Jurassic Park’s Lewis Dodgson is made his return in Jurassic World: Dominion, but Cameron Thor didn’t play the character this time around.
Warning! Contains spoilers for Jurassic World: Dominion.
Jurassic World: Dominion brought back characters from Jurassic Park, but when considering the original Jurassic Park Lewis Dodgson actor, Cameron Thor, Universal decided to recast the role. The character made a brief appearance in the original 1993 film directed by Steven Spielberg, and his actions presented the dark side of science involved with the recreation of dinosaurs in modern-day, themes explored in full in the Jurassic World trilogy. Campbell Scott took over the role of Dodgson for Jurassic World: Dominion, and for a very good reason.
Dr. Lewis Dodgson was a primary antagonist in the Jurassic Park novels written by Michael Crichton. For the big-screen adaptation, the character was toned down a bit. Dodgson was a scientist with unethical tendencies who worked for Biosyn Corporation, the rival of John Hammond’s InGen (although InGen also has ethics problems, like making the hybrid dinosaurs in Jurassic World). He wanted the technology and research needed to clone dinosaurs, so he hired Dennis Nedry to steal dinosaur embryos from Jurassic Park’s lab. Dodgson met Nedry covertly in Costa Rica, giving him $750,000 and an embryo transfer device disguised as a Barbasol shaving cream can. The scientist was not seen again after Nedry failed to deliver the embryos after getting killed by a Dilophosaurus.
The Jurassic World series made an effort to build its own narrative while using elements of the original trilogy to provide a sense of familiarity. In the first Jurassic World, this is presented in the now run-down park from Jurassic Park being a set piece. Then, in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) returned for a cameo reappearance. Jurassic World: Dominion amplified the nostalgia factor for the trilogy’s final chapter by bringing back a slew of characters, including Jurassic Park‘s forgotten villain. This time around, Campbell Scott made an appearance instead of the Jurassic Park Lewis Dodgson actor Cameron Thor. Scott is best known for his roles in The Sheltering Sky, Royal Pains, and House of Cards, as well as playing the father of Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Dodgson was recast for Jurassic World: Dominion because the original actor is currently serving time in prison for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl.
The Original Jurassic Park Lewis Dodgson Actor Cameron Thor Is Serving Time In Prison
Before appearing as BioSyn’s director Dodgson in the original movie, the Jurassic Park Lewis Dodgson actor Thor worked on films such as Curly Sue, Hook, and A Few Good Men. His last acting role was in the 2013 TV film, Ring of Fire. Thor was forced to step away from acting after he was charged with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl in 2014 while working as an acting coach. 13 of the 14 charges were later dropped, but his despicable actions caused the case to go to trial. In April 2016, Thor was officially sentenced to six years in a California state prison. He is (and will likely remain) completely uncastable.
Director Colin Trevorrow and the Jurassic World: Dominion team had no choice but to recast the Dodgson role. Even if Thor finished up his prison sentence, audiences would not be keen on having a sex offender involved in the film. Not to mention that the other cast and crew probably wouldn’t want their name associated with a film that includes one, nor would many be keen to work with Thor on set in light of his abusive history.
Dodgson didn’t play a significant part in the original Jurassic Park movie, despite his integral role in the Crichton novels. However, in Jurassic World: Dominion he is the main antagonist, and Campbell’s take on the character gets much more screen-time than Thor’s back in 1993. If Trevorrow had always intended for Dodgson’s story in Jurassic World to mirror his literary counterpart’s significance more closely, then Thor had to be recast, regardless of whether or not he was incarcerated at the time of filming. For all the right reasons, association with men like Thor is a PR disaster for any project. For a character as critical to the franchise as Dodgson, Thor’s fate to be recast was sealed the moment his repugnant actions came to light.
Did Jurassic World Dominion Provide Satisfying Ends For Its Returning Cast?
Dodgson was far from the only returning Jurassic Park character, but reactions to Jurassic World: Dominion’s use of classic Jurassic Park characters have been mixed. Many feel that, narratively, the characters got a rounded ending. Dodgson ends the arc he started trying to steal dino-DNA in Jurassic Park with his own cloned dinosaurs eating him at Jurassic World: Dominion’s climax. The irony of Dodgson’s fate was satisfying for a lot of fans. But other characters, like Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and Alan Grant (Sam Neill), had endings that may have made narrative sense but left a lot of audience members unsatisfied.
The first Jurassic World was praised for how gracefully it walked the tightrope between fan-service nostalgia and its own engaging plot. Jurassic World: Dominion has leaned too far into its recognizable faces by many accounts, without taking the time to do anything meaningful with those faces. With Sattler, Grant, Malcolm, as well as Jurassic World characters like Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), all competing for screen time and plot relevancy, the verdict was Dominion felt oversaturated.
That’s without factoring in the movie’s self-contained plotlines, such as the locust swarm, Maisie, and Blue/Beta’s development. Jurassic World: Dominion got a lot of fans excited when they learned original Jurassic Park characters were returning, but many online are voicing nostalgia for a time when the fates of Dr. Sattler, Dr. Grant, and Dr. Malcolm only existed in their headcanon.
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- Jurassic World: Dominion (2022)Release date: Jun 10, 2022
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