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NOTE: This article is about the film and TV series version of Henry Wu, not the novel version, as he is not a villain in the novels and only in the films. For the novel version of this character, click here.
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Monster is a relative term. To a canary, a cat is a monster. We're just used to being the cat.
~ Wu after Masrani calls the Indominus rex a "monster".
Dr. Henry Wu is the central antagonist of the Jurassic Park franchise.
He serves as a minor character in Jurassic Park, the unseen overarching antagonist of Jurassic Park III, and a major antagonist in Jurassic World and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. He is also a major antagonist of the Netflix spin-off Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, serving as the overarching antagonist of Season 1, an unseen antagonist in Season 2, and the final antagonist of Season 3. He is set to return in Jurassic World: Dominion in an unknown role.
Dr. Henry Wu is shown to be a very devout scientist. Being an extremely intelligent scientist, surpassing most others on the planet, he was able to use the DNA of dinosaurs and combine it with the DNA of other animals. When he's first seen, he shows deep fascination and pride with the dinosaurs he's genetically engineered. He's also shown to be very doubtful in Dr. Malcolm's warnings, and scoffs that his idea that "life finds a way".
Upon being seen again in Jurassic World, his personality remains the same for the most part, and takes great pride in his creations, specifically the Indominus rex, since it's the first official genetic hybrid with the DNA of multiple dinosaurs and other animals. However, his sentimentality of human life appears to have significantly dulled, as he only viewed the deaths of people caused by the Indominus rex as "unfortunate". He also harbors a great pride in his creations, as he states his Velociraptor as "perfectly designed" in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Wu's villainous progression can best be rooted in that while Hammond had the dream for Jurassic Park, It was Wu's genius that made the park a reality.
Henry Wu is a Chinese American from Ohio with a Ph.D. in genetics. He is a senior member of InGen's project to recreate the dinosaurs via cloning. When the team had discovered large amounts of dinosaur DNA, Dr. Wu proposed that they could start to clone dinosaurs by filling in the missing parts of the dinosaur genome (DNA) with DNA from extant species, which the investors preferred this approach because it was faster, easier and cheaper. Thus, the board gave Dr. Wu a promotion to be the chief geneticist.
In this approach, Wu decided to use the DNA of several species of amphibians, including the Common reed frog (Hyperolius viridiflavus), to supplement the dinosaur DNA. The first prehistoric animal was cloned in 1984. Aware of the potential dangers of the cloned dinosaurs, Wu also decided to build in a few safety measures, which later revealed only worked properly. His created dinosaur clones have their chromosomes designed such that all animals were female, so they could not reproduce. He also made the dinosaurs unable to produce Lysine, so they would die without the supplements in their food.
When the endorsement team visited the Isla Nublar Laboratory to see the Velociraptors hatch, Dr. Wu was among the scientists in the laboratory at that time. He joined the group and answered their questions. Wu probably left the island on the C-3208 boat during the storm evacuation.
After the events of Jurassic Park and before the events of Jurassic World
Wu returned to the island in November 1994 as part of the operation to deconstruct the ruined Jurassic Park. His job was cataloging specimen numbers, and to identify exactly how the animals were breeding. Wu discovered that the amphibian DNA enabled the animals to change their sex through a chemical trigger that disintegrated the female organs to create male sex organs.
Wu kept leading the research team at a financially struggling InGen. The breeding dinosaurs had shown him that not only the DNA of various species could be combined, but also their observable characteristics. In 1995, Dr. Wu wrote the book The Next Step: An Evolution of God’s Concepts. In this book, he proposed the hypothesis that he could bring brand new species into fruition by the combination of the traits of various species.
In 1997, Wu and his team actually succeeded in creating a hybrid organism. They had combined the DNA of several plant species to create a new plant, Karacosis wutansis (or Wu Flower). The creation of this hybrid plant gained worldwide media attention.
In 1998, the Masrani Global Corporation took over InGen. The CEO Simon Masrani promoted Dr. Wu within the ranks of the InGen company in December 2000. Wu supervised the creation of new dinosaurs in the Hammond Creation Lab for the new park Jurassic World which opened in 2005.
