In 1993, Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park dazzled audiences with digitally created dinosaurs like nothing that had ever been seen before. It was one of the first films to showcase the true potential of CGI in filmmaking with special effects that still hold up to this day. Since then, the movie has spawned two direct sequels as well as the new Jurassic World series. Later this year, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom will arrive in theatres to delight fans and dinosaur lovers once again. With such a rich history of movies, novels, toys, and video games that the series has inspired, we have a massive amount of content to both analyze and enjoy.
For this list, we'll be taking a look at 20 of the weirdest and most awesome facts about the Jurassic Park series as a whole. We'll be diving into the depths of the story's official canon, pouring over the production of the films, and even taking a look at some projects that never saw the light of day. A lot of work has gone into this franchise, with creative minds from all areas of modern entertainment adding their own twist to its success. With so many minds and so many years put into it, there are more than a few surprises from this series that you're likely not to know. Take a look and enjoy as we present 20 things you didn't know about the world of Jurassic Park.
20 The Roar Of The Tyrannosaurs Rex
The iconic roar of the Tyrannosaurus in Jurassic Park is one of the most recognizable sound effects ever created. The original recordings have been used consistently throughout the film series and have also appeared many times in other forms of media. As with all the dinosaur sound effects created for the film, various noises from the natural world were mixed to make entirely new sounds.
The T-Rex needed to sound large, loud, and menacing.
To achieve this a combination of baby elephants grunts, tiger roars and alligator hisses were used. A whale's blow was used for the animal's breathing, and dog growls were also used as it took down a Gallimimus later in the film. These combinations of sound were intended to make the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park sound as close as possible to real living creatures while still being unique.
19 The Original Rexy
According to the official canon, the Tyrannosaurus we see in the first Jurassic Park movie is the exact same creature we see in Jurassic World. That means that the same T-Rex we saw breaking out of its pen and chasing down Jeeps in the first film was also the one set free by Claire to fight the Indominus.
You can even see scars along the creature's neck and midsection from where the raptors attacked her at the end of the first Jurassic Park.
The name Rexy comes from the Jurassic Park novel. In it, the game warden Robert Muldoon refers to her as Rexy as he's hunting her down to tranquillize her. The name stuck among fans of the series enough that the creators of Jurassic World thought it worthwhile to bring her back.
18 The Lost World's Lost Ending
One of the most famous moments in Jurassic Park history would be the San Diego incident at the climax of The Lost World. The male T-Rex is brought to the mainland and we finally get to see what it's like for a dinosaur to terrorize a real city.
This ending is definitely a memorable one but it wasn't the ending written in the original script.
Originally, the film would have ended after all the humans escaped from the island. The team would have radioed for help at the village like we see in the movie and would have left on helicopters after narrowly escaping from a group of raptors. The climax would consist of fending off flying pterosaurs trying to attack the helicopters. While the movie was being filmed, Spielberg decided to change this ending in exchange for something bigger.
So that's how they ended up with the Tyrannosaur in San Diego.
17 Claymation Goes Extinct
During the early production stages of the original Jurassic Park movie, Steven Spielberg planned to use stop-motion clay figures made by Phil Tippet for all fullscreen shots of dinosaurs. These would have been intercut with the full-sized animatronic dinosaurs designed by Stan Winston. Miniature clay models for every dinosaur had been made, along with several screen tests and real-time storyboards already filmed.
Luckily for us, Spielberg felt that these claymation dinosaurs wouldn't fulfill the expectations he had for the film.
After several tests with Dennis Muren at ILM studios, it was decided to go full steam ahead using CGI technology for all the dinosaurs. As they watched their first CGI test with a full-sized Tyrannosaur, Phil Tippet turned to Steven to say the words "I think I'm extinct."
Those words would be spoken in the movie itself by Ian Malcolm.
16 The Sick Triceratops
While touring the park for the first time, Alan Grant and the others happen upon the park vet tending to a sick Triceratops in the field. They're particularly concerned and goes to some pretty extreme lengths to discover the cause of the illness. Eventually, the group has to move on and we never hear from the sick animal again through the rest of the film.
The movie may not explain why the Triceratops was so sick, but the original novel by Michael Crichton has an explanation of its own.
In the book, several Stegosauruses have gotten sick due to eating West Indian lilac berries. The dinosaurs were already afflicted with gall stones when they had been swallowing the berries, which made them more ill. That explains why the investigations we see from on film were unsuccessful.
15 Jurassic Park Survival
The history of Jurassic Park has included a number of video games over the years. To correspond with the release of Jurassic Park 3, Universal Interactive planned to release a video game called Jurassic Park: Survival. The project was eventually scrapped due to budget problems, but not without giving away a few screenshots such as the one above.
According to the developers, this game was not going to tie into the story of Jurassic Park 3 in any significant way. Instead, there would have been a completely new and original story involving a scientist sent to study the dinosaurs on the island, along with government agents and shadowy corporate espionage groups trying to steal the dinosaurs from their homes.
