Upon its release in 2015, Jurassic World, the fourth entry in the Jurassic Park series that began in 1990, was one of the most successful and highest-grossing films of all time. The film was praised on release for successfully rebooted the series for modern audiences while continuing its legacy. What many fans don’t know is that, according to Xbox creator Seamus Blackley, Jurassic World started out as a pitch for a video game pinned as a follow-up to the spin-off game Trespasser.
Trespasser was developed by DreamWorks Interactive, a studio founded in conjunction with Steven Spielberg’s film studio DreamWorks Pictures and Microsoft, and released in 1998 for PC. The game was considered one of the most expensive games ever made at the time, but was ultimately met with harsh critical reception, with many critics calling it the worst game of 1998. This is mainly due to the rushed nature of the game’s development, as well as the hiring of many key team members that were unfamiliar with video game development.
Trespasser’s producer was none other than Xbox creator Seamus Blackley, who has now revealed in a long Twitter thread that the 2015 film was a result of a pitch Steven Spielberg requested he make as a follow-up to Trespasser. In the thread, Blackley revealed that after working on Trespasser he felt burnt out after developing the game due to its negative reception. However, he was able to impress Microsoft CEO Bill Gates with the physics and rendering he had developed and was able to acquire a job at Microsoft, where he would later go on to create the original Xbox. After this, he began work at a financing company, one which Stephen Spielberg was a client of.
Spielberg apparently told Blackley he didn’t think he was suited to financing, and he was later contacted by film producer Kathleen Kennedy to pitch a story for a Jurassic Park game, and produce a trailer for Spielberg, one that has since leaked online. Blackley developed a story that centered around dinosaurs on Isla Sona escaping after humans had decided to leave them at peace and study them. The story would have focused on the bond between humans and dinosaurs. The title for this treatment was Jurassic World.
Unfortunately, while the game did progress through pre-production to the point of hiring a few team members and Spielberg loved the idea, the project was canceled and Blackley sent the developed assets to Frank Marshall, which presumably set the groundwork for the film series that just concluded with Jurassic World: Dominion.