Casting is underway for Jurassic World 2. Universal took its time in developing the fifth Jurassic Park movie in total and sequel to last summer’s massive box office hit, but now director J.A. Bayona is getting ready to roll cameras, and he’s started to assemble his ensemble. Per Variety, Rafe Spall (Prometheus, Hot Fuzz) and Toby Jones (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Captain America: The First Avenger) are now in talks to join the untitled Jurassic World sequel, which has Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard reprising their roles from the last film. Details are being kept under wraps, but apparently the production is also getting ready to test for two other key roles in the film.
Jurassic World served as a “rebootquel” in that it acknowledged the events that came before it (mainly the first Jurassic Park) but also set up its own, new protagonists. In the open and thriving Jurassic World theme park, Howard played operations manager Claire Dearing while Pratt played Navy vet and velociraptor expert Owen Grady. The two were spurred into action when the park’s newest creation, a genetically modified super-dinosaur, broke out and started killing any and everything in its path, leaving the island run amok with dinos at the end.
Colin Trevorrow, fresh off his indie debut Safety Not Guaranteed, landed the job of directing and co-writing Jurassic World, but given his commitment to helming Star Wars: Episode IX, he’s not directing the sequel. He co-wrote the Jurassic World 2 screenplay with Derek Connolly and is producing the film, but Bayona—who helmed The Impossible and The Orphanage as well as the upcoming tearjerker A Monster Calls—is directing Jurassic World 2.
We don’t know much about the story for this sequel, but Trevorrow previously teased that it will be “more suspenseful and scary” in Bayona’s hands, adding that the movie is being conceived as a metaphor for the treatment of animals. Spall and Jones make a terrific pair of additions to the ensemble, and one wonders what kind of role they’ll play in the plot. Spall is coming off The Big Short and the Showtime series Roadies and has an affinity for both comedy and drama, while Jones has a key role in the upcoming season of Sherlock.
Not all reboots or sequels are guaranteed successes, but Jurassic World surpassed all expectations by grossing a whopping $1.67 billion at the box office. Whether audiences will be just as hungry for the sequel remains to be seen, but it’ll be interesting to see what kind of ensemble Bayona puts together and whether the location will shift away from the franchise’s jungle setting.
Filming on Jurassic World 2 begins early next year. The sequel opens in theaters on June 22, 2018.