Dear Mr. Spielberg, please give the raptors feathers

"There had better be feathers on the raptors": Dino-blogger Brian Switek's open letter to Steven Spielberg upon the occasion of rumors about the possibility of a Jurassic Park 4.


  1. I always assumed the dinosaurs didn’t have feathers in the movies because their genes were spliced with those of a frog, and they were end up getting some bizarre traits because of that.  Essentially, they weren’t genetically perfect representations of their past selves and were just hybrids.  Like a seedless watermelon or maybe a grapple?

  2. I didn’t mind the third one.  Short and to the point.  Second one blew almost as bad as the second book.  It was funny as hell seeing Crichton have to justify the survival of Ian Malcolm.  I’d have laughed out loud had he tried to bring Hammond back to match the movies.

    Anyway, feathers or no feathers, the only way to make another JP movie be interesting is to bring InGen’s misbegotten creations to the mainland, and unleash them upon civilization.  Really, that was the only way to make the Alien movies interesting again, though the Strause brothers weren’t really the right guys to do that.

    For JP, someone might have the clever idea of taking the existing genetic engineering of the franchise, and adding some kind of Avatar-esque intelligence-transfer technology in the service of allowing visitors to the re-opened Jurassic Park San Diego to briefly experience a day in the life of a Tyrannosaur or some such.  And when things go inevitably wrong, you have dinosaurs with human intelligences bent on some kind of devilry.  Vengeance, crime, the satiation of heretofore unsuspected dinosaur appetites, whatever… and anyway, due to the extraordinary dollar value of the animals, rather than calling in heavy artillery, the JP staff pursues the wayward saurischians with a posse of similarly-possessed velociraptors.  And hilarity ensues.

    Hell, I’d watch it.

    1. I agree with your first idea – to make it interesting it’d have to be set on the mainland.

      However, the problem is, that was the plot of the second movie as you allude to (Jurassic Park San Diego). But really, that isn’t a problem and there’s no need to get into ridiculous dinosaur avatar battles because it can just be a “reboot” as is the fashion these days :)

      Of course there are endless possibilities for original plotlines as well. Just off the top of my head, I imagine that there would be a black market trade in dinosaurs as exotic pets. The problems with that being the same as the problems with real-life exotic pets, only more so :)

      Well, that strays a bit into “Primeval” territory – beasts on the loose in the city, and a small team who tracks them down. Primeval was excellent (the first couple seasons anyway) though so there would be no shame in drawing inspiration from that (though of course the Jurassic Park setting allows for similar types of action without the time portals, so it’s a bit different).

      1. “Ridiculous”?!  Dinosaur avatar battles would be “ridiculous”?!

        Sir, this is clearly not a genre for you.  I suppose it would be more dignified and sensible to film a story that focuses on the existential angst of the modern teenage Dromeosaur.  It could be the archetypical example of the “rumblecore” genre.  ;^)

        I kid, my dear Sphenischid.  You’re certainly right that JP2 took place in part on the mainland, but that sequence was really the only fun part of the movie, involved only one dinosaur, and was way too short compared to the rest of the nonsense, particularly the unwatchable crap featuring the kids.

        It seems to me that the biggest problem (dramatically speaking) with bringing the dinosaurs to civilization is that they’d be fairly simply eradicated by sufficient weaponry.  You’d have to do something to make them either a) incredibly intelligent, b) invulnerable to conventional attack (even if only by virtue of their intrinsic monetary value), or c) extremely fast-breeding.  All three of these factors are what made the Alien menace so terrifying, and the prospect of them landing on Earth so unthinkable.  Ditto for The Thing.  Gotta keep those things awaaaaay from the big cities.  A herd of garden-variety dinosaurs?  Hell, might as well be Jumanji, or a similar zoobreak.

      2. You should read Richard Chedwyk’s stories about the pet ‘saurs.

        First “Measure of All Things”, then “Bronte’s Egg”, and finally “Tibor’s Cardboard Castle”

        Excellent stories, on topic, and I (and Chedwyk) wish for a decent movie adaptation.

  3. More accurate Velociraptors would not only (probably) be feathered but a third the size of the ones in the flicks, about the size of turkeys. Which wouldn’t necessarily make a Velociraptor attack any less scary (cf the Compsognathus no-scientific-basis-for pack attack in LW) just more like people fending off carnivorous turkeys. And you could do a flick about that without having to work dinosaurs into it.

    Seriously, Steve, just use Deinonychus Antirrhopus instead. Much more Hollywood.

  4. Fanboy: “There had better be feathers on the raptors.” I’ll bet Spielberg just pooped his pants a little.

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