Jurassic Park Trivia
Posted by Nexus on January 18, 2014 (Updated: 31-Jan-2014)
This section includes various bits of Jurassic Park Trivia. It ranges from pre-production, to casting, production and post-production.
- Various studios were interested in getting this rights to Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park book. 20th Century Fox wanted it for Joe Dante, Warner Bros. wanted it for Tim Burton, Columbia wanted it for Richard Donner and Universal wanted it for Steven Spielberg. He told his agents to put a set price on the rights and then he interviewed the various directors. He decided to sell the rights to Universal and Steven Spielberg.
- Before Crichton’s novel was even published, Universal paid him $2 million for the rights.
- When the characters come across the sick Triceratops, the scene ends without any explanation as to why the creature is sick. In Crichton’s novel, it’s explained that the dinosaur lacked suitable teeth for grinding so it swallows rocks to aid the process. It also ate West Indian Lilac berries at the same time which caused it to get sick.
- When Spielberg first heard about Crichton’s Jurassic Park novel, he was doing pre-production for the film ER. He suspended work on that to make Jurassic Park and afterwards, developed ER into a TV series.
- Steven Spielberg delayed filming on Jurassic Park by several weeks so he could get the cast he wanted. Richard Attenborough was finishing post-production on his own film Chaplin and Sam Neill was finishing filming Family Pictures.
- In the original script in the visitor center with the raptors, Alan Grant was going to use the head of the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton to crush the raptors.
- Pre-production on Jurassic Park began in 1989, a year before Michael Crichton’s book was due to be published. Spielberg used his manuscript as a guide.
- Many species of dinosaur were cut out of the film that were seen in the novel for budget reasons. Of them was a small creature called Procompsognathus which later appeared in The Lost World. Their purpose would have been to eat other dinosaur’s waste and excrete it themselves in smaller piles enabling bacteria to break it down.
- In the original script and novel, Malcolm was going to cowardly run away during the Tyrannosaurus rex attack. Jeff Goldblum came out with a more heroic idea of distracting the creature with a flare.
- In Michael Crichton’s novel, John Hammond says that the narrator on the prerecorded park tour is Richard Kiley. Kiley was hired to play himself in that role for the movie.
- Crichton’s original idea for Jurassic Park came in 1983 when he wrote a screenplay about a Pterodactyl being cloned from an egg. After many drafts, he figured out that the screenplays were through a child’s point of view and there was no clear character to root for.
- Malia Scotch Marmo did some rewrites on the final script but remains uncredited for his work.
- Steven Spielberg was going to hire Bob Gurr to do the full size dinosaurs because he was impressed with his apes in the “Kongfrontation” ride at Universal Studios.
- Director Steven Spielberg and author Michael Crichton originally met over twenty years earlier, when Spielberg gave Crichton a tour of Universal Studios during the production of The Andromeda Strain.
- In one of the early drafts of the script, the character of Ian Malcolm was not included. Instead, the character of Donald Gennaro is injured in the scene where the Tyrannosaurus rex attacks the cars.
- In the original script, Gennaro and Malcolm were combined into one character, and Muldoon survived in the end. In the original novel, Gennaro and Muldoon both survived, and Hammond and Malcolm died.
- In the original novel, John Hammond is killed by a small group of dinosaurs called the Procompsognathus which don’t appear in Jurassic Park but do appear in The Lost World.
- Scenes of the T-Rex attacking Grant and the kids while they ride down a river and through a running waterfall were cut before filming.
- Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) dresses entirely in black in both Jurassic Park and The Lost World. In the novel, he tells Ellie that he only ever dresses in black and gray, so that he never has to waste time thinking about what to wear. Jeff Goldblum also gives the same reason for his fashion sense in 1986’s The Fly.
- Alan Grant is based on paleontologist Jack Horner who digs and teaches in Montana, and was also a technical advisor on Jurassic Park.
- Jim Carrey was considered for the role of Ian Malcolm.
- Sean Connery was offered the role of John Hammond.
- Various actresses were considered for the role of Ellie Sattler including Laura Linney, Sandra Bullock, Gwyneth Paltrow, Julianne Moore, Helen Hunt, Teri Hatcher, Elizabeth Hurley, Sherilyn Fenn, Jodie Foster, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ally Sheedy, Geena Davis, Daryl Hannah, Jennifer Grey, Kelly McGillis, Jamie Lee Curtis, Julia Roberts, Linda Hamilton, Sarah Jessica Parker, Bridget Fonda, Joan Cusack, and Debra Winger. Robin Wright and Juliette Binoche were offered the role but declined.
