Joe Johnston's 'Big Plans' for Captain America & Jurassic Park 4

January 14, 2010
Source: Box Office Magazine

Joe Johnston

With The Wolfman finally hitting theaters in just under a month, it means we're probably going to start hearing a lot from Joe Johnston about Captain America and other projects he's working on. Box Office Magazine recently talked with Johnston and got some big scoops out of him about both Captain America and, surprise surprise, Jurassic Park 4 (and it's good news this time). According to Johnston, there are some big plans for both of these projects, and both of them will be "unlike anything you've seen." As for Cap, well, here's what he says: "It's not going to be a Captain America that you expect. It's something different."

Before we go any further, let's hear what else he had to say about Captain America, because it was a lot!

"It is influenced by the comic book, but it goes off in a completely different direction. It's the origin story of Captain America. It's mostly period—there are modern, present-day bookends on it—but it's basically the story of how Steve Rogers becomes Captain America. The great thing about Captain America is he's a super hero without any super powers. Which is why this story, among the hundreds of super hero stories, appealed to me the most. He can't fly, he can't see through walls, he can't do any of that stuff. He's an every man who's been given this amazing gift of transformation into the perfect specimen—the pinnacle of human perfection. How does that affect him? What does that mean for him emotionally and psychologically?"

"He was this 98-pound weakling, he was this wimp, and he's transformed instantly into this Adonis. You'd think he got everything he wanted. Well, he didn't get everything he wanted. The rules change at that point and his life gets even more complicated and dire. For me, that's the interesting part of the story. It's got some great action sequences in it and some incredible stuff that we've never seen before. But at the heart of it, it's a story about this kid who all he wants to do is fit in. This thing happens and he still doesn't fit in. And he has to prove himself a hero—essentially go AWOL to save a friend. Eventually at the very end, I don't want to give away to much, but he does fit in. But it's the journey of getting him there that's interesting. And it's a lot of fun."

Okay, this guy gets it. It looks like Kevin Feige definitely knew what he was doing when he originally hired Joe Johnston to direct Captain America back in 2008. But since we don't even know who's playing who in that movie, let's move on to the other project he talks about - Jurassic Park 4. The last time we wrote anything about the sequel was when Johnston said we still might one day see it, but six months before that, producer Frank Marshall said it was a "long shot." Johnston is still claiming it's going to happen: "Well, there is going to be a Jurassic Park IV. And it's going to be unlike anything you've seen." He continues:

"It breaks away from the first three—it's essentially the beginning of the second Jurassic Park trilogy. It's going to be done in a completely different way. That's pretty much all I can tell you."

Another trilogy? That's the same thing we heard Johnston say last November, he really believes we'll see that trilogy actually come to fruition. "If you think of the first three as a trilogy, number four would be the beginning of a second trilogy," he confirms. He also tries to explain why they're potentially taking so long to start up this sequel. "We just want to make them justified in their own right. We don't want to make sequel after sequel just because there's a market for it. We want to tell different, interesting stories." I hope that is indeed the case, but I think without Michael Crichton, it's time to give up on this franchise. Do you agree?

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good to hear about Captain America and his plans sound great. and i would love to see another Jurassic Park thats not just in it for the money, I say do it!

DoomCanoe on Jan 14, 2010


As for Captain America, I hope they get it "right". Not much more to say there. Jurassic Park...I was a big fan of Michael Crichton and the first two JP movies weren't really that bad, but they didn't follow his books anyway. Normally I'd say 3 films is enough for any franchise, but we're talking about dinosaurs here. People love to see included! I would love to see a more gory Jurassic Park movie, no kids in the story, and make it rated R. I know little kids love dinosaurs and it might cut down on ticket sales if it were rated R, but at least cut out the kids in the plot and get a more serious story going. A dinosaur movie does not have to have kids in it to relate to a younger audience because IT HAS DINOSAURS! Oh yeah, T-Rex and Spiny need to have a rematch.

Brad on Jan 14, 2010


what has michael crichton death has to do with anything?? did they stoped james bond movies when fleming died,and did they stop doing LOTR and hobbit when Tolkien died. jurassic park is a great franchise and if it can be continued with a great story than i am all for it

stanisic on Jan 14, 2010


Not this JP4 nonsense again. They told us it would happen for years, then told us it definitely wouldn't. Now it's on again? They can't seem to make up their minds. I won't believe this until they start shooting.

