Based on the 1990 novel by Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park stormed the box office like a renegade Velociraptor overtaking that loveable, Reese’s Piece loving scamp E.T. as (at the time) the highest worldwide-grossing film of all time. The groundbreaking sci-fi thriller’s endearing legacy continues to persist after 22 years, two sequels, and one upcoming reboot.
Hold on to your butts, because here are 12 things you never knew about Jurassic Park!
1. Dr. Alan Grant was almost absorbed into the Ian Malcolm character.
During a meeting with Jeff Goldblum, Steven Spielberg told the future Ian Malcolm that he was considering combining the two characters into one. Goldblum vehemently opposed the idea and, thankfully, the character merger never came to fruition.
2. Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern began dating after meeting on the set of Jurassic Park.
They were engaged for two years before eventually breaking up.
3. Jim Carrey auditioned for the role of Ian Malcolm.
4. Some of the post-production duties for Jurassic Park were handled by Star Wars writer George Lucas.
Lucas took over so Spielberg could concentrate on production of his next film, Schindler’s List. Lucas received a “Special Thanks” credit in the final film.
5. The infamous T. rex would often malfunction because of the rain.
Imagine an unruly 36-foot-long/18-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus rex randomly coming alive on set. Yikes.
“The T. rex went into the heebie-jeebies sometimes,” producer Kathleen Kennedy revealed in an interview with The Wire. “Scared the crap out of us. We’d be, like, eating lunch, and all of a sudden a T-rex would come alive. At first we didn’t know what was happening, and then we realized it was the rain. You’d hear people start screaming.”
6. Steve Spielberg found out about Jurassic Park during a meeting with Michael Crichton to discuss a screenplay for what would eventually become the television series ER.
When Crichton described the concept to Spielberg, the acclaimed director immediately tapped Universal to purchase the film rights before the book was even published.
7. Gwyneth Paltrow was considered for the role of Dr. Ellie Sattler.
Helen Hunt, Sandra Bullock, Julianne Moore, and Teri Hatcher also tested for the role that was eventually awarded to Laura Dern.
In other “what could have been casting,” Harrison Ford was offered — but rejected — the role of Dr. Alan Grant.
8. The film’s on set Dinosaur Supervisor insisted the animators take mime classes to learn how to move like a dinosaur.
Phil Tippett, who, according to Steven Spielberg, gave all the dinosaurs personalities and real characteristics based on his experience with the animal kingdom, made the animators take mime classes over the course of six weeks.
9. The cast was stranded in a motel for days without food or water when Hurricane Iniki, the most powerful storm on record to hit Hawaii, struck.
Despite the tumult, Laura Dern revealed in an interview that she felt the chaos created a “gentler, more open relationship” with Spielberg.
“He was very honest in sharing with us his frustration about his complete loss of control,” Dern told Movieline back in 1993. “He couldn’t protect his crew, he couldn’t protect his sets. And Spielberg had a lot of fear about it, getting everybody out. He said to me recently, ‘I felt more bonded with you guys than I have in a long time with people on a movie.'”
10. The T. rex’s roar was created with a cacophonous mix of various animals.
The sound design of T. rex’s roar was a reported combination of tiger, alligator, and baby elephant sounds. The Dilophosaurus’ roar, on the other hand, was a composite of howler monkeys, hawk screeches, rattlesnake hisses, and swan calls.
11. The animatronic T. rex wasn’t supposed to break the plexiglass when attacking the children in the jeep.
Which led to some pretty intense method acting.
12. Nicolas Cage talked actress Laura Dern into accepting the role of Dr. Ellie Sattler.
During a conversation with Dern about potentially accepting the role, Cage provided the actress with this sage advice:
“No one can ever say no to a dinosaur movie!” Cage recounted to EW. “It’s a dream of my life to do a movie with dinosaurs!”
Jurassic World arrives in theaters June 12.