Book to Movie
Jurassic Park is one of the best page-to-screen adaptations ever, but it’s not one of the most faithful. Spielberg’s thrill-ride shares its characters, setting and its most prominent dino-stars with the book, but Michael Crichton’s novel is a very different beast.
The book is drenched in scientific detail, technical mumbo jumbo and lavish lashings of blood and gore. It’s a scarier, darker story with numerous scenes that wouldn’t have suited Spielberg’s family-friendly classic.
So here are ten scenes we’d have loved to have seen on film.
Isla Nublar gets napalmed
Following the film’s events, as the action moves to Isla Sorna (Site B) for films two and three, the fate of Isla Nublar is never addressed.
In the book there’s no doubt what happens to Nublar - as the survivors are ferried to safety, the island erupts in flame as its inhabitants suffer a napalm-y death.
Luckily this didn’t happen in the film, meaning director Colin Trevorrow can take the action back to Nublar for Jurassic World next year.
Muldoon blows up a raptor with a bazooka
What else is there to say?
Muldoon is even more of a badass in the book than he is in the film. Spielberg’s clever girls get the better of our favourite game warden, but in the book Muldoon wins emphatically when he takes a bazooka to a dinosaur brawl.
Read on dear reader, read on...
"The animal on the left simply exploded, the upper part of the torso flying into the air, blood splattering like a burst tomato on the walls of the building. The lower torso collapsed to the ground, the legs kicking in the air, the tail flopping."
A dinosaur siege might just be the coolest, scariest thing imaginable.
As the island descends into chaos Ian Malcolm - in a morphine-induced stupor – is moved to the relative safety of the visitor’s living quarters. There he’s joined by game keeper Robert Muldoon, John Hammond, Dr Henry Wu and Ellie Satler.
Satler ends up playing bait to draw the raptors away from the skylight they’re chewing their way through and in the ensuing chaos Wu meets a horrifying end as he’s torn open and eaten alive by the terrifying raptors.
Timmy's Tyrannosaurus tonguing
You read that right.
It’s a scene that would serve as inspiration for a particular instance in the sequel, but in the original novel it isn’t a snake-fearing palaeontologist getting terrorised by a T-Rex in a waterfall. It’s Lex and Tim.
Not quite able to reach them, the Rex wraps its tongue around Tim’s head, then drags him toward his gaping maw.
It would have been a truly creepy scene, but would have proved a nightmare to make a reality on screen.
Nedry's Blind Date
Dennis Nedry’s death in the book is largely the same, save for one little, nightmarish detail.
Rendered blind by the toxic spit of a dilophosaurus, Nedry re-enters his car only to feel a sharp stabbing in his stomach.
"Nedry stumbled, reaching blindly own to touch the ragged edge of his shirt, and then a thick slivery mass that was surprisingly warm, and with horror he suddenly knew he was holding his own intestines in his hands."
Velociprators aren't the best Foster Parents
Towards the end of the book Lex and Tim find a baby raptor in a dinosaur nursery where new-borns are reared.
The baby is playful, almost happy to see the humans - a far cry from the adult raptors, who are depicted as animalistic, borderline-psychopathic killers.
Not long after finding the infant, adult raptors arrive - and as a distraction Tim throws the baby their way before he’s spotted.
As Tim (who is older in the novel) leads Lex to an escape he looks back to see the baby raptor in the jaws of its elder, before another raptor tears at its limbs. All three raptors proceed to fight over the baby’s remains.
Alan Grant: Raptor killer
Perhaps the most intense scene of the book sees Grant cornered in a laboratory by three raptors.
His plan is to inject the lab’s unfertilised eggs with a deadly toxin before rolling them towards his scaly foes for them to eat. As the raptors stalk him, a delayed reaction kills the first raptor as it charges Grant down, the second is killed by the first as his 'friend' attempts to eat him and the third gets a more personal death as Grant plunges the poison directly into its tail.
Hammond's fitting end
Richard Attenborough’s John Hammond is cuddly, eccentric and naive, but in the books those first two points are a front for a venomous perfectionist determined to control the life he has created.
Seemingly safe, Hammond’s fate is ultimately down to the grandkids he inadvertently brought into harm’s way. As the kids play with the rebooted security system they unleash a Tyrannosaur roar over the visitor centre’s speaker system.
Startled, Hammond stumbles down a hillside, breaking his ankle in the fall. As he sits injured a pack of procompsognathus – compys - gather, nipping at him with their venomous bite. The poison makes victims feel sleepy, and before long Hammond drifts off as the compys gather for a feast.
Raptor boat stowaways
All the action of the latter half of the book is running against the clock, as a boat that left the island with stowaway raptors aboard heads toward Costa Rica.
The islanders need the power back on to contact the boat and stop them reaching the mainland. At the end of the book they alert the boat who find and kill the raptors before they make the coast.
Gennaro dies of dysentery
In Crichton’s follow-up novel The Lost World , lawyer Donald Gennaro gets a brief mention as the author informs us that some time after the original events of Jurassic Park , he died of dysentery while on a business trip.
In the book Gennaro is much braver and useful, with the character in the film being more of a amalgam of that character and the unused character of the island’s cowardly PR manager Ed Regis.
It would hardly make for a thrilling film scene, but Gennaro pooping himself to death? We can dig that.