Old "Jurassic Park" stars are descending on "Jurassic Park 3" with a vengeance. Back in June, Sam Neill signed on for the third film and now news has come from a variety of sources (rounded up by IGN Filmforce) that Laura Dern will also return.
Dern will reprise her role as Dr. Ellie Sattler, but there's some question as to how significant a part she'll play. Rumors have circulated saying she'll appear in a cameo spot, but USA Today says Dern will have a larger role toward the beginning of the film. In addition to Neill, Dern will join cast members William H. Macy and Tea Leoni. Jeff Goldblum fans will be disheartened by a report at Coming Attractions that says Goldblum will not be in "JP3." Dern, once engaged to the ever-wacky Goldblum, won't be shedding any tears over this development.
"JP3" may share cast members from the first film, but much of the creative team has been reworked. Steven Spielberg, perhaps sensing the need for a new perspective (or too busy rolling in his mounds of money), has handed the directing reigns to Joe Johnston, the director of "October Sky," "Jumanji" and "The Rocketeer." Upcomingmovies.com makes an interesting point about Johnston, noting the skill he's displayed at filming flying sequences a skill that might come in handy in rumored "JP3" scenes involving soaring dinosaurs.
The writing team has also been retooled. Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, the duo that brought "Election" to life, have been working on the script. After suffering through the lumbering incoherence of "The Lost World," audiences will be well served by the wit Payne and Taylor displayed in "Election's" scathing screenplay.
Unfortunately, details as to what Payne and Taylor have been writing about are hard to find. Some reports have pegged "JP3" as a prequel to "The Lost World"reports catalyzed by a supposed Australian newspaper interview with Sam Neillbut the original source of these reports is hard to verify, so this bit could have the validity of stale Raptor dung. Erroneous interviews aside, one thing that has been confirmed is "JP3's" release date: July 18, 2001.