At an unknown time, Eli Mills hired Wu to create the first hybrid dinosaur, the Scorpios rex, for his illegal operations. After many attempts through his E750 project it worked, but Mills objected to using the Scorpios because it was too unstable for him, and when Wu introduced the creature to Masrani, the latter objected because he didn't want the guests involved. Upon discovering its unpredictable behavior, Wu was attacked by the Scorpios but survived, and didn't listen to Masrani's orders to kill it for being so unstable, so he had his scientists place it in one of his cryogenic chambers to discover the cause of its behavior, saying he wanted to relocate it somewhere where it wouldn't be a threat. Dr. Wu also got hired by Vic Hoskins to create dinosaurs for his security force, and he and many other InGen scientists were involved in the creation of the Indominus rex, his second hybrid dinosaur.
In November 2014, the new InGen facility named "Martel" opened in Siberia. The goal of Martel was to extract Pleistocene dated organic materials from glacial ice. He showed excitement for the project believe it will expand InGen's genome library, but he withheld from speculating about using any found materials to create Cenozoic animals for Jurassic World at the moment. In a paper for a scientific journal that was published by Wu in March 2015, he reported on the possibility of using InGen's genome library to help Medical Health in their research of diseases.
Dr. Wu first appeared explaining to investors that the Indominus rex wasn't bred but was designed and that she was already to be open as an attraction. After the Indominus rex escaped, Masrani confronted Wu about how the animal was created. Wu did not tell Masrani that part of it is Velociraptor, but he did mention that it had the genes of cuttlefish to help her withstand an accelerated growth rate, which results in her possessing the ability to camouflage. Treefrog DNA was also used to adapt the hybrid to the island's tropical climate, but it also gave her the ability to hide her infrared signature from the thermal seeking cameras around her paddock.
He also reminded Masrani that he was the one that asked for a bigger, scarier, and cooler dinosaur, not thinking of the fact that genetically altering dinosaurs would naturally cause them to become less predictable and more dangerous; but Masrani accused him of creating a monster instead. Wu then states that "monster" is a relative term between a cat and a canary; they are used to being the cat. Though he seems to be somewhat unpleasantly (or possibly pleasantly) surprised at how deadly the hybrid has turned out, he does not appear to be remorseful about the deaths that it has caused, deeming them merely "unfortunate", and is unconcerned that he has committed numerous crimes against nature by creating the hybrid in the first place, believing that it was in the name of furthering the science of genetic engineering.
While everyone evacuated, Vic Hoskins, whom Wu was secretly working for behind Masrani's back, had him evacuated with a case of embryos while he and his team take the rest, possibly to create more hybrid dinosaurs for battle combat where some of the said hybrids are seen on his computer near Hoskins when confronted by Owen, Claire and her nephews before being mauled by Delta.
Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous
Wu is first seen in Episode 2 when the teenagers of Camp Cretaceous (except Darius and Kenji, who were punished for sneaking into the Raptor Paddock late at night) arrive in his lab. Brooklynn goes into his office to discover a secret for her blog. She has just the time to read the name of a new dinosaur created by Wu, being the Indominus rex. However, she is caught by Wu, who sends the group out of his lab. He is not seen again in the series, but in Episode 5, Roxy and Dave (the co-counselors of Camp Cretaceous), overheard someone scream save Wu through a walkie talkie, and his employee Eddie told the campers that Wu got greedy and built hybrid dinosaurs.
Wu doesn't appear in the second season of Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, but when Brooklyn, Sammy, and Yasmina go into Wu's lab, Brooklyn says Wu was up to something big and secret, and Brooklyn ends up finding Wu's key card. Brooklyn later uses Wu's tag to get inside a garage (unintentionally) and the surveillance room.
Brooklynn and Sammy watch a video on Dr. Wu's computer in which he talks about the Scorpios rex created in the E750 project quickly changing from placid to extremely aggressive, and then being attacked by the dinosaur, after which he states that he put the Scorpios in a cryogenic chamber so he can find out what is wrong with it. Later on, after the death of the two Scorpios rexes, Wu returns to Isla Nublar with a team of Mills' mercenaries to retrieve his private laptop to create more hybrids, but Brooklynn and her friends stop him and destroy his laptop, thus stopping the creation of hybrids. Despite the mercenary pilot attempting to kill them again, since the mercenaries already got the Indominus ribcage, Wu convinces the pilot to let go of his grudge because it wouldn't be worth it and because he can use the ribcage to breed his last hybrid, the Indoraptor.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
He is first seen working with Eli Mills inside Lockwood's mansion to where he argues with Mills and is upset Blue had been shot and wanted her alive for the Indoraptor. Dr. Wu clearly loathes and even despises Mills, regarding him as nothing more than a spoiled, incompetent, and weak-willed parasite that is beneath him. Later, he is seen at the auctions, attempting to prevent the wild, unpredictable Indoraptor from being sold to someone; however, chaos ensues thanks to Owen Grady's intervention.
