So, I've recently been reading some of the Jurassic Park's scripts, and one in particular caught my attention. It's the march 1992 draft, written by Malia Scotch Marmo (apparently there was also involvement by Crichton himself), that was after the first Michael Crichton draft and before the final David Koepp drafts. There's a lot of concept art for this draft floating around the internet. It's... kind of schlocky, to be honest. There's some really silly dialogue and it reads too much like a B-movie. But I found kind of fascinating to think that this could be the Jurassic Park movie that we got, and started writing down some of the things I found interesting. You can find it here, if you're interested.
Let me get the most interesting stuff out of the way first:
- The first time a dinosaur appears on the flesh is only fairly late into the script, on the jeep tour ride itself. No "Welcome to Jurassic Park" scene here. We are actually TOLD that the Park houses living dinosaurs and how they were made waaaay before we actually see one. There isn't even a hatchling waiting for them in the hatchery or anything.
- On a similar note, Hammond himself only appears in the Visitor Center during the tour ride. Gennaro is the one that picks Alan and Ellie on the dig site.
- Remember that exciting sequence from the novel where the T. rex chases Grant and the kids on their raft through the river? Spielberg has been quoted saying that early during pre-production that it was one of the first sequences he scrapped, because it would be too complicated to recreate. Well, that sequence is present on this draft, but there's a catch: there's no T. rex. Or any other dinosaur, for that matter. Instead, it's just a whole sequence of Grant and the kids looking for a raft on the maintenance shed, finding it, and descending the river while fighting... rapids.
- Nedry isn't stealing dinosaur embryos in this version... he's stealing dinosaur EGGS
(he uses a portable incubator instead of a barbasol can). And what's more, he actually makes it to the boat and delivers them! The boat's captain is in on the whole theft, and is actually waiting personally for Nedry to arrive. And the visitors witness the whole smuggling business from afar. Remember that ticking clock subplot from the novel where the visitors need to get the phones working so they can stop the boat before it reaches the mainland? This is basically an adaptation from that, with the difference being that they are trying to stop a smuggling operation instead of stopping two juvenile Velociraptors from reaching the mainland.
- As they're leaving in the rescue chopper, Hammond outright refuses to go with them, ignoring Grant's protests. Instead, he stubbornly walks back into the jungle, and his parting words to Grant is that he'll "amount to nothing", and he'll "be a bone-brusher for the rest of his life".
- After that, the group has a final face-off with the T. rex as it tries to attack the helicopter. Until then, the T. rex was totally absent from the third act. The last time we saw it was after it took down a juvenile hadrosaur.
- Finally, the most interesting aspect: remember that sick Triceratops? They never do find out what's wrong with it in the movie we got, but we know from the comic adaptation, the novel and the final script that the reason it got sick was that, whenever it swallowed gizzard stones, it swallowed some poison berries accidentally. In this draft, the protagonists also come to this conclusion... at first, that is. Later that night, after the T. rex has broke out, Ellie goes to one of the laboratories to analyse a tissue sample from the Triceratops ("Freda", as she is called here) under the microscope, and we learn that the mysterious disease is also affecting the other animals. Grant even notices the same tiny bumps on the tongue of a hadrosaur when he's making his way back to the Visitor Center with the two kids. The answer to the mystery? Ellie finds out from looking at X-Rays of the Triceratops bones that all the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park aren't adults, but instead juveniles pumped with growth hormones. The reason for this (explained by Hammond himself) is that there's a problem with the cloning process that causes the cloned dinosaurs to die very young, and the Park is on a deadline, so "Wu uses growth hormones to achieve the desired size in a short amount of time". Hammond also reveals to Ellie that the main reason he invited her and Alan over is so that, once the tour survey was over, they could help him figure out how to solve that. Naturally, they don't. Everyone just leaves and the implication is that the dinosaurs will all die out.
- Probably the biggest character omission here: there's no Ian Malcolm on this draft. Instead, his roles are given to both Grant and Gennaro. Grant is the one constantly at odds and getting into moral discussions with Hammond, and they don't see eye-to-eye. On the other hand, Gennaro is the one accompanying Grant and Sattler on the tour vehicles, and he's the one that gets injured by the T. rex and that later spends the rest of the time high on morphine. This change actually kind of works, but the script ends up missing on a good comic relief (we're basically stuck with Nedry and Lex)
- Oddly enough, there is no Dodgson here (
see what I did there it's like a pun
). Instead, he's replaced by a character named Bill Baker... that serves pretty much the same purpose, to a point where I was asking myself why did they even change the name. Also, he meets with Nedry on his company's headquarters instead of San Jose.
