UPDATE: Steven Spielberg not directing 'JPIV' Redux
Originally published 9/17/06: Internet rumors are a lot like the work of "Jurassic Park's" John Hammond, yet without the lysine deficiency built in since the damned things don’t know when to die. Reporters like to clone one another's work without so much as checking sources, and these cloned rumors run amok across the web, sometimes appearing extinct only to rear their heads again another day. Such is the rumor that Steven Spielberg would be personally directing "Jurassic Park IV." It only took six months since we last debunked this rumor through Spielberg's offices (this past March we reported that Amblin stated in no uncertain terms that Spielberg would not be directing the film) for the rumor mongering to begin fresh, and yet, film website Cinema Blend, sourcing the very untrustworthy source Sky News has started the rumors anew.
The talk most likely followed on the heels of the recent reports that "Jurassic Park III" director Joe Johnston had been offered the director's chair on the third "Mummy" film by Universal. As Steven Spielberg told us this past July, Johnston has dibs on the fourth "Jurassic" adventure, yet with the potential that Johnston will move on to the "Mummy" franchise, the Internet rumor mill started churning away in chat boards and now websites proper.
Here's the catch: while Spielberg's offices didn't have any new news on the status of "Jurassic Park IV" this week, Johnston has yet to officially sign on to the third "Mummy" film. Furthermore, Johnston's participation in a "Mummy" film wouldn't necessarily cancel out his work on "Jurassic Park IV" if Universal and Amblin chose to schedule "Jurassic Park" around Johnston's work on Universal's other big franchise. To jump from presuming Johnston's out to Spielberg is directing (despite Spielberg's being chin deep in development on "Indiana Jones IV," the "Lincoln" biopic and "Interstellar") is a big presumption without any official or quasi-official word to back it up. At this writing, Sky News, Cinema Blend, nor any other sources carbon copying this rumor from one another have offered up anything even close to any source, let alone a credible source.
As Steven Spielberg's career has shown us in the past, anything can happen, but at this point, there is absolutely nothing to indicate that Johnston has passed on returning to the "Jurassic Park" series or that Spielberg will be retaking the reins.
UPDATE: Don't take my word for it? Take it from the source. Steven Spielberg's offices told SpielbergFilms.com today that, "You are indeed correct, Steven will not be directing Jurassic Park IV... Thanks for your debunking!"
It's the same thing they told us in March, and as stated above, the song remains the same no matter how loud the chorus of gossip grows online.
"Jurassic Park IV" is currently in development at Amblin Entertainment and Universal Pictures. Steven Spielberg will serve on the film as executive producer, and any way you slice it, once the film is released, it'll surely be an exciting time out at the movies!