Nada Nuff on Jan 14, 2010


captain america should have the feel of raiders of the lost ark (nazi) more than say schindler list (nazi)that would be good mood & tone for the film.jurassic park 4 should feel more like the first when you first see the t-rex scene with the cars,sense of wow & amazement.

tobi,leader of the akatsuki on Jan 14, 2010


Has Joe Johnston prooved himself as a director? I'm not sure on him directing Cap America.

ryderup on Jan 14, 2010


Captain America HAS TO HAVE THE RED SKULL IN IT or its a FAIL!!

Metatasian on Jan 14, 2010


"It is influenced by the comic book, but it goes off in a completely different direction" That part scares me

trat on Jan 14, 2010


@ #3, stanisic Maybe because the third Jurassic Park film that Johnston directed and Michael Crichton didn't write source material for was an absolute travesty? That might be the reason. Hell, even if he wasn't dead and merely wasn't involved creatively I would be leery about another sequel, simply because the third film was so awful. Obviously if the film has a good story then things can work, but that's like saying, well if this food tastes good, I'll eat it. No kidding? It just feels like the series has already jumped the shark.

Ethan Anderton on Jan 14, 2010


JP4, plz bring it on! I always loved the series. Of course the third movie wasn't too good, but still it's got giant dinosaurs in it and I was half an archeologist during my childhood! Plz make it happen!

Patrick on Jan 14, 2010


T-Rex in 3D - you know it to be true.

Gohikeone on Jan 14, 2010


This guy worries me. He better not screw up captain America!

Jake the snake on Jan 14, 2010


Shit. Reading those two paragraphs just sent my hopes in the Captain America movie into the gutter. This guy does NOT fucking get it. The only hope I see for this movie is that it is under Marvel.

S on Jan 14, 2010


I have high hopes for Captain America. I'm hoping it'll be something like Batman Begins. Jurassic Park IV? I loved the first three, but a new trilogy?

Robbie on Jan 14, 2010


They have to get Sam Worthington to play C.A.!!! He has the look, build, and acting chops to pull it off.

The One on Jan 14, 2010


@ Metatasian: Did Batman Begins "have" to have the Joker in it? I think a proper origin story should be focused on the believable development of its main character. The inclusion of a secondary or more benign villain is actually insurance of a more promising sequel, once the character has been firmly established. And yes, judging from the Wolfman trailers, I'd say this guy has proven himself! (Looking at some shots of Benicio Del Toro, I kept thinking he looked like Bruce Banner after being the Grey Hulk ... food for thought, eh? What if the director of the Wolfman gave us a Hulk reboot worthy of the original material? With a gray monster instead of Green?)

Django on Jan 14, 2010


Hell, I'd love to see a JP reboot, not that that's what he said... I'm just saying, there are some movies that have such a great set-up, I watch them over again sort of hoping that they'll spin off in a different direction half-way through the film. Aliens, JP, Jaws... you know what I mean? The movie is halfway over and you're sitting there thinking "I'm already satisfied. This could go anywhere and I'll walk away happy." My favorite two lines in JP, because they are so horrible - "GASP! An interactive CD-ROM!" (in the jeep.) "A UNIX system, I KNOW this!" Ah well, at least she didn't hack into the computer by floating over 3-D geometry representing all of the systems and files.

dRailer on Jan 14, 2010


If I hear that Sam Worthington is even a hundred miles from the C.A. set... I will consider it a FAIL.

Eric B. on Jan 14, 2010


The movie has to have the red skull, because the sequel will be set in modern times. At the end of this movie Cap is thawed.

dru on Jan 14, 2010


I am longing to see another Jurassic Park movie. I think we're overlooking a bigger player than Michael Crichton (Sure he had written the novels, but they are almost entirely different). What about Stan Winston? We lost him last year and I don't want to think about who they are going to use as a replacement. Hopefully SquareEnix will be given the task. Their CG is second to none.

Link1983 on Jan 14, 2010


Ok first #16 the Hulk doesn't need to be rebooted, it just needs a sequel. Second I'm still cautious on this. Cap is one of my favorite Heroes so I'm anxious about how this goes down. I'm not sure I like the idea of bookending modern stories to tie it together. Seems to me that might invite unwanted comparissons to a certain Spielberg directed WW2 movie. And since he and Steve are buddy buddy that isn't the place I'd want to be.

harm on Jan 14, 2010


Umm, no. I don't think of the first three as a trilogy. I think of them as two JP movies with a straight-to-DVD quality third one made just to milk the franchise. I don't like this talk of second trilogy. What is this guy thinking? Hopefully he doesn't eff up Cap, cuz otherwise there'll be hell to pay.

