There is only one way to introduce today’s Classic Rewatch: Welcome, to Jurassic Park. The 1993 Steven Spielberg directed dino-romp made all other dinosaur-centric films redundant with its mixture of superb CGI, astoundingly real looking animatronics, and Jeff Goldblum being 110% Jeff Goldblum. Based on the Michael Crichton novel (a guy who loved theme parks going wrong, just look at both West and Future World’s) the film is the first entry in what has become one of the most successful film franchises ever. Spielberg, with the backing of Universal, acquired the film rights from Crichton before it was even published and brought the author onboard to help with the adaptation which was later spiced up by David Koepp. A roaring success on release with critics and audiences who loved the amazing dinosaurs created by ILM and Stan Winston’s studio… and with a whopping 25 months of pre-production you’d expect nothing less.
But did you know…
- The memorable role of John Hammond, the brains behind the ill-conceived park, was played by Richard Attenborough who had by that stage in his career retired from acting — he’d spent the prior 15 years directing. Spielberg managed to coax him out of retirement as he, as Attenborough put it, “had the charm of the devil”.
- In the iconic T-Rex reveal scene the animatronic was supposed to break through the plexiglass roof. However, it was not supposed to actually break off a piece. Actor Joseph Mazzello, who played Tim, recalls, “I think the T-Rex was only supposed to go down so far, and the Plexiglass was the only thing between the dinosaur and us. It came down too far one time, and it chipped the Plexiglass and broke a tooth.”
- Before we see the T-Rex the camera focuses on a glass of water on the car dashboard, with each step the T-Rex takes the water ripples. Spielberg had the idea for the iconic shot when driving in his car and blasting Earth, Wind & Fire out of the stereo. He noticed his rearview mirror was shaking due to the music, and tasked the prop department to emulate this effect which they did using a cup of water and a guitar string.