Time marches ever onwards and remains undefeated. If you are an Outposter, it is highly likely that alongside knees that creak when you get up from the couch, and a conversation with a doctor about your cholesterol, movies make you feel old. How do they make you feel old? When they, too, start to celebrate anniversaries. I vividly remember purchasing the 25th-anniversary edition of an old movie called Jaws on VHS. That movie is now staring down the barrel of being half a century old in a couple of years. I can remember, clear as day, going to the movies to watch GoldenEye. I remember the drive there. Where we had dinner. Who I went with. What we talked about in the lobby. It was only a few years ago, surely? That movie is now TWENTY-EIGHT years old!! So we come to Jurassic Park.




I remember this. I remember everything about it. I remember knowing nothing about the book, or anything really about Michael Crichton, and then hearing Spielberg had optioned it. This was pre-internet. There was no Outpost equivalent to hang out at and hear the news. You heard very small snippets from the news, or small columns in things like Starburst magazine, but that was it.

Then the trailer landed, and it genuinely seemed like cinema had changed forever part. The world went dinosaur crazy.



I re-read the novel last year. I was surprised. I had forgotten how different it was. How different characters are heroic and central. Others have totally different motivations than that in the movie. Above all, I was staggered by what a complete bloodbath it was. Gore dialed up to eleven, and a complete slaughter.

The movie left a lot out and was clearly dialed down to appeal to a wider audience. It could have been very, very different might. One way it may have differed wildly was the casting. In a recent interview with SyFy Wire, casting director Janet Hirshenson talked about potential casting for the key role of Ian Malcolm.




Unbelievably, the role could have gone to Jim Carrey. He did a good job with his audition. She said:

“[Jim Carrey] auditioned for a very long time. He was really into it. I think he really wanted the role. He was good, it was a totally different way to go. I remember he came in very enthusiastically.”

The only issue for Carey was that Goldblum had a completely different take on the character and that blew Hirshenson and Spielberg away. Of the Carey approach, Hirshenson says:

“[It was] the Jim Carrey approach. So yeah, it would have been a little more comedic. Jeff was comedic in his dry, Jeff Goldblum-y sort of way, anyway, but yeah, it becomes a different way to go. But by that time, I think we were pretty much geared into Jeff Goldblum.”

Kurt Russell and Richard Dreyfuss were in the frame for Dr. Grant. Harrison Ford and Tim Robbins were actually offered. In the end, Sam Neill was cast only a few weeks before filming started. There are concepts and story points in the original novel that made their way into later movies, and there is a lot that could still be mined, but the franchise feels like it is at a natural end, and Jurassic World: Dominion was weak. Whatever happens, now I can’t get the thought of Carrey playing a theoretical chaotician.

Thirty years… doesn’t it go by in a flash?

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