- Various actors were considered for the role of Alan Grant including Richard Dreyfuss, Dylan McDermott, Tom Sizemore. William Hurt and Harrison Ford were offered the role but declined.
- Steven Spielberg really wanted to work with the young Joseph Mazzello after he turned him down for a role in Hook for being too young. He was then cast as Tim Murphy in Jurassic Park. The characters of Tim and Lex were swapped around so that Lex was the older child and Tim was the younger one.
- Anna Chlumsky and Christina Ricci auditioned for the role of Lex Murphy, but the part went to Ariana Richards.
- Ariana Richards’ audition involved standing in front of a camera and screaming wildly.
- Brian Cox was interviewed for the character of Muldoon
- This is Richard Attenborough’s first acting role in 15 years.
- Despite having top billing, B.D. Wong has less than two minutes of screen time.
- Gerald R. Molen, the film’s producer played Dr. Gerry Harding, the character who was helping the sick triceratops.
- When filming the T-Rex in the rain, the water would soak into the T-Rex and the added weight, caused the animatronic to shake uncontrollably. Stan Winston and his crew had to constantly dry it between takes. Eventually, they hung a platform above the T-rex to keep the water off it during filming.
- When the T-Rex comes through the glass roof of the Ford Explorer, the glass wasn’t meant to break which produced genuine screams from the children.
- There were two animatronic Tyrannosaurus built for filming. One was the full-body version and the other was the head that was used for closeup shots.
- A baby triceratops was built for a scene where one of the kids rides it. The special effects crew spent a year making this but the scene was cut at the last minute as Steven Spielberg thought it would ruin the film’s pacing.
- Hurricane Iniki hit the island of Kauai on September 11, 1992 which delayed production of the film. The filmmakers managed to capture some shots from the Hurricane and use it in the movie.
- When Hurricane Iniki hit the island, the cast and crew were required to move into the ballroom of the hotel they were staying in but Richard Attenborough stayed in his hotel room, and slept through the entire thing. When asked why he did this, Attenborough said, “My dear boy, I survived the blitz!”
- The glass of water sitting on the dashboard of the Ford Explorer was made to ripple using a guitar string that was attached to the underside of the dashboard beneath the glass. A crew member was hidden underneath flicking the guitar strings to get the effect.
- When Sam Neill is distracting the Tyrannosaur with the flare, actor Sam Neill injured his hand lighting it. Neill said: “It dropped some burning phosphorous on me and got under my watch and took a chunk of my arm out.”
- The raptors in the kitchen scene was filmed on Joseph Mazzello’s 9th birthday. Due to a misunderstanding, Mazello accidently ran into one of the raptors on one of the takes and was injured.
- There were lots of wires and rigging to control the velociraptor animatrons in the kitchen scene so the children had to be careful stepping over them while the scene was being filmed. The kitchen set was greatly expanded from the original design to accommodate the velociraptors.
- The scene where the T-Rex comes out of the forest and eats the gallimimus was shot on the island of Oahu at Kualoa Ranch. This was the only outdoor scene not filmed on Kauai, due to Hurricane Iniki.
- Steven Spielberg wanted the velociraptors to be about 10 feet tall, which was taller than they were known to be. During filming, paleontologists uncovered 10-foot-tall specimens of raptors called Utahraptors.
- Principal photography on the film finished 12 days ahead of schedule and on budget.
- To give the illusion that the Ford Explorers were driverless cars, the vehicles were driven by remote by someone hidden at the back of the vehicle. The driver had a small TV inside which allowed him to view the two mounted cameras on the Explorers.
- Steven Spielberg was initially worried about using computer generated dinosaurs as he believed the quality meant Nintendo type cartoon quality. He originally only wanted the herd of gallimimus dinosaurs to be computer-generated, but when he saw ILM’s demo animation of a T-rex chasing a herd of galamides, he was so impressed that he decided to shoot nearly all the dinosaur scenes using this method.
- Phil Tippett was quite disappointed when he discovered that none of the stop-motion creatures he had been developing would be used in the film. However, soon after, ILM animators used his techniques to render how each dinosaur moves.
- In the film, when Lex is hanging from a floorboard between stories, she looks up for a moment. This was actually the stunt double looking up accidently so Ariana Richards’ face had to be superimposed during post production.
