It's official! Jurassic World 2 will be directed by J.A. Bayona. The news was confirmed on the Jurassic World Twitter account. The filmmaker was rumored to be a frontrunner for the gig earlier this year. Original Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow dropped out of directing the anticipated sequel back in 2015, after it was announced that he'd be taking the helm on Star Wars: Episode IX, the final chapter in the current Force Awakens trilogy. Says the Twitter account.

"We are pleased to announce that @filmbayona will direct the JURASSIC WORLD SEQUEL. 6.22.18."

J.A. Bayona was also committed to directing World War Z 2, which arrives next summer. Because of this, many believed he'd have to pass on Jurassic World 2. But earlier this year, Bayona decided to bail on the Brad Pitt zombie thriller. This opened up his schedule for this dinosaur thriller, which will continue the 'weapons of mass destruction' story thread introduced in last year's blockbuster.

Jurassic World 2 is already set for June 2018. No official story details have been announced yet. It is confirmed that original Jurassic World stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard will be back to reprise their roles. No other cast members have been announced at this time. It has been heavily speculated that this next sequel in the Jurassic Park franchise could bring back one of the stars from the 1994 original, with Jeff Goldblum saying he'd return if asked.

J.A. Bayona is best known for directing the 2012 true-life drama The Impossible, starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor as parents struggling to survive a massive flood. He also directed the 2007 horror thriller The Orphanage as well as several episodes of Showtime's Penny Dreadful. This October, his latest movie A Monster Calls will arrive in theaters. It stars Liam Neeson, Felicity Jones and Sigourney Weaver in a story about a young boy who tries to escape the pain of his mother's passing by stepping into a fantasy world.

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While Colin Trevorrow might not be returning to direct, he will produce the movie. He is also co-writing the screenplay with Derek Connolly. The pair worked on the first Jurassic World together. It is a quote from Sam Neil's Alan Grant in the original Jurassic Park that serves as inspiration for this sequel script.

"Dinosaurs and man, two species separated by 65 million years of evolution have just been suddenly thrown back into the mix together. How can we possibly have the slightest idea what to expect?"

Frank Marshall and original Jurassic Park director Steven Spielberg return to produce this follow-up. Jurassic World earned over $650 million at the domestic box office when it opened last summer. It pulled in grosses over $1.6 billion worldwide. Dinosaurs will roam the earth again in the summer of 2018.

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange