The Jurassic Park franchise is no stranger to bumpy productions. Even the very first film had to overcome many hurdles in order to become one of the most famous films ever made. However, none of the series have had as infamous of a troubled production as Jurassic Park III.
It’s become well-known that many rewrites, changes, and issues up until the end of filming. The script was still being written as they were filming and as a result, a lot of story ideas and scenes were scrapped along the way.
Updated on May 31st, 2022 by Melody MacReady: As Jurassic World: Dominion approaches to give fans another third chapter of a trilogy, fans can look back twenty years prior to Jurassic Park III. Despite its troubled production and it is the least liked in the long-running franchise, Jurassic Park III does have its fans.
Many of the fans of this series are interested in the many changes made during all phases of production. Over the years, even more information about Jurassic Park III’s concepts and ideas have been revealed, with some of them even inspiring future sequels.
Michael Crichton Was Originally A Co-Writer
The creator of the franchise himself, Michael Crichton, was involved with the writing of Jurassic Park III. However, after only days of working on the film, he left after being unable to come up with ideas that he felt worked for what he wanted from another film.
From there three other writers took full control of the script. Writers such as Peter Buchman, Alexander Payne, John August, and Jim Taylor took over with supervision from Steven Spielberg and Joe Johnston.
Pteranodons Were What Brought Grant To The Island
In one version of the script, the film was going to open with Pteranodons escaping and killing people on the mainland, according to paleontologyworld.com. This is what would have brought Alan Grant back into the story, as more of an investigator.
Some would argue this would have made for a more natural return of Grant rather than the contrived reason in the final product. However, this script was rejected by Steven Spielberg and the director Joe Johnston.
The T-Rex Fight With The Spinosaurus Was Longer
The battle between the juvenile T-Rex and the Spinosaurus ends in a divisive moment with the Spinosaurus snapping the T-Rex’s neck, killing it. Fans of the iconic dinosaur were not happy since the fight between the two monsters was only over a minute long.
There was an extended version of this battle which would feature the Rex holding its own, more attacks from the Spinosaurus, and what likely could have been a more beloved fight than what fans got. It still remains one of the more iconic dinosaur fights and would pave the way for more fights between prehistoric monsters.
Extended Embryonics Lab Sequence
In the actual film, the characters leave the embryonic facility almost as quickly as they arrive. It’s a very brief encounter with the velociraptor pack that leads them back out and into the jungle.
Well, it turns out that, according to JurassicWorldUniverse.com, the laboratory sequence was supposed to be longer, giving a better idea of how massive it was and why escaping it felt like a maze.
Udesky Fought The Raptor Pack
Jurassic Park III sets up Udesky as this skilled mercenary character but his demise is rather quick and mostly off-screen.
Originally, Udesky was supposed to go out swinging, using a wooden stick to defend himself. The only surviving footage of this battle is a single still of Udesky holding the stick. It would have made Udesky’s death more impactful, giving the character more depth and respect.
Spinosaurus Was Not The Original Villain
There are definitely fans of the Spinosaurus who hope the creature returns in future films. However, the Spinosaurus was actually one of the last decisions made. In the same family as the Spinosaurus, Jurassic Park III was going to use a Baryonyx as one of the main threats.
The Baryonyx would get its chance to shine in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. From there, it would get a video game debut in Jurassic World: Evolution, one of the best dinosaur-themed video games.
The Death Of Ben
Sometimes less is more when it comes to creating tension. However, in this case, Ben Hildebrand’s death is never explained when Grant and the others discover his corpse.
This is yet another case of a scene that was deleted as reported by JurassicWorldUniverse.com and in this scene, viewers were going to see Ben’s death. It was going to be at the hand of the raptor pack which was only eluded to with the nearby raptor nests in the final film.
Alan Grant Was Much Different
In one of the original scripts, as reported by paleontologyworld.com, Alan Grant was much more lighthearted about the dinosaurs, even obsessed with studying them. Whereas in the final product, he realistically despises dinosaurs after his traumatic experiences on Isla Nublar.
Jurassic Park III was going to start with Alan Grant living on an InGen island so he can perform his studies; this is more fitting with why he was one of the most likable characters in Jurassic Park. Joe Johnston did not care for this idea, so none of it made it into the final product.
Billy Was Supposed To Die
Billy Brennan’s original death was when the Pteranodons attack him in the river, hence why the river fills with blood. This would have resulted in one of the grisliest deaths in the franchise.
Unfortunately, as stated by paleontologyworld.com, Alessandro Nivola protested this death and demanded that his character live. The military somehow found Billy and rescued him before finding the others. Most fans can agree that this change was rather egregious.
Drastically Different Ending
The ending suffered from massive changes all around. Instead of the anti-climactic arrival of the military and everyone being saved, there was going to be another action sequence. The military was going to be attacked by rogue Pteranodons.
It was meant to explain that it was those rogues that killed the parasailing crew in the opening scene. A similar fate happened in the first Jurassic Park with an ending involving the series’ poster child: the T-Rex attacking the helicopter as the heroes make their escape.
Cast Of Teenagers
While the Jurassic Park films are essentially big-budget monster movies, going full slasher flick was a choice that many are glad was scrapped. In one script, Jurassic Park III was going to center around a group of teenagers stranded on Isla Sorna and trying to survive.
This idea made Jurassic Park III sound more akin to a rejected Friday The 13th clone. Sure, it would have changed up the formula but in a very poor way.
Motorcycle Chase Sequence
The Jurassic Saga has a tendency to abandon set pieces and scenes and have them be reused in later films, such as the helicopter sequence in Jurassic World. Jurassic Park III seems to have been the origin of another Jurassic World scene.
According to SlashFilm, a sequence in which the Velociraptor pack chases a character on a motorcycle was conceptualized but was scrapped. This ended up being for the better because Owen Grady riding alongside the raptors in Jurassic World became an iconic moment of that film.
Death Of The Spinosaurus
In Jurassic Park III, the Spinosaurus just leaves the plot altogether after the fight on the river. It barely gets wounded by fire then just runs off, never to be seen again. Well, the Spinosaurus was going to reappear to attack the military on the beach.
Providing a more climactic ending for the velociraptors as well, the raptor pack was going to attack and fight the Spinosaurus. They were even going to kill the Spinosaurus, harking back to the fight with Rexy in the first film but reversed winner and loser.
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