- Spielberg originally considered filming in Cost Rica as the fictional island is located there but he abandoned this idea when the Costa Rican government wouldn’t allow them to build roads to get to their filming locations.
- In the egg-hatching scene, a baby triceratops was originally supposed to come out of the egg, but it was changed to a velociraptor.
- All shots that contained a full adult dinosaur was computer-generated while shots containing just parts of them were animatronics.
- Originally, Steven Spielberg wanted to use stop motion animation for the dinosaur effects and Phil Tippett created a short demo of the kitchen scene using claymation dinosaurs.
- The Tyrannosaur paddock set was constructed on location for the daytime scene where it fails to appear. For the nighttime scene, the paddock was constructed at the Warner Bros. soundstage as Universal didn’t have one big enough.
- The ending where the Tyrannosaurus makes its final appearance was was added when Steven Spielberg decided that it was the hero of the movie.
- Steven Spielberg was so confident with this film that he started making Schindler’s List and left post-production of Jurassic Park to George Lucas to supervise.
- The Tyrannosaurus’ roars were a combination of dog, penguin, tiger, alligator, and elephant sounds. The sounds made by the Dilophosaurus were a combination of the sounds of howler monkeys, hawks, rattlesnakes, and swans. The main cry of the Velociraptors was a combination of the sounds of elephant seal pups, dolphins and walruses. The elephant seal sounds were recorded at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California. The sounds made by the Brachiosaurus were a combination of whale and donkey sounds.
- For the scene where the Tyrannosaurus catches a Gallimimus and shakes it in his mouth, the sound was taken from a dog shaking a toy in its mouth.
- To study the movement of the Gallimimus herd, the film’s digital artists were ordered to run along a stretch of road with some obstacles with their hands next to their chest.
- Many errors were corrected digitally including stunt people’s faces being superimposed with the actors/actresses and in one scene a Ford Explorer was digitally generated.
- Jurassic Park is the first film to use DTS digital surround sound which Spielberg had created especially for the movie.
- When George Lucas supervised post-production on Jurassic Park, he decided that technology was good enough to begin work on the Star Wars prequels.
- The film opened on Friday, June 11, 1993, and broke box office records in its first weekend and grossed $47 million. It eventually grossed more than $900 million worldwide.
- Jurassic Park was the highest-grossing film of 1993. It was the biggest grossing film ever until Titanic was released in 1997.
- In the years after Jurassic Park had been released, paleontologists discovered new details about velociraptors and proposed theories that they were in fact feathered. Some elements of this made its way into Jurassic Park 3‘s raptor designs.
- After the success of the novel and the film, it generated a huge amount of interest in paleontology and universities had record numbers of people studying it.
- Author Michael Crichton said his own views on genetic engineering are projected through Ian Malcolm whereas Steven Spielberg is similar to John Hammond.
- A Dilophosaurus can’t actually spit venom or frill its neck up like in the movie. The venom spitting was made up by Michael Crichton while Spielberg had the idea to give it a neck frill.
- When Ian Malcolm jokes about Ellie’s and Alan’s jobs are extinct, it is a nod to when dinosaur supervisor Phil Tippett said the same thing to Spielberg when he decided to use CGI instead of go-motion.
- After Nedry makes his first appearance in the control room, you can see the movie Jaws playing on one of the computer screens.
- The Triceratops mural in the visitors center also incorporates elements from “Guernica,” Pablo Picasso’s famous painting of the horrors of war.
- The movie marked the climax of the “Dinosaur Renaissance”, a groundbreaking scientific revolution that lasted from the ’60s until the early ’90s, when dinosaurs went from being seen as slow, stupid and cold-blooded reptiles to the fast, intelligent and warm-blooded animals seen in the film.
- When John Hammond gets an update on the storm, he says “Why didn’t I build in Orlando?” Universal Studios actually has two theme parks there. One of them has a Jurassic Park ride.
- After making this movie, Ariana Richards gained a huge interest in dinosaurs and helped Jack Horner (paleontologist advisor) on an actual dinosaur dig in Montana the following summer.
- While discussing chaos theory in the Ford Explorer, Ian Malcolm flirts with Ellie Sattler. After meeting on this film, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern began a romantic relationship, and were engaged for two years before breaking up.
- Jurassic Park inspired BBC’s Tim Haines to produce the popular documentary series Walking with Dinosaurs.
- When Dr. Grant is talking to the boy at the start of the movie, a dinosaur’s head can be seen on the mountain.