Alfredo on Jan 14, 2010


i will watch it in cinemas. i hope its good. im very excited!

yumyumfish on Jan 14, 2010


We read this just over a year ago: "Sorry to break it to you, but Jurassic Park IV won't be happening. Producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy told ComingSoon yesterday that there have not been any new developments and that "when [Michael] Crichton passed away, I sorta felt maybe that's it. Maybe that's a sign that we don't mess with it." Crichton sadly died of cancer about a month back. For those that don't know, Crichton was the creator of the Jurassic Park "concept" and wrote the novel in 1990 that eventually became Steven Spielberg's film. Rumors of a Jurassic Park IV have been floating around for a few years, but it's now officially dead." I don't know what to believe anymore.

Nada Nuff on Jan 14, 2010


Haha @22 you said exactly what I was going to say. JP3 sucked so bad. Being based off Chricton's writing/plot is what really did well for the first 2, I don want to see another even though the first is my favorite movie ever. Just because you can make more movies doesnt mean you should.

Johnny Crow on Jan 14, 2010


Man that Cap stuff sounds bad, it was never about him 'fitting in' but about a sickly boy wanting to serve his country... still I hope the movie turns out ok in the end.

staatz on Jan 14, 2010


I must admit that part, "It is influenced by the comic book, but it goes off in a completely different direction...." kinda freaked me out a little. But, I believe Johnston has it together and his vision will probably be on par with what Favreau's vision was for "Iron Man". These 2 characters are human beings with no powers and whose abilities are enhanced by either a serum or a mechanical suit--so to speak! It will be ok! far as "Jurassic Park 4", it might just be a darker, more violent reboot of the world that Crichton/ Spielberg created, but with excessive blood and gore and the dinosaurs running amok! Given the way things are going nowadays, it just might be a possibility!

Spider on Jan 14, 2010


In first reading this it took me a second it took me a min to really se what he wanted to do, but now looking at it i kind of agree with joe, we get a bit more familiar with Steve rogers who he was before hand which none of us really got a glimpse of in the comics. Which can be more origin than some of us want but he were to begin the movie with Steve as a nobody, no direction, no motivation we see the bottom feeder aspect, but then a call for duty as it were, potential to be something more i can see the relation between the viewer and character, the climax would be steve becoming the captain no costume then the trial of the hero, and end with the dawning of the suit and introduction to the red skull and first battle i can see this working. and it will aid into further origin movies, and the intro to the avengers could be the fight with the skull where captain gets frozen and there looking for him( like the animated version) which will add for a great intro to the avengers, bad as ww2 battle i am soooo down for this. dont get me wrong i can see the downside to this, this has to be done RIGHT JOE!!!! i see a good idea now make it effin great!!!

Splinter on Jan 14, 2010


Cant wait for both movies! Can we get the news of thor being filmed this year and replacing spidy 4 in may 2011????????

zzach on Jan 14, 2010


"It is influenced by the comic book, but it goes off in a completely different direction.".....that just introduces the movie as a bad sign. "Yeah, you know all the stuff that people loved and think of when they think Captain America? Yeah, fuck that, we did something else...." Perhaps its my own personal opinion, but I do not want to see or indulge a Captain America that is spawned from todays army, its wars, its powers, its "enemies" and whatever else is modern or present day......I've got my Wary-Hat on big time. I dont trust him, or his repeated mention of "something we've never seen before."

Voice of Reason on Jan 14, 2010


I'm not really familiar with The Capt's origin, but I thought he did have powers. not natural but created by the gov't to be a super soldier. Either way I hope the movie is cool and that they get a good actor for steve rogers.

theotherbluth on Jan 14, 2010


This is still very Sketchy about Jurassic park 4 if it happens if Joe Johnston little titbit is right. I would be great to see another Jurassic park but done like the first Jurassic park it seemed to lose it way for the 2nd movie. 😉

cineprog on Jan 14, 2010


I would LOVE to see a Jurassic Park 4. The first three were great (though the 3rd had its low points). So much potential.

