William Hurt was offered the role of Dr. Grant, but turned it down without reading the book or the script.
Harrison Ford turned down the male lead.
Richard Attenborough's first acting role in 15 years.
Michael Crichton's agents circulated the book to six studios and directors. Warner Brothers wanted it for Tim Burton to direct while Columbia was planning it for Richard Donner. Fox was also interested and was intending the project for Joe Dante, while Universal wanted 'Steven Spielberg' to direct. Crichton was reluctant to submit to a bidding war, He instructed his agents to put a set price on the film rights and he could decide who was more likely to actually get the film made. After interviewing all the prospective directors, he agreed to sell the rights to Universal and Spielberg, who was already his first choice.
The first draft of the screenplay had Hammond left behind on the island.
In Michael Crichton's novel, John Hammond proudly says that the narrator on the prerecorded park tour is Richard Kiley. Later, Kiley was hired to play himself in that role for the movie; possibly the only instance of a celebrity appearing in a book, and then later cast as him or herself in the film version.
The glass of water sitting on the dash of the Ford Explorer was made to ripple using a guitar string that was attached to the underside of the dash beneath the glass.
Director Steven Spielberg was worried that computer graphics meant Nintendo type cartoon quality. He originally only wanted the herd of gallimimus dinosaurs to be computer-generated, but upon seeing ILM's demo animation of a T-rex chasing a herd of galamides across his ranch, he decided to shoot nearly all the dinosaur scenes using this method. The animation was first plotted on an Amiga Toaster, and rendered for the film by Silicon Graphics' Indigo workstations.
Generally speaking, any shot of a full dinosaur was computer-generated, but shots of parts of dinosaurs were of animatronics.
The full-sized animatron of the tyrannosaurus rex weighed about 13,000 to 15,000 pounds. During the shooting of the initial T-rex attack scene that took place in a downpour and was shot on a soundstage, the latex that covered the T-rex puppet absorbed great amounts of water, making it much heavier and harder to control. Technicians worked throughout the night with blow driers trying to dry the latex out. Eventually, they suspended a platform above the T-rex, out of camera range, to keep the water off it during filming.
A baby triceratops was built for a scene where one of the kids rides it. Special effects technicians worked on this effect for a year but the scene was cut at the last minute as Steven Spielberg thought it would ruin the pacing of the film.
Ellie Sattler says "Something went wrong" to Dr. Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum). In The Fly (1986), Veronica Quaife said this to Seth Brundle (Goldblum).
The park software is written in Pascal; a program is clearly visible in one of the monitor close-ups on the UNIX system. The graphical interface recognized as a UNIX system was a fictional Silicon Graphics 3D File System Navigator, a real-life version of which was later written in response to the film. The version number of the Silicon Graphics UNIX Operating System is 4.0.5 and is visible in one of the close-ups in the operating system's shell window (command program).
In the egg-hatching scene, a new-born baby triceratops was originally supposed to come out of the egg, but it was changed to a velociraptor.
There were so many wires and rigging to control the velociraptor animatrons in the kitchen stalking scene that the child actors had to literally step over and around them while the scene was being filmed. The kitchen set was greatly expanded from the original design to accommodate the velociraptors. Some reports say that all of the dinosaurs in the kitchen scene were computer-generated.
Many errors were corrected digitally: some stunt people were made to look like the actors, and in one scene an entire Ford Explorer was digitally generated.
The first film to use DTS digital surround sound.
The roar of the T-Rex is actually the sound from the aircraft simulator at NASA Langley Research Center.
To study the movement of the Gallimimus herd, the film's digital artists were ordered to run along a stretch of road with some obstacles, their hands next to their chest.
At one point Lex is hanging from a floorboard between stories. She looks up for a moment. The stunt double looked up accidentally while filming and Ariana Richards' face had to be superimposed in post production.
The scene where the T-Rex takes the last of the goat into his mouth and shifts his gaze toward the jeep from behind the fence resembles a shot from Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983), in which the Rancor, after taking the last of the Gamorrean (pig-like) guard into his mouth, shifts his gaze toward Luke Skywalker.
Fred Sorenson was the pilot who flew the crew off Kauai when the hurricane hit during production. He played Jock, the pilot who flew Indiana Jones away in the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), also directed by Spielberg.
In this film, Steven Spielberg directs the man who beat him to the Best Director Oscar in 1983 (Richard Attenborough, whose film Gandhi (1982) also beat Spielberg's _E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)_ as Best Picture).
The computer in the back of the computer room with the many (65536) red LEDs is actually a real computer: The Connection Machine CM-5 made by Thinking Machines. It contained many SPARC 2 RISC processors and the LEDs were added to make the machine more aesthetically pleasing than their previous models. Unfortunately, it was not actually a very good supercomputer and the company failed not long afterwards. The comment about networking five connection machines is pretty superfluous as they were meant to be used like this. The bigger problem was writing programs that efficiently mapped onto the data parallel architecture.