- When Nedry is stealing the dinosaur embryos there is one labeled a Brontosaurus. Brontosaurus was not a real dinosaur but one named by a paleontologist that had the wrong skull on his specimen. The correct skull for the dinosaur was found by a different scientist and it was then known as the Apatosaurus.
- Ariana Richards was upset when she found out that nobody had produced an action figure of her character. Kenner only made figures of Grant, Sattler, Muldoon, Nedry, Tim, and eventually Malcolm.
- A photograph of J. Robert Oppenheimer (one of the scientists who created the atomic bomb) is displayed on Dennis Nedry’s workstation.
- There are only 15 minutes of actual dinosaur footage in Jurassic Park, 9 minutes of which are Stan Winston’s animatronics and the other 6 minutes is ILM’s CGI.
- Inside Alan Grant and Ellie’s trailer, there is some skeletal reconstructions of velociraptors, according to how they had really been imagined in the beginning of the ’90s. These are actually the most accurate dinosaur reconstructions on the film, having been made by paleontologist and paleo-artist Gregory Paul.
- Fred Sorenson was the pilot who flew the crew off Kauai when the hurricane hit during production. He played Jock, the pilot who flew Indiana Jones away in the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
- Tim makes references about Robert Bakker and his dinosaur book. Bakker was actually a technical advisor on Jurassic Park.
- In this film, Steven Spielberg directs the man who beat him to the Best Director Oscar in 1983. Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi also beat Spielberg’s E.T. as Best Picture.
- Newspaper clippings on the fridge in Grant and Ellie’s trailer read “Space Aliens Stole My Face” and “Dinosaurs On Mars!”
- The gun that game warden Muldoon uses is an Italian Franchi SPAS 12. Steven Spielberg kept the gun after the production ended and it’s part of his very large, private gun collection. When he invites guests to his home in Beverly Hills, he lets them shoot it.
- In the shots of the gift shop, there is a book visible called “The Making of Jurassic Park” by Don Shay and Jody Duncan. This title was published but tells the behind the scenes story of how the movie was made. Jody Duncan also wrote the “Making Of” book for its sequel The Lost World.
- The company name “InGen” is the Norwegian, Danish and Swedish word for “nobody”.
- Richard Attenborough plays Joseph Mazzello’s grandfather. He then cast Mazzello in his next film, Shadowlands.
- John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) creates the dinosaurs from DNA trapped in amber. Attenborough’s brother is naturalist David Attenborough possesses his own collection of animals trapped in amber. This was the focus of 2004’s The Natural World: The Amber Time Machine.
- Dr. Alan Grant has at least 2 dinosaur models from the 1988 Carnegie Collection: The original green colour Tyrannosaurus Rex, and the adult Apatosaurus.
- The helicopter used in Jurassic Park was later involved in an accident in Hawaii in March 2001. The helicopter dropped ten feet to the ground, bounced back up and then tipped on its right side.
- The release strategy was planned 15 months before the studio had the chance to see anything from the movie.
- When the film was released in Costa Rica, local cinema owners blurred out the San Jose tag during the scene when Nedry is waiting for his contact in Costa Rica’s capital because the local audiences reacted negatively because the scene wasn’t filmed there.
- Much of the dinosaur behavior seen in the film is based on modern wild animals.
- Apart from the opening scene, the adult velociraptors don’t appear in full until over 103 minutes into the movie.
Hi, Great trivia! but I differ on this point: “When the film was released in Costa Rica, local cinema owners blurred out the San Jose tag during the scene when Nedry is waiting for his contact in Costa Rica’s capital because the local audiences reacted negatively because the scene wasn’t filmed there.” Sure many of the costaricans wheren’t happy about the film being made somewhere else, but I think the actual negativity lies on the setting of the scene itself, when Nedry travels to “San Jose” sure San Jose it’s the capital of the country a city, it lies on a valley 1100m above sea level, not the beach that appears on the film and I think that’s why the cinemas blurred the name, I come on you wouldn’t like the capital, the most important city of your country being despicted as a god forgotten place wouldn’t you? I know i wouldn’t…
A long time ago, I read in a Jurassic Park site (don’t remember the name, but it was around 2003) that a scene were the T.rex breaks into the Visitors Center was actually filmed and it was seen during a test screening of the movie. But then it was removed from the theatrical cut because it ruined the element of surprise when Rexy shows up and kills the Velociraptors. Is there any proof of that such deleted scene existed?
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