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Jurassic World director opens up about controversial portrayal of women in film

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Plus, that questionable death

Jurassic World Owen and Claire

When Jurassic World was first released, many questioned the portrayal of lead actress Bryce Dallas Howard’s character, Claire. Dozens of thinkpieces were written about how ludicrous it was to have Howard running around in heels while managing the dinosaur-filled theme park. Others also questioned the unnecessary death of Claire’s assistant, Zara, and why Trevorrow felt the need to include it.

For the most part, Trevorrow has shied away from answering these questions, but on a recent Jurassic Outpost podcast (uncovered by HitFix), the director spoke at length about the way people perceived the characters. Trevorrow said that he hoped people realized there was a difference between how they intended the characters to be taken and how they actually were by audiences.

“You know, I set out to make a movie with the female hero who is flawed and complex,” Trevorrow said. “Who makes a crucial mistake of trusting technology over her instincts. Whose respect for these animals evolves and changes her in a major way, and who saves everyone at the end while they're all trapped and helpless.

“And she does it all in heels. Not by choice but because she had no other option and she wasn’t going to let uncomfortable shoes stop her from being a total badass and getting shit done.”

While Howard and co-star Chris Pratt defended the decision for Claire to wear high heels, there have been rumors that the sequel will not feature the controversial shoes. It’s not the only aspect of the film Trevorrow opened up about, either. Another decision he was called out for was killing off Zara, Claire’s assistant. The death was considered cruel and unnecessary by many critics, and Trevorrow said that was always their intention.

“And Zara was about trying to surprise moviegoers, who I think can see everything coming,” Trevorrow said. “We're all screenwriters. We're all screenwriters, and an earned death — that's a screenwriting term — to me, unearned death is the definition of terror.”

The full podcast, which goes over other aspects of the film including how they worked with new CGI technologies to make it as realistic as possible, can be listened to here.