According to Daan Sandee (Thinking Machines Corp), the CM-5 super computer used in the control room was one of only two ever built to that size (1024 nodes). The other machine was at Los Alamos. The machine used in the movie was sold as smaller segments after the scenes were complete. Mirrors were used to make it seem like more CM-5's were present.
Steven Spielberg was so confident with this film that he started making his next film (Schindler's List (1993)), placing post-production in the hands of George Lucas.
Scenes of the T-Rex attacking Grant and the kids while they ride down a river and through a running waterfall were cut before filming.
Steven Spielberg wanted the velociraptors to be about 10 feet tall, which was taller than they were known to be. During filming, paleontologists uncovered 10-foot-tall specimens of raptors called Utahraptors.
Tim makes references about Robert Bakker and his dinosaur book. Bakker was a technical advisor on Jurassic Park (1993).
Dr. Malcolm's quip that Sattler's and Grant's jobs are extinct is quoted from what puppeteer Phil Tippett said to Steven Spielberg when he decided to use CGI and not Go-Motion. Spielberg stuck it into the film.
Juliette Binoche was offered the role of Dr. Ellie Sattler, but turned it down to make Trois couleurs: Bleu (1993).
The raptors in the kitchen scene was filmed on Joseph Mazzello's birthday. Due to a misunderstanding, Joseph ran into one of the raptors on one of the takes and was injured.
On 11 September 1992, Hurricane Iniki hit the island of Kauai, delaying production of the film.
The scene where the T-Rex comes out of the bushes and eats the gallimimus was actually shot on the island of Oahu at Kualoa Ranch. This was the only outdoor scene not filmed on Kauai, due to Hurricane Iniki.
Ariana Richards was upset by the fact that an action figure of her character was not produced. (Kenner only made dolls of Grant, Sattler, Muldoon, Nedry, Tim, and eventually Malcolm.)
After making this movie, Ariana Richards developed a great interest in dinosaurs, and assisted Jack Horner (paleontologist advisor for the film and the inspiration for the Dr. Grant character) on an actual dinosaur dig in Montana the following summer.
All the merchandise (T-Shirts, stuffed dinosaurs, lunch boxes, flasks, etc.) shown in the film were, in some part, actually created to be sold with the movie.
Before Steven Spielberg decided to use animatronic dinosaurs and computer-generated effects, he wanted to use stop motion animation for the dinosaur effects and had Phil Tippett put together a short demo of the kitchen scene using claymation dinosaurs (Barbie dolls were substituted for the actual actors).
After Joseph Mazzello was turned down for a role in Steven Spielberg's Hook (1991) for being too young, Spielberg told Mazzello that he was still impressed with his audition and would try to cast him in a future project. Mazzello was then cast as Tim in this movie.
The blip sound on the Silicon Graphics computers and the blip on the Apple Macintosh Quadra 700 is a blip sound from a Motorola-brand cell phone.
The helicopter used in the movie was later involved in an accident in Hawaii in March 2001. In the accident, the chopper dropped ten feet to the ground, bounced back up and then tipped on its right side.
Briefly held the box office record until it was beaten by Titanic (1997).
Newspaper clippings on the fridge in Grant's trailer read "Space Aliens Stole My Face" and "Dinosaurs On Mars!"
The unusual looking gun that game warden Muldoon uses is an Italian Franchi SPAS 12.
In the original script, the T-Rex skeleton in the lobby was hooked up to pulleys like a giant marionette. In the ending, Grant was going to man the controls and act as puppeteer, using the skeleton's head and feet to crush the raptors.
Near the beginning, Jeff Goldblum's character Dr. Malcolm misquotes Einstein, saying "The complete lack of humility for nature that's being displayed here is staggering." However, in Powder (1995) Jeff Goldblum's character, science teacher Donald Ripley, delivers the quote correctly.
Both the film and the book generated so much interest in dinosaurs that the study of paleontology has had a record increase in students, and interest in general has skyrocketed, and has been at an all-time high ever since.
The novel was published in 1990. However, pre-production of the film began in 1989, using only Crichton's manuscript. It was widely believed that the book would be such a hit that it would make an outstanding movie. It turns out that assumption was correct.
The original idea for Jurassic Park came from Michael Crichton's attempt in 1983 to write a screenplay about a Pterodactyl being cloned from an egg. The screenplay and movie never came to fruition. Originally, Crichton's novel was rejected by his "people", a group of about 5 or 6 personal acquaintances who always read his drafts before he sends them off. After several rejections, Crichton finally figured out what was wrong: he had originally intended for the story to be through the eyes of a child who was at the park when the dinosaurs escaped, which his peers felt was too ridiculous, and could not identify with the character. Crichton re-wrote the story as it is today, and it became a huge hit. (The story also incorporates the "amusement park run amok" element of Crichton's Westworld (1973).)
