MALCOLM. MALCOLM! WE’VE GOT MALCOLM HERE!
We’re on a roll now!
Last night, just days after Frank Marshall’s announcement that filming for Jurassic World 2 is nearing the half-way point, and James Cromwell’s somewhat concerning comments about the sequel, the Jurassic community was hit with an incredible bombshell: Jeff Goldblum will return as fan-favourite chaotician Dr. Ian Malcolm in 2018.
While there’s absolutely no indication of the extent of Malcolm’s involvement in the story, this is incredibly exciting news; I’m infinitely more interested in catching up with Malcolm than I am Jurassic World’s Owen and Claire.
These days, I love Jurassic’s resident chaotician, but he’s been something of an acquired taste. Back in 1997, my six-year-old self was, frankly, disgusted to find him in The Lost World.
‘YOU’LL HAVE TO GET USED TO DR. MALCOLM…’
At the time, unaware of the novels from which the films had sprung, I couldn’t understand why they’d brought back this sarcastic, black-clad, fun-spoiling naysayer over characters able to appreciate the wonder of Hammond’s dinosaurs —
— and as much as I’ve come to appreciate Malcolm in the years since, some of that old bitterness still lingers.
I’ve never been able to fully understand people’s fervent desire for him to return. Time and again, I’ve read — or heard — that he’s the only character whose presence really makes sense in the current films, and time and again, I’ve disagreed.
Sure, he’d probably turn up at some point to remind everyone how much he hates being right all the time — and the foundations for his return were definitely laid in Jurassic World — but how great would it’ve been to see Sarah Harding as a behavioural expert at Jurassic World, or Ellie Sattler hounded by some random news reporter to comment on what happened at the park? I can imagine tons of scenarios in which various classic characters show up, some a little more ‘out there’ than others, but all of them, I think, just as valid as Malcolm’s reappearance.
Like I said, though, I’ve come to appreciate him — gotten used to Dr. Malcolm, you might say. I much prefer the version of his character presented in Jurassic Park, but I love his subtle sarcasm in The Lost World, and can’t pretend that my immediate reaction upon seeing news of his return was dismay; I gasped, said, ‘Oh, my God,’ and thrust my iPad under the nose of the person nearest to me, eager to share the news.
I’m thrilled that he’ll be back, but nervous, too. I’ve made no secret of my disdain for Jurassic World’s writing and my fears about the quality of its sequel’s. Now, with such an iconic character at the mercy of that writing, that concern has doubled.
Needless to say, I wait with increasingly bated breath for the reveal of that coveted synopsis (such a massive announcement makes me wonder if that might, in fact, be right around the corner). Whatever becomes of Malcolm in 2018, however — good or ill — his return does have one definitive positive: it’ll finally silence those determined to label Jurassic World a reboot.
It’s looking like this one will indeed be as much Jurassic Park 5 as it is Jurassic World 2.