Time to open up the gates, because we are heading back into the park. No, this isn't news on the hotly anticipated #JurassicWorld sequel, we are heading back to 1993 and #StevenSpielberg's original #JurassicPark. From toilet chow-downs to flying goat legs, clever girls to a cigar chomping Samuel L. Jackson, Jurassic Park had it all. Raptors are still my go-to excuse for not spending time in the kitchen nowadays, and as a nugget of '90s nostalgia, Jurassic Park is almost unrivalled in its whimsy.
While Spielberg's adaptation was already wildly different from Michael Crichton's book of the same name, we almost got another completely different ending to the film we eventually got. Facebook page Jurassic Time has "dug-up" some original storyboards that recently went on sale. The storyboard binder belonged to effects guru Phil Tippett who created early drafts of the story. As well as a different version of the T-Rex enclosure scene, we see a different character demise, and an "all guns blazing finale." There are no "bones" about it, it would have been spectacular, so let's look at how Jurassic Park could've been a very different romp around the park.
And 'Den' There Were Fewer
In addition to playing the evil Al from Toy Story 2 , Wayne Knight was Jurassic Park's (non-dino) villain. Everyone remembers Knight's rotund villain Dennis Nedry, who shut down Jurassic Park and hoped to make off with some of those sweet eggs (probably for breakfast). Nedry got his comeuppance thanks to the Dilophosaurus (Spitter), but his storyboard death was originally a little more like Alien than family-friendly dino park!
Tippet's draft never had Nedry make it back to his car, he was instead dragged out into the jungle to be disemboweled off-screen. Although we get the horror of seeing Nedry claw at the upholstery, I personally prefer his actual death when you hear his screams and see the car rocking in the distance.
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Car Tours: A New Hope
Elsewhere, the T-Rex enclosure scene could have seen the life of Jeff Goldblum's Dr. Ian Malcolm left hanging in the balance. *Spoilers* Malcolm never made it out of Crichton's novel alive, so perhaps the film was going to stick closer to its source material. The drawings also feature Tim as the older sibling and Lex as the more vulnerable one — an idea that was switched around for Spielberg's eventual film.
The land cruiser scene ended up being one of the film's most action-packed, but just imagine Sam Neill doing more stunts; Tippet's storyboard sees Grant's cruiser thrown into the enclosure where he is forced to roll through and open window and back out again into safety. Sadly, the first draft doesn't seem to contain the toilet gobbling for Gennaro or that infamous goat leg scene, which, as a 4-year-old boy at the time, scared the bejesus out of me!
Chopper Doodle Doo
Perhaps the biggest change from the original storyboards is how our intrepid adventurers get themselves off Isla Nublar. The finished movie had the visitor center showdown as the T-Rex bursts in to break up the raptor party. Everyone escapes to the helicopter as the Rex gives one final roar and the Jurassic Park banner of "When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth" falls around her. It was all very ironic. However, the original plan had a rather more daring (and undoubtedly expensive) finale. There would be (another) jungle jeep chase as Dr. Grant drives Tim and Lex to the helicopter while chased by the afforementioned Rex. They get on board just in time, but not before Dr. Grant is nearly chewed in half. Just as the chopper flies away, our fiery female Rex grabs hold of the runner — but will anyone escape?
It all sounds a little clichéd; obviously they would break free at just the right moment, since Spielberg clearly wanted a sequel. Perhaps it was similarities to a non-Spielberg adventure that stopped the chopper attack making the final cut. While we all remember the angry lady shark chomping an electric cable for Jaws 2's 1978 swansong, you may also remember the scene where the great white pulls a helicopter down into the water. It was highly featured in Jaws 2's promotional footage, and as Spielberg declined to return for round two, he probably didn't want comparisons to be drawn.
However, the real reason the chopper chase was probably scrapped would have been the uber-expensive use of CGI for the Rex run. Although Jurassic Park is classed as a dinosaur film, there are actually only 14 minutes of dino action in total, while there are only 6 minutes of CGI in the entire film. We wouldn't have wanted more though, using traditional animatronics in favor of dodgy '90s effects was part of JP's charm.
An Extinct Storyline
Jurassic Time (who is affiliated with Universal) wrote on their page:
From Phil Tippett's Jurassic Park Early Sequence Storyboard Binder, here is a first-look at the rare storyboards for a thrilling helicopter rescue sequence set to be at the film's finale. This is an early look of the first version (Version A) of the sequence, and was not scripted at this stage immediately after Crichton's final draft. It later became adapted into Malia Scotch Marmo's screenplay, but with numerous alterations.
The book already contained a very different version of the film that we eventually got. John Hammond was a cruel money-maker rather than Richard Attenborough's kindly grandfather. With Crichton's moral compass, Hammond got the fate he deserved in the novel and was killed by the tiny Compys when he fell down a hill and snapped his ankle. Elsewhere we miss out on a river chase scene with Lex, Tim, and Dr. Grant, but elements of both these scenes were adapted for both The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III; however, you can't help but feel we missed out on something.
While the images haven't been officially confirmed as 100% true, Tippet was credited as "dinosaur supervisor" in the film and it all seems legit, but which ending would you prefer? For me, Jurassic Park had a great ending as it was and possibly should have stayed as just one. Crichton had never envisioned a sequel film or book, and let's say was coerced into writing The Lost World — he even had to resurrect Malcolm a la Moriarty, which may explain why the second film was poorly received. I'm not saying that Crichton's novels are better (because I love the first film), but yeah, they're better!
Check out our video on the 19 best Jurassic Park kills, and don't forget our poll below!
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