'Jurassic World: Dominion': Why Laura Dern was 'fiercely protective' of returning action hero Dr. Ellie Sattler

·Senior Correspondent, Yahoo Entertainment
·4-min read

Chris Pratt has called Jurassic World: Dominion “the Avengers: Endgame” of Jurassic Park movies, which makes sense — albeit on a more modest scale.

The threequel unites the current trilogy’s heroes Owen Grady (Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) with a handful of legacy favorites first introduced in 1993’s Jurassic Park: Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum, who first returned in 2018’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) and Dr. Henry Wu (B.D. Wong, who’s been in all three World movies). It also adds prominent new characters like DeWanda Wise’s pilot/dino smuggler Kayla Watts and Mamadou Athie’s Malcolm protégé Ramsay Cole.

“People who watched Avengers: Endgame [and] Avengers: Infinity War [loved seeing] Ant-Man share the screen with Black Panther, and that’s the kind of thing that you can really only do if you have serialized stories over the course of several decades, which is what we have here,” Pratt, who of course also stars in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, tells us during a recent press day for the film (watch above). “This is 30 years in the making. It is the perfect finale of the Jurassic Park trilogy and the Jurassic World trilogy. They come together. It’s the Jurassic universe.”

JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION, (aka JURASSIC WORLD 3), from left: Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt, Isabella Sermon, DeWanda Wise, 2022. ph: John Wilson / © Universal Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection
Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt, Isabella Sermon and DeWanda Wise in Jurassic World: Dominion. (Photo: John Wilson / © Universal Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection)

Colin Trevorrow, who’s been one of the universe’s main gatekeepers as director of Jurassic World (2015) and Dominion and co-writer of Fallen Kingdom, wouldn’t go so far as to call it the master plan to always bring Dern and Neill back for the grand finale.

“It was a wish, it was a hope and a dream,” he tells us. “And the fact that it came true still kind of astounds me to this day. Jeff Goldblum and I were the first ones to form a relationship because he was in Fallen Kingdom, in the beginning and end… Then I sat with Sam Neill and Laura and just got to ask them, ‘You’ve known these characters for 30 years. Where are you now? Where would you be? What would you care about?’ And we built a movie, really, based on what Laura feels Ellie Sattler would be doing in the world.”

Dern admits she hadn’t much thought about what exactly Ellie Sattler would be doing in the world. She never expected Jurassic to be such a dinosaur of a franchise. In Dominion, she’s divorced with two college-aged kids and now focused on investigating industrial farming methods — which comes in handy when giant locusts being enhanced with dinosaur DNA wreck havoc on America’s farmlands, and the Earth’s ecosystem as a whole. But she explains to us why the collaborative element was so important to her.

JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION, (aka JURASSIC WORLD 3), from left: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, 2022. © Universal Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection
Sam Neill, Laura Dern in Jurassic World: Dominion. (Photo: Universal Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection)

“I think my fierce protectiveness, which Colin was so generous in including me in the collaboration of her today, is from all the fans who’ve come up to me,” she says. “All the young girls and women — and young men — who’ve said, ‘You’re the first female action character that I saw.’ ‘You’re the first female that was equal to the men in a story that I saw at that age.’ ‘I went into science or tech or politics because of you.’ That has moved me so much. So I felt protective because she’s meant so much to so many people who’ve talked to me about her.

“I feel like I needed to be the guardian for all of us. And Colin and [executive producer Steven Spielberg] felt the exact same way. And it was such a seamless and amazing collaborative, open discussion about who she is as a woman and who she is in the area of science and activism today.”

Watch our full interview with Trevorrow and the cast — and see who can name the most dinosaurs — in the video above.

Jurassic World: Dominion opens Friday.

— Video produced by Anne Lilburn and edited by Jimmie Rhee

Watch the trailer:

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