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Jurassic Park 3’s Sam Neill Details Drama Behind the Scenes of Sequel

Sam Neill, who plays Dr. Alan Grant in the Jurassic Park franchise, explains some of the behind-the-scenes complications of 2001’s Jurassic Park III.

Sam Neill has detailed some of the drama that went on behind the scenes during the filming of the sequel Jurassic Park III. Neill originated the iconic character of Dr. Alan Grant in the first Jurassic Park film, which was based on the novel of the same name by Michael Crichton and directed by Steven Spielberg. It became the highest-grossing domestic film of 1993 by a factor of $150 million. Grant is a paleontologist with a stony exterior who must learn to embrace other people – especially children – when saving young siblings Lexi and Tim from rampaging dinosaurs at the failed theme park created by their grandfather John Hammond (Richard Attenborough).


Neill did not reprise the role in the film’s 1997 follow-up The Lost World: Jurassic Park (though it did star Jeff Goldblum returning as Ian Malcolm). However, he returned as the lead of the 2001 sequel Jurassic Park III, which sees Grant being deceived by a couple (William H. Macy and Téa Leoni) who are attempting to rescue their son (Trevor Morgan), who has been stranded with the dinosaurs on Isla Sorna after a parasailing accident. Although the franchise has continued on since then, this two-decade-old film was Neill’s last outing as the character prior to his appearance in the upcoming Jurassic World: Dominion, which hits theaters on June 9.

Related: Jurassic World Dominion’s Violence Misunderstands Jurassic Park’s Appeal

Neill recently sat down with Gizmodo to discuss his legacy within the Jurassic Park franchise. When the topic turned to Jurassic Park III, he revealed that the making of the film was a rather complicated process. They were “flying by the seat of our pants” with the script constantly changing, to the point that “Bill Macy and Téa Leoni didn’t seem that happy making it.” Read his full quote below:

I enjoyed making it. Joe Johnston was wonderful to work with. Alessandro [Nivola], who plays my number two in the film, he and I got on real well. Bill Macy and Téa Leoni didn’t seem that happy making it, but I had a really good time making it and I actually think it’s a very undervalued film and really worth having a look at again.

It finishes rather abruptly, but for all its difficulties—because it became inevitable that we would start shooting on the first of November or whatever it was, and they kept changing the script—we were flying by the seat of our pants a lot of the time. But for all that I think it works real good and that there’s some really good stuff in it.

Laura Dern and Sam Neill in Jurassic Park III

This behind-the-scenes mayhem may explain the audience’s reaction to the final product. While there are staunch defenders of Jurassic Park III, it is one of the worst-reviewed films in the franchise, landing at 48% on Rotten Tomatoes. This is just 1% higher than the new lowest-ranked entry in the franchise, 2018’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. However, Jurassic Park III‘s audience score is 36%, the lowest among the entire franchise.

With Dominion seemingly ending the franchise, it remains to be seen if Jurassic Park III stays at the bottom of the heap. The new film’s trailer has certainly provoked a divisive reaction among viewers. However, the fact that it reunites the entire original trio, including Neill, Goldblum, and Laura Dern’s Dr. Ellie Sattler, with Jurassic World leads Chris Pratt as Owen Grady and Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire Dearing is certain to help boost its score across the board.

Next: Dominion’s Huge Jurassic Park Action Difference Is Actually Worrying

Source: Gizmodo

  • Jurassic World: Dominion (2022)Release date: Jun 10, 2022

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