Jurassic World and Fallen Kingdom déjà vu's:
- Lex rides a baby Triceratops. This was later referenced in the lawsuit-waiting-to-happen Gentle Giants scene from Jurassic World.
- This draft constantly mentions a Dilophosaurus umbrella being sold on the gift shop. While it doesn't happen on this draft, there's a concept art showing Tim and Lex using that umbrella to fend off a Raptor (here). That might have influenced the scene in Jurassic World where Gray activates a Dilo hologram to distract Delta.
- After Ellie tries to reboot energy in the generator, she runs back to the fence surrounding Hammond's quarters with a Raptor hot in pursuit. Muldoon leaves the gate half-shut for Ellie, and she rolls through it. Muldoon shuts the gate just in time before the Raptor can get inside, and the Raptor gets stuck in the bars of the gate. The scene where Owen holds off Blue, Charlie and Delta and rolls through the closing gate before they can pounce on him is reminiscent of this.
- At one point, Ellie enter Hammond's quarters, and there's a large model of the park with plastic dinosaurs. She even briefly picks up the plastic T. rex like Maisie did in an unused scene.
- The T. rex reveal is mostly done by the storm's lightning. Four movies later, Bayona would use the same visual artifice for the T. rex reveal in Fallen Kingdom's prologue.
- There's also the raptor-type dinosaur being killed in the climax by the head of a dinosaur skeleton in a display.
Direct similarities with the novel that didn't carry over to the final script:
- Gennaro is young and athletic. Also, he plays a major role, like in the novel.
- Grant likes kids.
- Tim is older than Lex, and Lex likes baseball
and is an insufferable brat
- Nedry accompanies Grant, Sattler and Gennaro on the helicopter to the island.
- Grant and the kids are woken in the tree by a hadrosaur instead of a Brachiosaurus.
- The stampede scene involves a group of hadrosaurs, not Gallimimus (although the latter are still present here).
- Muldoon actually discovers Nedry's dead body.
- Lex makes friends with a baby Trike.
- Hammond is an asshole, and he dies (or at least it's implied) in the end.
- Both Harding and Wu stay on the island, and Wu is killed by one of the raptors.
- Muldoon survives. Yay!
- Ed Regis is here, accompanying Tim and Lex. Like in the novel, he abandons them during the T. rex breakout, and is later killed by the T. rex (only it's the adult instead of the juvenile).
- The Dilophosaurus is as big as the actual animal, like in the novel. As a bonus, they are already described as having the Chlamydosaurus-esque frill.
- Hammond mentions to Gennaro that they are gonna make a miniature pet Triceratops, like Dodgson hypothesized during the BioSyn boardroom meeting in the novel.
- Grant has his showdown with the Raptors on the hatchery here. The difference is that there's only one Raptor, instead of three. Booo.
- Lex makes friends with a juvenile Triceratops, and actually rides it, like she wanted to do in the novel.
- The opening scene is - like the first trailer - a microscopic view of a mosquito in amber being drilled for dinosaur DNA. After that, we cut to the dig site. There's no scene of a Velociraptor being unloaded into its pen.
- There's a whole scene in Gennaro's law office where he and his boss discuss his upcoming inspection of the park. It's... kind of redundant.
- Nedry is incredibly obnoxious in this. Like, much more than in the actual movie, almost like a Jar Jar Binks.
- The tour goes like this: Brachiosaurus > Gallimimus > Dilophosaurus > Triceratops > T. rex
- The "T. rex can only see movement" rule is kind of all over the place here. It's never brought up, other than Grant telling Gennaro and Tim "don't move" when the T. rex breaks out, and then when they see the T. rex attacking Ed Regis, Grant says this: "It's Regis and the Rex is after him. But it's okay. Regis knows the Rex can't see him. Evidently, he can only see movement. Regis'll be ok if he stays still".
- Ed Regis tries to appeal to the T. rex's good side. It was already silly in the novel, where he did that to a juvenile
, but here he tries to do that to an adult
T. rex. Also, Grant just kind of watches from a distance with the kids as Regis is comically killed off. He doesn't even try to intervene, or to shield the kids eyes.
- Apparently there are flamingos in the herbivore enclosure. John Hammond really was keen on destroying that leased island's ecosystem in every way possible.
- As aforementioned, there's a scene where Lex finds a baby Triceratops and rides it for a while like a horse. Maybe it's the cynical adult in me, but I'm glad this scene didn't make it into the final movie. The way it's described makes it sound way too whimsical and kid-friendly for my taste. On a different note, it got me wondering how the hell they expected to pull a scene like that off back in 1992.
