In Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (the sequel to 2008’s Journey to the Center of the Earth) the characters are on a quest that takes them to an island located in place where no island is supposed to exist.
Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson), his stepfather Hank (Dwayne Johnson), helicopter pilot Gabato (Luis Guzman) and Gabato’s niece, Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens) encounter a strange world on the island, one where the plant and animal life grow by rules not familiar to the visitors.
The Island Rule, also known as Foster’s Rule, is explained by producer Charlotte Huggins. “It’s a genuine biogeographic theory, that, over the course of evolution in an isolated environment, large things can become small and small things become large. So a herd of elephants there might look and act exactly like elephants [here] except that they’re miniatures, while butterflies could look and act exactly as butterflies would, except that they’re enormous.” Sean and his companions quickly learn the downside of the rule — great carnivorous birds and lizards, some the length of a football field, who see the explorers as their next meal.
The story that unfolds onscreen is based partly on the writings of 19th-century author Jules Verne, whose novels The Mysterious Island and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea flavor the storyline and inspire the action throughout — along with some fortuitous cross-references in the form of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island and Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels.
Richard Outten, who shares story credit on the film with screenwriters Brian Gunn and Mark Gunn, recounts, “The idea began, for me, as a tribute to my grandfather and some of my favorite childhood books. I imagined that rumors of the same strange and fantastical island inspired three authors to independently write their classics; a theory proven by a lifelong adventurer and his grandson.”
“Verne believed the fantastic could be grown from the world we live in, the world beneath our feet, which can be more vast and rich than we imagine, and we took the same approach,” says director Brad Peyton. “The more surreal the environment you create, the more the rules of the real world have to be defined and respected. The challenge being: how do we present ordinary things in a way that’s drastically different from how we normally perceive them, making the familiar suddenly bizarre and unpredictable? This isn’t some far-out fantasyland; amazing things exist on the island but they’re recognizable things with wildly altered proportions.
“I can’t claim every bit of science in the movie is accurate,” he adds. “But we were careful that it all began with some basis in reality. After that… we just went for it.”
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is available starting June 5 on Video On Demand. Check your cable system for availability.
© 2012 Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.