Unlike the beasts themselves, our fascination with dinosaurs isn't going extinct anytime soon. Which is probably why Jurassic World, the new franchise following in the footsteps of the iconic Jurassic Park trilogy, was able to smash the box office despite the current reboot/remake/sequel fatigue, and is already getting a sequel in 2018.
But while modern special effects have given us our share of awesome dinos, there's one thing missing from the new movies, and that's a cameo or two from the original cast. Jeff Goldblum's Ian Malcolm is a no-brainer, of course, and what about Dr. Alan Grant and his original paleontology team?
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Honestly, Dr. Grant Doesn't Want To Meet Any More Dinosaurs
Thankfully, ShortList caught up with Sam Neill, who played Grant in two of the three Jurassic Park movies, and is currently starring in the New Zealand indie Hunt for the Wilderpeople. He might also be in Marvel's upcoming Thor: Ragnarok, but he had to keep mum about what exactly he was doing on Waititi's set.
While you might have been crossing your fingers to hear that Grant and his hat would pop up somewhere in the setting of Jurassic World 2, you shouldn't really get your hopes up, because it sounds like Neill has buried him far, far in his memory.
"I think the problem is that no one knows where Alan Grant is anymore. I think he's retired from paleontology. He's sick to death of dinosaurs and running. He's not quite as fleet of foot as he was and he's now retired to Dayton, Ohio and has a very successful accountancy business. Either that or he's dead."
How Do You Recover From Being Chased By Hungry Dinos More Often Than Not?
The interviewer does push a bit to find out whether Neill would ever bring back the character if given the opportunity, but when you've come this close to getting your stomach ripped open by a velociraptor claw, it's understandable that you wouldn't really want the world to know where you're hiding. Neill explained that Grant had literally disappeared:
"No one can find Grant. He's disappeared. Someone found his hat, floating on the Hudson river, but that was the last that was ever heard of him."
That's one way to make sure another crazy couple of liars doesn't force you onto a plane that ends up landing on a remote island infested with dinosaurs. As Neill pointed out, that kind of expedition must have taken its toll on the poor paleontologist, and it's not really easy to deal with that kind of experience without sounding completely insane:
"How do you recover from all that stuff? I don't think there are therapists that are trained to deal with that kind of post-dino stuff."
Well, in a world where thousands of people have experienced the frenzy of an Indominus Rex on the loose, that kind of therapy might just become very popular. We wish you a full recovery, Dr. Grant, and in the meantime, we'll all make sure to remember your precious advice:
"Try to imagine yourself in the Cretaceous Period. You get your first look at this 'six foot turkey' as you enter a clearing. He moves like a bird, lightly, bobbing his head. And you keep still because you think that maybe his visual acuity is based on movement like T-Rex — he'll lose you if you don't move. But no, not Velociraptor. You stare at him, and he just stares right back. And that's when the attack comes. Not from the front, but from the side, and the other two raptors you didn't even know were there. Because Velociraptor's a pack hunter, you see, he uses coordinated attack patterns and he is out in force today. And he slashes at you with this... a six-inch retractable claw, like a razor, on the middle toe. He doesn't bother to bite your jugular like a lion, say... no. He slashes at you here... or here... or maybe across the belly, spilling your intestines. The point is... you are alive when they start to eat you. So you know... try to show a little respect."