On Friday, HN Entertainment’s Nicholas Whitcomb spoke with veteran creature designer Carlos Huante about how he first got into business, one of his first gigs was working on the original He-Man and The Masters of The Universe cartoon, something that has come around full circle, after leaving ILM Carlos ended up working on the David S. Goyer incarnation of the new live-action film before the writer-director eventually exited the project. We covered a lot of Carlos’ work over the last couple of decades and one project that caught our eye was his work on the never-made Jurassic Park 4 that Joe Johnston was trying to put together that was eventually killed and would morph into Jurassic World, a soft-reboot from Colin Trevorrow.
HN: So moving along to something else you had worked on, Jurassic Park, they were trying to get a fourth movie made for a while. I believe you had done some of the early stuff, where it was sort of Dinosaur-Human hybrids. Can you talk a little bit about what the context was behind that?
HUANTE: “Well, Joe Johnston was on that one, directing, he did the third one, right? He came up to ILM, and he and I sat in a room and I was just coming up with ideas. As we talked about it, I understood indirectly of course, that our version of Jurassic Park was going be the franchise killer. The was a feeling that it was over, I mean how many dinosaur movies can you make telling the same story? It was that kind of an idea. This thing (story)needs to evolve into something else and start fracturing off into separate stories, that are different, but the whole Jurassic Park thing was done.”
“That was the idea behind [the hybrids], I don’t know if that’s what was motivating him, because he wanted to kill it and turn it into something else, but that was the idea we were working under. He had this idea of these hybrid Dinosaurs that they were gonna weaponize because, of course, that’s what would happen. If you had that technology, you would use it to make an army of Dinosaur men. We know the Russians were making Apemen (joking), so why not make Dinosaur men? [Laughs]. I think the stories of the Russians making yeti men, you know, they had their own Planet of the Apes over there, and they were doing it during World War II, so now we’re gonna make Dinosaur men!”
“I love that kinda thing it’s so far out and crazy, yeah why not? Let’s do that. Let’s make a movie that has Dinosaur men in it.”
HN: Yeah, I mean to me, that sounds like something Michael Crichton would do with the idea of how technology affects everything. It’s kinda weird how they ultimately went in a way, kind of rebooting everything that had been done before.
HUANTE: “Yeah, but they’re making their own monsters essentially for it, so it is a monster movie, but under the banner that this is still Jurassic Park, with the Dinosaurs. So you have this Dinosaur park, but they create a monster for it. They’re kinda doing it. I mean, the Raptors essentially acting like a group that has been sort of taught to communicate with humans, or [humans] made a way for them to be able to communicate with the Raptors, is essentially like the Raptor- men idea, but they didn’t go that far. Honestly, I still think [Jurassic Park 4] would be kind of a fun movie, it’s not a Jurassic Park movie, but it’s a pretty neat idea, in that it could be a pretty crazy and good science-fiction-horror film. Albeit it’s an earthbound science-fiction story, it still would be kinda fun.”
“I’ve heard people get really upset over it, but I think it’s because they’re geeks of Jurassic Park. But ..I still think that this idea of the hybrid man Dinos is still kind of a fun thing to do, as a tangent story that isn’t Jurassic Park, it’s something else, and if they did it as a Rated R kind of horror story, it could be pretty cool. I looked at Joe and I said “Dude if you’re gonna make Dinosaur men, we gotta have a giant T-Rex man-thing and a Triceratops man-thing, and have them fight at the end. We have to have a big Dinosaur monster/man thing fight at the end.” And he just looked at me, and he chuckled, and said: “Yeah, let’s do that!”.
“It’s classic stuff, I mean this goes all the way back to the earliest Dinosaur films, you have to have that fight in there. When you’re a kid, and you have the plastic Dinosaurs, you’d have the T-Rex fighting the Triceratops, it was always a thing.”
Interesting enough, the concepts of weaponizing of dinosaurs and DNA combining would actually end up carrying over in the two Jurassic World movies with the Imperious Rex and Indoraptor, but in less fantastical fashion. So at least some of that stuff from Jurassic Park 4 survived even if Carlos’ designs didn’t.
We’ll be posting more segments from our in-depth interview with Carlos Huante covering other various projects he’s worked on over the years. Carlos is on social media and you can find him on his personal Instagram account, where he shares a lot of his artwork (personal and professional).