Where are all the dinosaur films?

One thing I’ve noticed over the past few years is that there has been a distinct lack of good dinosaur films. With the exception of Jurassic World and Pixars animated film The Good Dinosaur, there hasn’t been a lot of films involving dinosaurs. You could argue that King Kong was a dinosaur film, but the dinosaurs weren’t the focus of the film. There was Land of The Lost back in 2009 as well, but that wasn’t a terribly good film. Back in the 60s and 70s, dinosaur themed films were all the rage with films like One Million Years B.C When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth and The Land that Time Forgot. I firmly believe that dinosaur films need to make a comeback, so here are some other dinosaur related properties that would make for some really good films.

1. Dino-Riders

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This one is a no-brainer. I’m cheating a bit though because there are already rumors that a film version of this is planned for the future some time. But c’mon just look at that picture, you know for a fact that would make an awesome film. Dino-Riders was released in 1988 and only 14 episodes were produced, but since then it has a gained a huge cult following, And with good reason as well, its people riding laser shooting dinosaurs fighting against monsters riding more laser shooting dinosaurs. What more could you ask for? It was one of those cartoons created to promote a toy line, much like Transformers. In fact, a lot of the voice actors from Transformers showed up in Dino-Riders. The best way to adapt Dino-Riders would be to treat it as a film for all ages. Make it appeal to the kids who love dinosaurs and to the adults who want a wee nostalgia kick. As for who should direct it, I honestly think Michael Bay would be the best choice. Whether you liked them or not, he managed to bring the Transformer films to a mainstream audience, and the guy does know how to make an action packed film.  Whether the rumors of a film adaptation are true or not, we will wait and see but I’m not gonna lie, I would probably be first in line to see it. I mean who doesn’t want to see an evil frog man riding a laser shooting T-Rex?!

2. Dino CrisisDino-Crisis-and-Onimusha-forgotten-by-Capcom.jpg

What’s good about this series is that it gives us more than one option with what kind of  film to go for. The first game in the Dino Crisis series was Capcoms way of saying “What if we replaced the zombies in Resident Evil  with dinosaurs?”, the second one was “What if we made this one the Aliens of the series?” and the third one was “DINOSAAAAUUUURS IIIIINNNNN SPAAAAAAAACE!!” (okay, maybe the third one isn’t the best one to adapt). If a film was based on the first game, it would make a decent horror film. You put the characters in the same situation as the game characters, trapped on an island populated with dinosaurs and you give them minimal weapons and ammo, give it a Night of The Living Dead vibe. For a film based on the second film, I think a film kinda like the Expendables series would work best. Completely over the top action, that’s not gonna win any Oscars but is still bloody entertaining. Shove them on an island but this time you give them all the weapons and ammo they need and up the dinosaur count by about a million. Whichever way they went for, there is definitely potential for a decent film to be made here.

3. Age of Reptiles

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I first read Ricardo Delgados fantastic comic series Age of Reptiles back in the early 90’s when it was printed in the Jurassic Park tie-in comic and to this day it is still one of my favorite comic series of all time. Delgado manages to convey genuine emotions in his dinosaurs, his amazing artwork giving them brilliant facial expressions and even with no  words or sound effects he manages to tell thrilling stories. For a film adaption you literally just have to lift from his pages and animate it, maybe use the same technology that they used in The Hobbit films to animate the dragon Smaug. That way you can give the dinosaurs the emotional expressions that are put so well across on the comic pages. Make the film a combination of live action scenery and CGI dinosaurs and you have a chance at a truly great film. In fact, just let WETA Workshop make it. Their visual effects are always top notch from the dinosaurs in King King to the prawn aliens in District 9. The only thing to remember, and I can’t stress this enough, NO GODDAMN TALKING DINOSAURS! Unless you are specifically aiming your film at kids, you don’t need talking dinosaurs.

 

4. Xenozoic Tales/Cadillacs and Dinosaurs

Xenozoic-collection-cover-by-Mark-Schultz

Xenozoic Tales is a series that is just screaming to be made into a film. Set in a world that has almost destroyed by pollution and natural disasters, humans have been living underground for hundreds of years and emerge to find that the world is now populated by all manner of ancient creatures, from dinosaurs to prehistoric mammals. There was already a cartoon based on the series called Cadillacs and Dinosaurs (beautifully summing up the premise in three words) which still has a cult following to this day. With Deadpool proving that R-rated films can be a huge success, I think Xenozoic Tales is my top choice for a brilliant dinosaur film. The comic series had a very retro vibe with its characters and old cars which would translate very well to the big screen, especially if you threw in a retro soundtrack as well. Nothing in the soundtrack should be after the 80’s.  In my own opinion there are two directors who could pull this off. The first would be James Gunn. He has a knack for making films with brilliant characters and fantastic soundtracks, Guardians of the Galaxy and Slither being prime examples of this. His films also have a great sense of humor in them as well, not quite laugh out loud funny but enough to get a good chuckle out of you. The second director who cold pull this off is George Miller, which is a no brainer, since this is a post apocalyptic series involving cars: . His Mad Max series is second to none for action packed car chases and his world building is incredible, with fantastic characters and locations throughout the whole series. Just chuck in some T-Rexes, Pterodactyls and other assorted prehistoric creatures and you have the potential for a truly epic adaption of this classic comic series.

So those are my top picks for dinosaur series that could be turned into films. If I’ve missed any of our favorites or you have any ideas, feel free to comment.

 

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