A lion and a Mosasaurus: how those fun end moments of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom came to be


The final scenes of Fallen Kingdom, in which several dinos have escaped captivity and are now out in the ‘human world’, hint at exciting times to come. Two moments in particular stand-out: the sight of a giant Mosasaurus coming through a wave amidst a group of surfers, and a T. Rex roaring at a lion in a zoo.

These scenes – which actually featured in trailers and TV spots for the film – required extensive visual effects work. Fallen Kingdom VFX supervisor Alex Wuttke from Industrial Light & Magic tells vfxblog how the memorable moments happened.

A Mosasaurus goes surfing: That was done by Scanline. It was a shot that I think J.A. Bayona, the director, had in his head really early in production. He wanted to get it into the movie. We found some stock footage from, I think it was, a Red Bull surfing competition. It was sort of on top of a wave and someone was surfing down and J.A. really loved this piece.

We used that as the basis for this shot of the Mosasaurus, starting quite deep in the wave and getting slowly closer and closer. The idea behind it, is that, you can see it. You can sense a presence in the wave. And then it gets closer and further and further and you understand that it’s a Mosasaurus. We started off by just keeping it within the wave and J.A. just kept asking us to pull it further and closer and closer and closer. Until its whole snout was just sticking by the end of it, out of the wave. Obviously that creates complexity of simulating all of the forces being pulled back along the face of the wave.

T. Rex meets lion: There’s an interesting story with this one. It was another one that had been in the script for along time. So we knew we were going to do it. And when we did principal photography, with second unit, we went to London Zoo, and we shot a bunch of plates at the Zoo.

Then, we went back to Pinewood and we got a lion tamer to bring a lion in a big cage. We set up his, built this big cage, and had a camera and crane that we could drop into the cage. And the lion tamer took this lion through its paces. We shot this lion with the idea that we were going to drop that footage into the plates that we’d shot.

Then, J.A. decided that he wanted to do something a little different. So, what we had to do was build a CG lion from scratch. And then of course, we had to also build a whole new environment. So, we based the environment on San Diego Zoo. So we built the CG lion. Rigged it. Groomed it. And then, designed the shots with J.A. And that process happened pretty late in the schedule. Those shots are fully CG.

Stay tuned to vfxblog.com for more Fallen Kingdom articles during #jurassicweek Mark II.