
But the upcoming Jurassic Park 4 has already caused controversy among palaeontologists, who are annoyed that the dinosaurs will not have feathers. Evidence has been growing since Steven Spielberg made the first Jurassic film that many dinosaurs were in fact feathered.
Dinosaurs have long been depicted as leathery-skinned lizards (including in the Jurassic sequels of 1997 and 2001) but many, including Velociraptors and some Tyrannosaurs, had feathers. Palaeontologist Darren Naish, from the University of Southampton, called the film’s decision not to have feathers “a disregard for knowledge,” adding, “It helps perpetuate the notion that dinosaurs were all scaly dragons, alien and unlike modern animals”.
Bumps on the forearm bone of Velociraptor fossils suggest the predators were adorned with fluffy feathers and the dinosaurs, portrayed as horse-size in Jurassic Park, were actually not much bigger than a modern-day turkey. Feathers are problematic to render in CGI, but the past few years have seen progress. Pixar’s Up featured a bird with iridescent feathers, and the armies of CGI owls in the 2010 film Legend of the Guardians had bright feathers.
JPIV is set for release on June 13, 2014. And if you cant wait to see more dino-carnage on the big screen, you can always check out the re-release of the first film in 3D…