In the scene where the survivors are crawling through vent spaces, the computer monitors are shining on the raptor after them. This is usually mistaken as being the shadows from the air vents. It's the letters GATC, the four letters used to denote the components of DNA.
Malia Scotch Marmo did some rewrites on the final script but remains uncredited.
Brian Cox was interviewed for Muldoon
Director Trademark: [Steven Spielberg] [music]
Director Trademark: [Steven Spielberg] [stars]
Director Trademark: [Steven Spielberg] [father] Grant hates the idea of being a father.
Cameo: [Gerald R. Molen] film's producer played Dr. Gerry Harding, the character who was out on the field with the sick triceratops.
A large photo of J. Robert Oppenheimer (one of the scientists who created the atomic bomb) is displayed on Dennis Nedry's workstation.
Ariana Richards' audition consisted of standing in front of a camera and screaming wildly. Director Steven Spielberg "wanted to see how she could show fear."
For the part where the T-Rex catches a Galliminus and shakes it in his mouth, the sound was taken from a dog shaking a toy in its mouth.
The part played by Laura Dern was originally offered to Robin Wright Penn.
Sean Connery was offered the role of Hammond.
Steven Spielberg considered Richard Dreyfuss for the role of Dr. Alan Grant.
The name of character "Lewis Dodgson" is a fusion of the "Alice in Wonderland" author's pen-name Lewis Carroll, and his real name "Charles Dodgson".
Principal photography finished 12 days ahead of schedule and on budget.
The release strategy was planned 15 months before the studio had the chance to see a frame of the movie.
In the shots of the gift shop, clearly visible is a book entitled "The Making of Jurassic Park" by Don Shay and Jody Duncan. This title was published but tells the behind the scenes story of how the film was made. Jody Duncan also wrote the "Making Of" book for The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997).
Steven Spielberg considered hiring Bob Gurr to do the full size dinosaurs because he was impressed with his apes in the "Kongfrontation" ride at Universal Studios.
When the T-Rex comes through the glass roof of the Explorer in the first attack, the glass was not meant to break, producing the noticeably genuine screams from the children.
In addition to the name Lewis Dodgson, another reference to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is the program name Nedry uses to shut down the security systems: White Rabbit.
Later in the movie, as one of the jeeps pulls up, right before they get out, the camera zooms in on the jeep door. The Jurassic Park logo is on the door, but it is covered in mud so that the only words that can be read is "ur ass Park", perhaps a subtle joke about many of the characters getting hurt or killed in the movie.
Ian Malcolm argues with John Hammond's comparison of his park to Disneyland, saying " If Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don't eat the tourists!" It was that very ride that inspired Michael Crichton to write his original theme-park-gone-awry story, Westworld (1973).
Universal paid Michael Crichton $2 million for the rights to his novel before it was even published.
During the T-Rex chase scene with Malcolm (played by Jeff Goldblum) injured in the back seat of the vehicle, he says, "Must go faster! Must go faster!" This same exclamation is also used by Goldblum in Independence Day (1996) to Will Smith's character when escaping from the alien mother ship.
Steven Spielberg was in the very early stages of pre-production for the film "ER" (based on a Michael Crichton novel), when he heard about the "Jurassic Park" book. He subsequently dumped what he was doing to make the film. Afterwards, he returned to "ER" and helped develop it into a hit TV series ("ER" (1994)).
To give the 1993 Ford Explorer XLTs the appearance that they were driverless and were running on an electric track, the SUVs were driven by remote from the rear cargo area of the vehicle. The driver was hidden under the Ford Explorer's cargo canvas, which was always pulled closed during filming. To see where to steer the SUV, the driver watched a small TV that was fed outside images via two cameras. One camera was mounted on the dash in front of the steering wheel, and the other was mounted on the lower center portion of the front bumper, above a black box. Both cameras can be clearly seen in the movie several times.
Anna Chlumsky auditioned for the role of Lex.
In Crichton's original book, the sick animal is a Stegosaurus.
In Crichton's original story, Malcolm cites the fact that the dinosaur is sick because the Jurassic era air had more oxygen than today. This was another element of chaos theory.
>>> WARNING: Here Be Spoilers <<<
SPOILER: The ending where the T-rex saves the day was added when the production team and John Williams decided that it was the hero of the film.
SPOILER: In one of the first drafts of the script, the character of Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) was not included. Instead, the character of Donald Gennaro (Martin Ferrero) is injured in the scene where the T-Rex attacks the cars.
SPOILER: In the original script, Gennaro and Malcolm were combined into one character, and Muldoon survived in the end. In the original book, Gennaro and Muldoon both survived, and Hammond and Malcolm died (though Malcolm returned in The Lost World, explaining that "doctors did excellent work").
With every new draft of the script, there was a different set of survivors and a different set of characters dying. At various points during pre-production, Hammond, Malcolm, and Dr. Wu were going to die and Gennaro and Muldoon were going to live