While the Indoraptor kills people, Wu eventually tried to take DNA from Blue but was told by Zia that she saved Blue's life by a transfusion of T. rex blood much to Wu's shock. Wu gets angry because now Blue's DNA is no longer pure. Wu was then tranquilized by Franklin and dragged off by a mercenary with a mustache.
Jurassic World: Dominion
He is set to return in Jurassic World: Dominion.
Dr. Wu stands in front of a collection of amber samples collected from various InGen operated mines located all across the world.
“She will be 50 ft. long when fully grown, bigger than the .”
Dr. Henry Wu as seen in LEGO Jurassic World.
Dr. Henry Wu using a part of the Indominus rex's skeleton to make the Indoraptor.
Henry Wu in Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous
Dr. Wu in his lab
Henry Wu appeared in the first Jurassic Park, but as a minor character and only had one scene which was to explain the process of bringing back the dinosaurs.
In the book, he had a more major role but was not a villain, instead, he was one of the supporting protagonists and was killed in the book version by the Velociraptors.
In Jurassic World, Wu is less empathetic, saying that the people the Indominus rex killed were merely unfortunate incidents, as well as chastising Masrani's ignorance and carelessness in wanting to create genetically modified dinosaurs without thinking of how unpredictable and dangerous they would become. It is possible that the death of John Hammond affected Wu deeply and that caused his change in personality.
In Fallen Kingdom, Wu was irritated, annoyed, and even repulsed by Mills' presence, regarding him as weak and pathetic. He was also disgusted when he wanted to sell the Indoraptor which was unstable and a prototype. This also caused Wu to view Mills as a bigger liability than he already was for carelessly risking the creation of prototypes that would be impossible to control that possibly no military would be able to use them as well as possibly expose secrets of his research on hybrids, dooming both of their plans.
Wu's conversation with Masrani about using DNA from various animals to make them "cooler" and not scientifically accurate is a reference by Colin Trevorrow on why he didn't feature feathered dinosaurs in the film, as frog DNA is commonly used in the entire series to create dinosaurs that resulted in ones like the Velociraptors being more reptilian in appearance.
It is possible Dr. Wu and Hoskins were friends as they held a lot of respect for their roles in the Park and were united in their dislike for Masrani. This is a sharp contrast with Mills, whom Wu viewed with disdain and annoyance as well for being an overall weakling who would risk exposure and possibly compromise his plans for the dinosaurs.
As Wu was the architect behind the creation of the dinosaurs and ultimately the indirect cause to every casualty (with the exception of John Hammond and Benjamin Lockwood), he is considered The Heavy and overarching antagonist of the whole Jurassic Park franchise, even though he was not a villain in the book. He's also the most recurring antagonist since he's appeared more than any other villain.
By Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Wu became the most destructive human villain of the franchise, second by Eli Mills; due to Mills actions in attempting to sell off dinosaurs, they ended up being released to the mainland, to say nothing of his attempt to deliberately sell the unstable Indoraptor led to deaths of the bidders including his own. Mills was eventually killed near the climax of the film, Wu still retains his place as the Heavy in the franchise, staying an antagonist and escaping once again from death.
He is one of two human villains in the film series not to be killed by dinosaurs (or die at all), the other being Lewis Dodgson. Both are set to return in Jurassic World: Dominion, though Dodgson's actions were far worse than Wu's.
Despite being the central antagonist of the series, he never was the main antagonist of any film. However, he has the role because he created the dinosaurs, the plans that Vic Hoskins and Eli Mills had would never happen without him, and he was behind the creation of the Spinosaurus, the Indominus rex, the Indoraptor and the Scorpios rex.