“We are glad [NBC/Universal is] considering bringing more production work to Baton Rouge in the near future, whatever that may be. But nothing is confirmed at this point, and I guess you never really know until the office opens and they start building sets.”
That quote comes from Raleigh Studios Director of Operations Patrick Mulhearn, neither confirming nor denying the rumors currently floating the web regarding Jurassic Park IV potentially shooting at the Louisiana-based studio. What we do know, according to NOLA’s The Times Picayune, is that Universal has the studio reserved from April to November of this year. And this studio is no stranger to high budget fare, having recently hosted both Battleship and Tom Cruise’s upcoming Oblivion there.
So here’s where it gets weird. Universal’s also filed to have the name of Cirque Investments LLC – under which they shot Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant - changed to Ebb Tide Films. What’s interesting about this, aside from the fact that Universal felt they needed to conceal Cirque du Freak’s production (why did they ever stop?), is that “Ebb Tide” just so happens to be the name of a song recored by Park composer John Williams.
That’s some really tenuous dot connection right there, especially when you factor that, no matter when Universal gets this thing in front of cameras, their June 13th, 2014 release date is already secure. So why rush? Especially when they’ve yet to announce a director?
My guess? This probably does have something to do with Jurassic Park IV. But I’m wondering if it has more to do with pre-production and generating some buzz, at least pertaining to the immediate future. This is pretty speculative news for a property that’s collected the amount of dust Jurassic Park has. I wouldn’t put it past Universal to float this story themselves to get news chasers on the blogosphere talking. More likely, the studio’s using Raleigh in the short-term as a home to pre-viz test and compose a teaser of some sort. I just can’t see this thing commencing principal photography next month with all these plates (director, stars, script) still spinning in the air. Reserving space for eight months indicates Universal is up to something, it’s just too early to do anything other than speculate.