The game would have had a focus on puzzle solving and avoiding dinosaurs rather than fighting. Sadly, it looks like this one is unlikely to see the light of day.
14 Troubled Production
Considered a low point by many fans of the series, Jurassic Park 3 was beset with troubles from almost day one. According to numerous interviews with the cast and crew, the production moved on continuously without any clear vision. Director Joe Johnston even mentioned that it was an on-set joke that the film's wrap would be the gift of a completed script.
Essentially the entire film had been cast with set-pieces, costumes, dinosaurs, and other special effects specifically designed for one script.
This script involved the character Alan Grant returning to the island to investigate whether or not dinosaurs had been escaping to pursue citizens on the mainland. Just five weeks before filming was set to begin, this script was thrown out after $18 million had already been invested in the project.
The film we got to see was written on the fly using the available pieces meant for an entirely different story.
13 A Mutated Super Predator?
One of the things about Jurassic Park 3 that did stand out was the Spinosaurus. It was a memorable and menacing creature that stalked the humans trying to escape Isla Sorna throughout the length of the film. The origins of this creature were mysterious, given that it never appeared in the previous movies.
Dr Grant and Billy briefly mention that the Spinosaurus was never on InGen's list.
New developments in the franchise have shed some light on this dinosaur's strange appearance. In promotion of the new Jurassic World film, the Dinosaur Protection Group website was created. This real website features a lot of information and clues about the series canon and the next film.
One document on the site mentions that after InGen was bought by Masrani Global, the company secretly bred new animals on Isla Sorna and experimented with genetic mutations. One of the dinosaurs specifically mentioned was the Spinosaurus.
12 Jurassic Park Extinction
One aspect of the Jurassic Park novels that never made it to the film was the deadly DX disease. In the Lost World book, Ian Malcolm discovers that the dinosaurs on Isla Sorna had all become infected with the same illness.
This illness caused all the animals to live shorter lives and would presumably lead to the ultimate end of Site B.
While we haven't seen this idea used in any of the films so far, it was one of several ideas discussed for a Jurassic Park 4 film. After the release of Jurassic Park 3 in 2001, years were spent writing and re-writing different scripts before we ended up with the Jurassic World series. It was rumoured at one time that the DX disease would be surfacing in the 4th instalment of the series and that the title would be Jurassic Park IV: Extinction.
Fan versions are available online, however!
11 The Origins Of Roland Tembo
Possibly the most memorable character from The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Roland is an experienced hunter whose only goal is to successfully hunt a male Tyrannosaurus. In the film, we clearly see what his personality and ambitions are, but there are quite a few things we don't get to see.
Several scenes about the hunter were written in the original script though many were either cut or deleted from the finished film.
For example in one of the deleted scenes, we see Roland getting into a fight just as he's being invited to join the expedition to Site B. In another part of the script that was never filmed, it was revealed that the Nick Van Owen character had previously run into Roland in South America hunting jaguars with only a spear. Clearly, the man has a history of danger, making him one of the most ruthless antagonists the Jurassic Park series has seen so far.
10 Easter Eggs In San Diego
The climax of The Lost World: Jurassic Park may have been added on late in the game, but it wasn't done thoughtlessly. In fact, the amount of detail and hidden references in this part of the film is relatively impressive.
There are more Easter Eggs here than anyone casually watching would ever have thought.
For example, the name of the ship carrying the T-Rex to San-Diego was called the U.S.S. Venture, the same ship that carried King Kong to New York in the original film. Also, the man captured by the Rex while running into a Blockbuster store was played by screenwriter David Kemp. Other references to the original Lost World film and Godzilla can also be seen during the Rex's rampage through the streets.
9 Samuel L. Jackson's Missing Goodbye
The character of Ray Arnold, played by Samuel L. Jackson, is as recognizable a part of the first Jurassic Park film as any of the dinosaurs. He's a hard-working engineer running the entire park behind his computers in the control room. Arnold is the counterpoint to the meddling Dennis Nedry, who shut down the park's security to steal dinosaur genetic material.
Unfortunately, Arnold doesn't last until the end of the film. His fate is known but we never got to see what actually happened to him. According to an interview with Samuel L. Jackson by the A.V. Club, one final scene with the character was supposed to be shot but wasn't. The actor was prevented from flying to Hawaii by a hurricane and was unable to make the set for this scene. Ray Arnold never got to say goodbye, but he's still immortalized in this film.
8 The Many Tyrannosaurs
In 1998, Electronic Arts released Jurassic Park: Trespasser the video game for windows. The game was considered to be a digital sequel of sorts to The Lost World and was highly anticipated at the time. Unfortunately, the game was rushed to release while still incomplete which resulted in a lack of content and numerous bugs. Even so, the game did contribute a fair amount of lore to the Jurassic Park story.
According to in-game documents from John Hammond himself, 8 individual Tyrannosaurs were bred and released on Isla Sorna. The game itself features 8 of these animals wandering the island which the player must contend with. The movies have not shown nearly as many of these animals. The Lost World film featured two full grown rex's along with their baby. Imagining 8 of those animals wandering the island is quite an intense thought.