Vold on Jan 14, 2010


Reading this article was like watching Shaggy and Scooby Doo make one of those giant 50-layer sandwiches. Jurassic Park 4 is a movie I have been wanting to see for years. Everyone expects it to be epic because it has vast quantities of potential, just waiting to be plucked. Jurassic Park 4 has to ability to be a huge success, but seeing what is happening to franchises lately, I am afraid they will turn ol' Rex into Barney. I need to hear more about the plot to judge if it will be a hit or a miss. A Captain America origins story sounds cool, but please keep it as similar as possible to the comics. Moviegoers who have read the Captain America comics want to be able to see the pages come to life, and not just new material. If you want to tell a new super-hero story, just write a damn comic book.

The Man With No Name on Jan 14, 2010


What??? Cap movie has me intrigued and nervous! He was a hero in the beginning, just because he so longed to serve his country and threw himself in many heroic situations without hesitation and soldiers were amazed and drawn by fearless heroism. For lack of better words he was a badass! The story line he is pitching with his struggles as a leader came as he formed the Avengers and dealing with the unsolder/vigilante like personalities of Stark, Hulk, Hawkeye, Thor etc.; who kind of viewed him as a cheesy golden boy do-gooder. Only time will tell!

I am Ron Burgandy? on Jan 14, 2010


Cap movie is about fitting in? That's an interesting direction. It essentially is a part of Cap's story that is often overlooked, the meaning behind his origins. I like it, but so long as the next Cap movie shows the MAJOR part of Cap's story that interests me the most, the man-out-of-time aspect. I loved how they displayed his dilemma in the Ultimates comic series. While surrounded by many who admired and respected him, he felt like he was completely alone in a world that was as alien to him as Mars. I can't forget one of the more recent one-shots about Cap's past that ended with him in the present day at a reunion for all the men who served in his Army unit during WWII... he sat alone with the only other surviving member of the unit who was sleeping in a wheelchair hooked up to IV fluid and an oxygen tank, barely even alive. Cap just sat there basically alone in a room that would have been filled had all of his friends and comrades been alive. That's the touching aspect of Cap that I want to see.

Chris H. on Jan 14, 2010


Thank god - Johnston actually gets the character. One of the biggest traits of Cap is exactly what Joe described: his longing to fit in. He wanted to join the Army to help fight Hitler (he wasn't accepted because he was 4F), he got offered the ability to be the first in an army of super-soldiers (he ended up being the only one), he never quite got along with the "regular" soldiers, he got frozen in time just to wake up and find out that he doesn't fit into the modern world, but the world he knew had all aged and passed him by... it's a recurring theme in the comics. I like that Johnston gets that. Plus, he directed the Rocketeer and October Sky. Regardless of whether you like the stories in those two movies, he directed the hell out of those films and they've both got a really awesome nostalgic style that I can see meshing well with Cap's origins. As long as he doesn't stray too far, this looks like it's on the right track.

Pete the Geek on Jan 14, 2010


hey about [john cenna] as cap the original marine , i know i,m not the only one that agrees .that he,s perfect.

titogee on Jan 14, 2010


I doubt they'll do a Jurassic Park 4. CGI effects just don't play any more. No one's going to buy digital dinos.

kevjohn on Jan 14, 2010


I can't believe the handed Captain America off to the guy who directed Jurassic Park 3 and Jumanji. What the fuck were they thinking?

