Can you talk about casting the voice actors? What’s the difference between casting people for a live action and casting voice actors? How did you choose the people?
Well, you know, by the time we actually chose the actors, we only come down to a couple options. Sometimes even one or two. But by the time I listened to the voices, it was really just about capturing the soul of the character. Each of these kids at first, we kind of present them almost as archetypes of modern children. And by the time we get to the end of the season, hopefully we reveal that they’re, you know, they’re real human beings, facing all the challenges that young people face in life. And so if you can hear true emotion and true empathy in somebody’s voice, that’s probably what’s going to do it for us.
When you planned this series, was it really intended to be for Netflix, and to evolve as an interactive site for this as well?
Yeah, the partnership with Netflix happened very, very early in the process. We discussed this general idea. But once we decided that we wanted to move forward, we teamed up with them right away. And you know, for me it’ s a different kind of distribution than theatrical obviously, for many reasons. But it does still have the ability for everyone in the world who has access to Netflix, which at this point, a great many people, for a lot of people all over the planet to experience something at the same time. And that’s the thing I love about the actual distribution, as well. Not just the shared experience in the theater, but the shared experience on a global level. You know, we have a shared culture in so many ways when it comes to entertainment. And that’s something that I really appreciate. On Friday, any number of countries, you know, dozens and dozens of countries will have kids that’ll watch this all at the same time, and it’s very exciting.
Spielberg is also billed as the executive producer for this series. Does he still have much of a hand in terms of the creative execution or the storyline?
Yeah, he puts a lot of faith in me and something I really appreciate in guiding all of this forward. But I do go to him in key moments, crucial moments and, you know, ask for his advice. And then on a macro level is him giving these writers permission in a lot of ways to be as openly creative as possible. And the one thing that he said very clearly to everyone is he didn’t just want this to be a kid show. He wanted this to be Jurassic, which means that the kids are in real danger. And that’s something that we’ve done in all of the films pretty consistently. Showing that not only is nobody safe and that dinosaurs don’t discriminate in human life when it comes to who deserves it or who doesn’t. They’re animals. And that comes to children as well. It gave the writers a great freedom to create a show that has a level of tension in it because you’re not really sure who’s safe and who isn’t.
The Jurassic franchise has a lot of fans, both kids and adults. Do you think this series will appeal to adults as well? Was this something that you consciously worked on that you knew you were doing a kid show, but you also really tried to make sure that it was something that adults would like?
Yeah, I think hopefully it will. It’ll naturally be that and it was created mostly by adults. But my children were definitely way in on this series. [laughs] I’m a parent and I watch stuff with my kids. My kids watch every one of these episodes in early forms before we had finalized them, just to make sure that they were entertaining them, because it was entertaining me a lot. Actually, I was very confident that it was going to work for adults as we wrote and I watched everything. I just wanted to make sure kids like it. And I think they will!