7 The Mysterious Merging
InGen, the company founded by John Hammond to build Jurassic Park, is no longer in control of the creatures they made. Another website created to promote Jurassic World called Masrani Global shows us that the they bought InGen and all of its assets to build their new park.
This means that everything InGen created now belongs to Masrani Corp.
It may seem inconsequential, but from the looks of these new promotional websites, it may be very relevant to the series going forward. It is worth mentioning that according to the website, InGen still exists as an entity within the Masrani group. It's suggested that tension may be brewing between Masrani and InGen, that rivalries or schisms may be forming internally. We'll have to wait and see how it turns out, but it's worth keeping an eye on.
6 Spinosaurus And Raptors Face-Off
It seems that remaking the ending is a Jurassic Park tradition. Not only was Jurassic Park 3 plagued with revisions throughout the filming process, but there were plenty of exciting ideas thrown away at the last minute.
One such idea was an epic fight between the Spinosaurus and Velociraptors at the movie's climax. The humans would be nearing the coast while pursued by the Spinosaur only to find the way ahead blocked by a pack of Raptors. The opposing carnivores would battle each other while the humans managed to get away just in time.
This version of the story was scrapped in order to bring a satisfactory conclusion to the stolen raptor eggs storyline. Sadly, these vicious carnivores have never yet met on screen, but we'd love to see it happen.
5 Stolen Dinosaurs?
The Jurassic World franchise has been expanding the series lore immensely through the use of websites over the last few years. The new dinosaur protection group site has quite a lot to say about the direction of the story and on what to expect from the upcoming Fallen Kingdom film. One interesting tidbit of information concerns the fate of the dinosaurs left on Isla Sorna.
According to the website, Masrani Global was not legally allowed to create dinosaurs of their own due to something called the Gene Guard Act. Because of this, Masrani secretly captured the dinosaurs of Isla Sorna to use in their Jurassic World park. In conjunction with the fact that we now know Masrani was experimenting with dinosaurs on the island secretly for years, I think we can expect to see the corporation impacting the series even more as it develops.
4 Sam Neill's Hand
Acting for a major budget film can be a challenging and occasionally dangerous job. Even under the most secure conditions, accidents can still happen. Sam Neill can attest to that fact. While filming the Tyrannosaur breakout scene, part of the actor's hand was damaged from the road flare he's holding.
You can actually see this happening in the film itself, if you look carefully at his hand.
Luckily the injury was only minor and Sam Neill was able to walk away without any permanent damage. It couldn't have been a pleasant experience regardless though. Anyone who suffers this and continues to act out a scene truly deserves a round of applause. For the most part, the cast was able to avoid injuries for the rest of the shoot but this wasn't the only accident to happen during this scene.
3 The Chaos Effect
After the success of the first film, there was talk in the mid-nineties of producing a televisions series called Jurassic Park: Chaos Effect. The project did make progress for a while with money being invested and scripts for the show being written. Essentially, the story would have involved more genetically mutated dinosaurs wrecking havoc. Beyond that not much is known, as the project was ultimately cancelled.
Even though the television series was never released, so much money had already been invested into the merchandise that Chaos Effect toys were released anyway. Many of the toys were based on mutated versions of dinosaurs that may or may not have been intended as part of the TV show. Some of those toys are worth a fair amount of money as collectables, and can look pretty weird as we checked out last month right here on TheGamer.
2 Animatronic T-Rex Shivers
For a number of shots in Jurassic Park, Spielberg had to use full-sized animatronic dinosaurs designed by Stan Winston. This mechanical Tyrannosaurus weighed over 9 tons, was 40 feet long and could rise 24 feet into the air. It was a massive and technologically advanced machine that cost a small fortune.
The only thing Stan Winston warned about was to never get the T-Rex wet.
If you've seen the film, you know that wasn't going to happen. The T-Rex escapes her enclosure during the middle of a tropical storm. This animatronic dinosaur was subjected to heavy downpours inside the studio. The problem was that the rubber skin absorbed so much water it began to shake after a period of time. Crew members needed to dry the rig off with towels in between takes just to keep it from malfunctioning. The machine survived, but it was a risky endeavour.
1 The Shattered Glass Roof
This part of the movie was supposed to be a lot less exciting than it turned out. Apparently, the T-Rex was only supposed to approach the glass but the animatronic head came in just a little too fast.
The Tyrannosaurs head went straight through, causing a sheet of plexiglass to fall right where it shouldn't.
The screams we hear in the movie were as genuine as could be, according to the actors themselves. Luckily no one was hurt during this mishap and the only result was a genuinely more exciting film.
Sometimes accidents can turn out to be unexpectedly fortunate moments.What could have been a disaster ended up adding something even more terrifying to an already terrifying scene. Let's hope the series continues to surprise us with scenes like this as it continues to evolve.