Something is stirring in Jurassic Park, everyone’s favourite genetically modified dinosaur action franchise. After much speculation about whether Jurassic Park IV would be going ahead at all, it was announced this week that screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver have signed up to work on the film, suggesting that the release of a fourth sequel may be in the offing within the next few years.

It may not feel like it, but it has now been over a decade since the release of Jurassic Park III, the last dinosaur-packed instalment of the franchise (it has been almost 20 years since the series first roared its way onto our screens). Dino-mastermind Steven Spielberg, who directed the first two Jurassic Park films and produced the third, has been hinting about the production of a fourth film since 2002. Over the past ten years, the film has suffered through numerous script setbacks (as well as the death in 2008 of series creator Michael Crichton, who wrote the novels the first two films were adapted from), but, with the recent appointment of two new screenwriters, it looks as though life will once again find a way for the classic series.

Screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver will be bringing their talents to the fourth film; their selection is generally being hailed as an intelligent move judging from their work on the recent science fiction prequel The Rise of the Planet of the Apes. It looks as though Joe Johnston, director of Jurassic Park III (plus visual effects designer on the original Star Wars films) will return at the helm, with Spielberg once again producing.

Speculation concerning the plot of the new film, as well as who will star in it, has been widespread. Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum have all expressed interest in reprising their roles, and Richard Attenborough (who played eccentric dinosaur enthusiast John Hammond in films one and two) has also been approached to star, but as yet nothing has been officially confirmed. In 2010, Johnston suggested that Jurassic Park IV may be the beginning of a second trilogy for the series, but with the ongoing nature of the film’s development it is impossible to say for sure; the film may yet turn out to be a reboot, a spin-off, or simply another sequel.

Jurassic Park IV is slated to be released within the next two or three years, but considering the erratic development already experienced by the film, this estimate may well change. Meanwhile, for its 20th anniversary next year, the original and classic Jurassic Park is all set for a 3D re-release on July 19th 2013.

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