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30 Coolest Jurassic Park Facts

Alternate casting

Oh, what could have been.

During casting of Jurassic Park , William Hurt turned down the role of Alan Grant without even reading the script. Harrison Ford also turned the role down, while Richard Dreyfuss, Tom Sizemore and Dylan McDermott were all also considered.

Sean Connery was first sought for the role of Hammond, and Sandra Bullock, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robin Wright-Penn, Teri Hatcher, Julianne Moore, Helen Hunt, Elizabeth Hurley and Juliette Binoche all tested for the role of Ellie Sattler.

Aaaand Christina Ricci auditioned to play Lex. And, most amazingly of all, Jim Carrey auditioned for the part of Ian Malcolm, and according to casting director Janet Hirshenson, he performed really well..

Tech error

For all of the film’s sophistication in advancing computer effects, there is a glaring rookie mistake of an error in the film when it comes to depicting real-world technology.

When Nedry communicates with the dock via webcam, it is actually just a Quicktime video playing on screen. You can even see the time bar moving along the bottom of the screen as it plays. D’oh!


If you thought the T-Rex looked scary on screen, apparently things weren’t all that different during filming either. Thanks to the rain, the animatronic T-Rex would frequently short circuit and ‘come alive’ of its own accord.

Producer Kathleen Kennedy has said: "We'd be, like, eating lunch, and all of a sudden a T-Rex would come alive. At first we didn't know what was happening, and then we realized it was the rain. You'd hear people start screaming."

Enjoy the ride

In 1996, Jurassic Park: The Ride opened at Universal Studios Hollywood and went on to become a hugely successful theme park attraction that has got many, many people soaking wet with its massive final splashdown.

Cast members Jeff Goldblum, Ariana Richards and Joseph Mazzello all attended the launch, as did Steven Spielberg – who surprised everyone by proving to be a bit of a wimp and asking to exit the ride just before it’s big 84-foot drop.

Dino love

Did you enjoy the clear spark between Ellie Satler and Dr Ian Malcolm as the latter spouted chaos theory philosophy to flirt outrageously with Alan Grant’s wife?

Well, it seems there was a reason that the two seemed so well suited - Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern actually got engaged after Jurassic Park , and stayed engaged for two years before eventually splitting up.

Flare up

The extreme danger depicted in Jurassic Park wasn’t just contained to the big screen. Sam Neill managed to injure himself during filming with... um... a flare.

According to Neill, during the scene in which Grant uses the flare to distract the T-Rex: “It dropped some burning phosphorous on me and got under my watch and took a chunk of my arm out.” Still better than a dinosaur taking a chunk of your arm out though, eh?


Ian Malcolm’s line about being extinct is actually stolen from animator Phil Tippett (he of “You had one job, Phil” Internet meme fame).

After all his work developing stop-motion techniques for the film, Spielberg had to break the news to him that he was going to use digital effects instead, to which Phil replied “I think we’re extinct”.


The lovable exposition-providing cartoon character was originally conceived out of an off-the-cuff sarcastic comment.

According to screenwriter David Koepp, he and Spielberg were struggling with ways to explain the science behind the concept. He says: “One of us said, 'What are we supposed to do? Have a little animated character called Mr. DNA?' And the other one said, 'Yes! That’s exactly what we’re going to do!'"

Cameo time

Steven Spielberg actually makes an appearance in The Lost World: Jurassic Park , but you’ll be forgiven for having not spotted it. This has to be one of the most subtle cameos on record...

During the CNN broadcast about the dinosaurs’ return, if you look really closely, you can see Jeff Goldblum in the reflection of the TV. And sitting next to him? Mr Spielberg, eating popcorn.You have to REALLY want to see it to spot him.

Casting Tim

Joseph Mazzello, who plays young Tim in the movie, originally auditioned for Hook. Spielberg turned him away then for being too young, but was still impressed and told him “Don’t worry, Joey. I’m going to get you in a movie this summer”.

And his casting as Tim actually led Spielberg to reverse the ages of the children. In Crichton’s novel, Tim is the older sibling, but Spielberg felt that he couldn’t have a girl so young put in mortal peril, so he made Lex the older sister to Tim.