- There's a recurring motif of mosquitoes buzzing around the characters at certain moments. After the visitors leave to resume their tour, a mosquito buzzes around the sick Triceratops before being smashed by its tail. A mosquito buzzes around Grant as he sleeps on the tree with the kids before being swatted away. Finally, on the second-to-last scene, a mosquito lands on the hand of a dying John Hammond. Poetic justice, I guess.
- Hammond has a sort of 'throne' in the Control Room from where he watches the tour ride. It sounds pretty stupid.
- Instead of an Alamosaurus, the display in the rotunda shows a Velociraptor skeleton fighting a T. rex. Strangely, this draft alludes this encounter numerous times without ever actually showing it in the flesh. There's the display in the rotunda, the climax in which Grant uses the T. rex bones to kill the final raptor, and during the early dig site scene, Ellie mentions that type of encounter (even though neither Velociraptor nor Deinonychus coexisted with T. rex). It's a wonder that it took so long for Spielberg to have the insight to include that fight in the actual movie.
- I'm not sure if Alan and Ellie are supposed to be an item in this. For the most part, it just seems like their relationship is purely platonic, but there's a part where they gaze into each other eyes for a while during the Brachiosaurus scene, and in the end, Grant puts his arm around her when they are escaping in the helicopter, and she pulls it closer.
- For some reason, there's a short scene of Muldoon and Ellie manually moving a fallen tree out of the road. That's it.
- Muldoon essentially leaves Wu for dead. Wu is running towards Hammond's quarters while being chased by a Raptor, and Muldoon closes the door on Wu's face so the Raptor won't get in. He and Ellie only hear Wu's screams from the other side. Jesus, that's really mean-spirited.
- At one point, Lex and Tim are cornered by a Raptor inside the Visitor Center's gift shop. There's a whole sequence where they defend themselves by throwing lots and lots of toys on it, and then make a run to the kitchen. It sounds really silly, almost home alone-esque.
- Muldoon is described as having a constant limp.
- Instead of a max-security fence, the raptors are enclosed in a pit whose opening is covered with wire mesh.
- There are five Raptors. There's no mention of a leader. Here's the death tally:
: exploded by Muldoon's rocket launcher.
: locked into freezer by Tim and Lex.
: killed after eating poisoned egg.
: gets electrocuted by the electrified bars of Hammond's quarters when Tim gets the power back on the Control Room.
: squashed by the fallen head of the skeleton T. rex in the rotunda.
- As the main characters are getting aboard the rescue chopper, Hammond mentions they got a batch of Iguanodon eggs due to hatch on Tuesday when trying to convince them to stay. Too bad the park is already chapter 11.
- The final shot of the movie is the survivor's helicopter descending on the cargo ship that was trying to smuggle the dinosaur eggs. I'm not sure what that's supposed to imply, especially considering Grant already convinced it to turn around back to Nublar when he was with the kids on the Control Room.
Some descriptions I found funny:
- "It's A RAPTOR, lean and ferocious. More like a cyborg than a hunter, it studies the kids from just outside the gift shop entrance. "
- "The raptor stops gnawing, its ears perked up"
- "The raptor licks its lips, lizard-like"
- "The raptor is almost on the kids. Grant coughs conspicuously. The raptor whirls, studies Grant. He looks back at the children"
I lost it reading this. Jesus, Grant, are you even trying?
- "The Rex paws after it, then drops down to four legs and gives the copter a final swipe with its tail"
. Did the writer forget the size of the T. rex's arms?
Some cheesy lines:
- "Extinct animals should stay extinct!" Gennaro, after panicking and running from the jeep. Maybe you should've waited until you're out
of the T.rex earshot before screaming that.
- "You don't want to hurt Mr. Regis. Go away. Ed's your friend. Back off!" Ed Regis, to a fully-grown T. rex
- "Yo ho, I'll close this place down ..." Gennaro singing a shanty while high on morphine.
- "Oh good, 'cause I love the park! It's more than we ever dreamed! Those brachiosaurs are so big! And those Spitters - (he spits) - incredible! I only have one problem. Aren't we going to have pterodactyls? - (he frowns, smacks his forehead) - Oh, they'd fly away! (Gennaro looks off, watching the imaginary pterodactyls fly away.)" Gennaro to Hammond, while doped.
- "There's a raptor on the roof of this building. Open that gate and you're a dead man" Ellie's succinct warning to Alan.
- "I just remembered something. Raptors are born in large litters. There's probably more coming" Clutches
, Tim. Clutches
- "Hey you cretaceous dromaeosaur, you can't catch me. Hey, come and get me, you flat-snouted Mongolian beast. Hey!" Ellie's idea of an insult to a Velociraptor. And the Raptor actually gets distracted by that.
- "And then there were none" Grant's one-liner after the last Raptor is killed. Slow clap.