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13 Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'Jurassic Park' That Prove Filmmakers... Find A Way

Updated September 10, 2021 4.5k votes 609 voters 41.7k views13 items

List RulesVote up the most interesting 'Jurassic Park' behind-the-scenes facts.

Jurassic Park behind-the-scenes stories tend to mirror the movie itself; both are filled with action and excitement. Both also have a streak of humor running right down the middle. Steven Spielberg's 1993 adventure was more than a blockbuster - it was an outright phenomenon. People went to see it multiple times, dazzled by the groundbreaking visual effects that realistically made dinosaurs come back to life. The memorable characters and nail-biting suspense were draws, too.

From a malfunctioning Tyrannosaurus rex, to the unusual way the raptors' sound was created, to a literal hurricane, the cast and crew of Jurassic Park overcame many challenges. The following stories from the making of this modern classic will give you the scoop on how it all went down. You'll have an even stronger appreciation for the movie after you know all the care and devotion that went into bringing Michael Crichton's best-selling novel to the screen. 

Which of these behind-the-scenes tales from Jurassic Park is the coolest? Your votes will decide. 

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    Spielberg Made Dinosaur Noises On Set To Help The Actors, But It Made Their Job Harder

    Because there were obviously no actual dinosaurs on set, the cast of Jurassic Park had to use their imagination. As is often the case with CGI-heavy movies, tennis balls were used to help the actors know where to look. Director Steven Spielberg attempted to help further by making dinosaur noises on the set, but at least one of his stars didn't feel that was helpful.

    Sam Neill described the filming of the scene in the raptor pen, saying Spielberg "was holding a bullhorn and roaring in a not very convincing way. It’s difficult enough acting to a tennis ball, but it’s even harder when you’re trying not to laugh."

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    Harrison Ford Turned Down The Role Of Alan Grant

    Many big movies have "almost was" casting stories, and Jurassic Park is no different. For example, the role of Alan Grant, played by Sam Neill, was originally offered to Harrison Ford

    During a press junket for another picture, Ford joked that Spielberg only liked to hire him for Indiana Jones movies. The director quickly corrected that assertion, revealing that he'd offered the Grant role to Ford, who turned it down. 

    The role ended up being a big break for Neill. 

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  • Photo: Angela George / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY 3.0
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    James Cameron Wanted To Do ‘Jurassic Park’ But Missed Getting The Book Rights By Hours

    It's hard to imagine any director other than Steven Spielberg making Jurassic Park. The material was perfectly suited to him. If forced to name one other potentially likely candidate, the only name that makes sense is James Cameron. And indeed, Cameron just missed the boat when it came to securing the directing gig. 

    Having read Michael Crichton's novel, he eagerly called to inquire about buying the movie rights. He was told that he'd been beaten to the punch by Spielberg. Adding insult to injury, Spielberg sealed the deal mere hours before Cameron called. 

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    A Hurricane Hit Hawaii As The Movie Was Being Filmed

    The cast and crew of Jurassic Park were several weeks into filming. Things were going well, given how complicated the shoot was. Then Hurricane Iniki hit Hawaii, seriously disrupting production. 

    Everyone hid out in the ballroom of the Westin Kauai Hotel. Outside, roads became flooded and the roofs of buildings were blown right off. Communication equipment got knocked out, leaving the staff at Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment office unable to contact him. That led to a rumor that he'd gone missing on the island. In fact, he was safe and sound inside the concrete-walled room.

    According to Laura Dern, "We walked through a natural disaster together, and so we were so, so bonded. For the next several months when we were filming, we were like, ‘We went through everything.' Given that there was a hurricane in the movie and everything was so radical on this island, it just changed the whole experience.”

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