The rumor mill began buzzing last week when Laura Dern told folks at a press junket that Steven Spielberg wants her back for Jurassic Park IV. Dern, who played Sam Neill's long-time girlfriend in the original film, claimed to know nothing about the story, only that her character is featured and the film would most likely hit theaters in 2008. But just when you thought progress was being made, MTV News reports that director Joe Johnston (the dude who helmed Jurassic Park III) will not be returning to helm the fourth installment, contrary to reports that claimed the guy was already attached.
In speaking with Johnston's reps, they apparently told MTV that he is "definitely not directing" Jurassic Park IV. This, after Spielberg said last year that Johnston was his "go-to Jurassic guy." Is it just me, or is there something fishy brewing over there on dinosaur island? Why would Johnston turn down the film after Spielberg offered it to him on a silver platter? Not that I'm all in the know or anything, but isn't there a golden rule in Hollywood that states you must obey Steven Spielberg's orders at all costs? And if you don't, well, then you either melt like the witch that you are or appear next to Andy Richter in one of his many successful sitcoms. Pick your poison Mr. Joe Johnston. And choose wisely.
When Dern was asked who she thought should helm Jurassic Park IV, the actress cleverly mentioned her greatest admirer (and newly elected president of the Laura Dern fan club?), David Lynch. Ha, could you even imagine Lynch directing Jurassic Park IV? Not only would it take four years to make, but by the time it was all said and done, those dinosaurs would become large bunny rabbits and no one would understand a damn thing. Good call Dern, but I can't see it happening in this lifetime. So, if Johnston is out, who would you choose to take his place (and please people, stop using the name Sam Raimi for everything!)?