“I have been very fortunate in the films that I’ve directed,” Trevorrow said during a pre-recorded session for Comic-Con@Home. “The path that I wanted to follow and the path that everyone involved wanted to follow was the same. It’s totally possible for people to see two totally different paths through the woods.
“Obviously,” he added, “as you can imagine with all of these things, it can get to the point of being traumatic when there’s something that you care about that much and you’ve invested that much in it. But that’s one of the things you accept when you take on any role in film, especially when you become a storyteller — that there are going to be heartbreaks. There is going to be crushing disappointments, and then there’s going to be victories. Hopefully, they’ll balance out in the end.”
The experience wasn’t a total loss for Trevorrow as he was able to collaborate with his son on building models of Star Wars ships, one which is at the Disneyland theme park. Another is a never-before-seen model called the Tie Marauder, which Trevorrow showed off to those who tuned into Comic-Con@Home’s Directors on Directing discussion.
“Now this is the only one in the world,” he said, “and it’s an amazing memory for me when I got to do something that was an incredible experience from start to finish: I was able to make a Star Wars ship with my son.”
Trevorrow was joined by Robert Rodriguez and Joseph Kosinski, who also shared a story of a film that got away. It was a film called Go Like Hell, which eventually became Best Picture Oscar nominee Ford v Ferrari. “I always wanted to make a racing film,” the Top Gun: Maverick director said. “The thing about racing movies is that it can’t be about racing, it has to have some amazing story underneath to warrant itself being made. And that story was one of those great stories of an incredible friendship.”
Although he didn’t get close to production, Kosinski did do a table read with Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. “We couldn’t get the budget to the number it had to be at, but I was thrilled to see that they ended up making an amazing version,” he said.
The group offered updates on their respective current projects, and unlike Rodriguez and Kosinski — who had wrapped production before the coronavirus pandemic hit and currently are in post — Trevorrow was forced to halt shooting on Jurassic World: Dominion. He now faces new challenges as he gears up to resume production during the COVID era.
“The biggest challenge for me is that we have tons of protocol and many layers of safety and protection for everybody because that’s obviously the top priority,” he said. “But once all of that has been applied, it’s still going to be a couple of people at the center of a circle trying to make something feel real and honest.”
The wide-ranging discussion covered topics of filmmaking including pitching, how to approach remakes of films with a passionate fanbase and the importance of representation.
Rodriguez, who is in the process of scoring his upcoming Netflix film We Can Be Heroes, recalled having to justify his choice to make Spy Kids a Latin family. “When you do anything new, you’re going to get a question and you have to have a good reason,” he said, noting that the family was modeled after his own.
“You feel like you got to do it or things will never change if this doesn’t happen,” he added. “You see that any kid could watch that movie and they enjoy it. For those who are Latin in particular, it means so much to them. It changes their whole future about what is possible.”
Rodriguez added: “It’s an amazing thing that the power of media and the power of imaging and the power of what we do — you can change people’s minds. Especially in a world where it just seems like it’s going to hell. … Characters that an audience can see and model themselves after, be inspired by, are the last chance to offer any kind of hope.”