Squiggly_P on Jan 14, 2010


CGI doesn't play anymore? Have you been living under a rock or something? The biggest money making films of the last decade have all be films that largely rely on CG effects work. How exactly does "makes a shit-ton of money" somehow mean "it's unpopular now". It's obviously not. The dinos were always (mostly) digital... The effects in several scenes of the first two flicks still hold up, which is to the credit of the people working on them. Back then, animation and CG were incredibly difficult to achieve - especially in film. Your average effects film might have only one or two points where CG was used. Most of the films then were limited to composite and matte effects and stop-motion for any 'impossible' characters, or puppets or guys in suits. The only reason most CG shit doesn't cut it anymore is because the people making movies are using it wrong. Up until "The Matrix", CG was not that intrusive (unless it was done really really poorly). There were a lot of films that used some pretty intensive CG up to that point - Titanic being an obvious one, seeing as how EVERY exterior shot had intensive effects work done on it. But after Jurassic Park, you started to see the effects get more and more "extreme". Emmerich and Bay and all the rest. The 'new wave' of big blockbuster directors are so enamored with CG and computers that they write shit now JUST so they can use some massive effect sequence. They know they CAN do it, so they do it. The reason the effects in some movies look great and natural (so much so that most people aren't even aware of them - you'd be surprised how many films you've probably seen where whole scenes were 90% CG without you even noticing it) is because the guys making those movies know that they shouldn't do goofy impossible camera shit and fly all over the place. Shit like Transformers and 2012 piss me off because the whole point of the film is to watch the effects go off. In past movies you could kinda get away with that, because the effects were REAL buildings being destroyed, REAL cars getting smashed up, REAL things. Today these effects are more cheaply and easily produced in computers. BUT! I'll bet there are recent films that have used traditional effects work and you've thought it was CG because it looked good. You know that scene in Die Hard 4 in the tunnel where the car flies up and narrowly misses Bruce Willis because two other cars kept it from landing on him? Those were real cars. The tunnel was CG, tho. I think a lot of film makers are now trying to find ways to use CG to give traditional effects more detail, but allowing the weight and 'reality' of traditional effects to make them more believable. Where the Wild Things Are and the last several films from Guillermo del Toro are perfect examples. And now I'm rambling.

Squiggly_P on Jan 14, 2010


The "modern" bookending of the story is probably going to be like - haha sorry to compare em but - Titanic. Modern day: Scientists/military/whoever find frozen Captain America. AKA the Titanic is found, omg! 1940s: Origin of Cpt America. From zero to hero in 2 hours flat! AKA Jack and Rose from strangers to everlasting love in 2 hours flat! Modern day: They thaw him. He saves the day if there's a modern day "oh shit" moment going on, otherwise it just ends with him opening his eyes. AKA Old Rose dropping a priceless effing jewel in the ocean like a moron. Okay, so the comparison sucks, but it amused me. Also, I'd love to see WETA work on a Jurassic Park movie. Seeing as I won't be seeing their work on a live action Eva in the next ten years. I really can't imagine a very good script involving anything from the books or movie franchise because they managed to take any ideas they hadn't used or abused from the two books already for the 3rd movie. Although... So at the end of either movie 2 or 3 they let the world know the island is there, and are like "dude seriously, keep out". So maybe they could do a plot that involves someone intentionally stranding character(s) on the island - except unlike in movie 3, no one knows they're there. Helps not coming... find a way to survive and escape! Or ye old ship/plane wreck. "Where are we?" Actually screw all that I wish they'd make a Dinotopia movie in the style of Avatar. Crazy good CGI and use of vertical space, "learning the ways of another species" stuff. Make it sort of steampunk, set in the 19th century. No talking dinosaurs though. Intelligent dinosaurs, sure. Maybe able to mimic human speech the way corvids can... dinosaurs are the ancestors of birds after all...

Lana on Jan 16, 2010


This Captain America film can't be set entirely in the 1940's seeing as that the last few films made by Marvel Studios have had direct tie-ins with the inevitable Avengers movie they are going to make. So you have to know that however they decide to get Captain America to the modern age, they will have something with Nick Fury, SHIELD, or Tony Stark toward the end or after the credits (as many recent Marvel movies have had - Iron Man, Wolverine, etc). Who knows if we will see Red Skull in this movie. If we do see Red Skull in this movie, then what they really should do is start the movie's first five minutes or so with the Nazis creating Johann Schmidt showing him doing terrorist acts and all during early WW2 because that was the major cause of the United States creating and countering the Nazis with Captain America. That would be a successful set up for the movie in my opinion - to focus on how alike yet how different Red Skull and Captain America are. As far as Jurassic Park 4 is concerned, if they make the movie without any acknowledgement that JP3 ever existed on God's green earth and bring back Dr. Alan Grant with say a grown up Tim Hammond (from JP1), I think we'd be okay. They really jacked up the Jurassic Park franchise when they strayed so far from the 2nd book when making the Lost World. For those of you that read the book, you share my frustration with how good the book was and how good it could have been if more closely adapted for the screen. Stating that he has plans to make another trilogy though? C'mon, I doubt it.....

Pat on Jan 18, 2010


michael cricthon just wanted 2 bu..........uttttttttttt we still want to see some more jurassics!!!!

jorge on Jan 22, 2010

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