Jurassic Park: The First, The Fourth & Crichton’s Crazies

Published on July 25th, 2011

James on Jurassic Park. The upcoming 4th installment, why it took so long and the politics of Michael Crichton.

Comic-Con has outgrown its title and is now the place for announcements and panels for all things even tangentially geek, not just comic books. Any TV, movie, comic book or any other project related to sci-fi, fantasy, adventure and superheroes is fair game at the convention. Even the college sitcom Community has a panel there because its fanbase of pop culture addicts overlaps with the right crowd for the event. Every year Comic-Con brings us interviews, rumours and announcement about upcoming projects and this year is no different. Just last week it was announced that Jurassic Park 4 would (hopefully) be released by 2013. This is good news to me as a fan of the first 2 films and as a human with eyeballs. Giant dinos! Come on. Of course, everything at Comic-Con cannot be taken as gospel. JP4 in particular is a project that has lingered in development hell for about 10 years and for good reasons. The original film was wildly popularity, shattering box-office records, raking in tons of merchandise and leading to 2 sequels. The studio and fans thought the third film, released a decade ago, missed the mark but it is a valuable franchise and Spielberg has been taking his time finding and tweaking a script to get the property back on track. Other than the potential for money to be made, there is also money to be lost as the Jurassic Park franchise demands big, high-budget spectacle. Although it has been talked about for a while and dates have been given before, I have a weird feeling I should actually believe we’ll have a new film by 2013, and if not, perhaps the year after. This means that 20 years will have passed between the 1st and 4th in the franchise.

This is a list of some of the other projects they were kicking around for the franchise, including an idea for JP4 where the United Nations has created a division to exterminate dinosaurs. Yeah, that sounds pretty bad-ass. Originally the idea was to call it Jurassic Park: Extinction but I doubt anyone wants to ‘Brett Favre’ it up and announce the end, only to take it back for more money and spotlight a few months later.

BONUS!!! Here are a few interesting points about the original film and it’s semi-crazy author that I think anyone would find interesting:

  • Made in the 1990s, when Jeff Goldblum somehow fooled the world into thinking he was an action star. That was at least better than the rumour that he’s dead every few months.
  • Steven Spielberg’s most financially successful film.
  • Compositing the dinosaurs onto the live action scenes took around an hour. Rendering the dinosaurs often took two to four hours per frame, and rendering the Tyrannosaurus Rex in the rain even took six hours per frame.
  • 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. That is somehow more believable than the climax of the movie that they used if only because no falling banner can be this epic by accident:

  • The franchise created a resurgence of interest in dinosaurs and archaeology that those in the field say is still being felt.
  • Real Velociraptors are about the size of the turkey. While the raptors are the most memorable part of the first movie for many people, they don’t appear until after more than 100 minutes into the movie. So yes, it is fair to say they kick a lot of ass in a short amount of time.
  • No music from this film ever gets annoying, no matter how much I try to sing the instruments. (Alex’s note: I DISAGREE.)
  • As you probably know, Jurassic Park was originally a novel penned by Michael Crichton. The film rights were purchased for $1.5 million dollars before the book was even published.

SPEAKING OF MICHAEL CRICHTON…

Michael Crichton was an interesting guy. He was a brilliant man and great writer. He started writing in non-fiction before he wrote several fiction novels that were turned into movies. This is him:

If Hollywood is as liberal as people say, Crichton was probably not very comfortable there. He was a conservative who did not believe in global warming and  found the feminist movement harmful to society. Some critics say metaphors on the dangers of bending gender roles and straying from conservative family life are present in the film with even more in the books. Of course this is just analysis from someone who didn’t write but the theories are interesting.

  1. The reason the dinosaur breeding gets out of control despite them all being female was because some of the dinosaurs’ genetic codes were incomplete and were filled in by frogs. Some of these frogs had the ability to change their sex and therefore turn to males and mate. Many saw this as his personal opinion that women should stay in their gender roles or else cause chaos.
  2. Dr Grant is adamant about not wanting to have kids but his becoming a paternal figure to the children is the only thing that lets them survive. He and his female partner protect a cohesive group with these children which secures their place in future society.

These may seem far-fetched but with Crichton’s outspoken views on feminism it’s not too much of a stretch. I am not saying not being a feminist makes you semi-nutty but the next part coming up sure does. The story goes that Crichton got a negative review on some of his work and handled it…not so well. Michael Crowley, a senior editor of The New Republic, a liberal Washington D.C.-based political magazine, wrote an article strongly critical of Crichton for his stance on global warming in State of Fear, the book behind him in the above picture. In Crichton’s following novel, Next, he introduced a character named “Mick Crowley” who just happens to also be a Washington D.C.-based political columnist, like his recent critic. ‘Crowley’ was portrayed by Crichton as a child molester with a small penis. From page 227, as quoted in The New York Times, “Alex Burnet was in the middle of the most difficult trial of her career, a rape case involving the sexual assault of a two-year-old boy in Malibu. The defendant, thirty-year-old Mick Crowley, was a Washington-based political columnist who was visiting his sister-in-law when he experienced an overwhelming urge to have anal sex with her young son, still in diapers.” The character is minor, appears nowhere else in the book and shares several other similarities to the real Crowley other than name.

Sorry things got pretty creepy at the end with the small dicks and baby rape. I forgot to always end with a joke. Let’s see.

Q: What do you call a blind dinosaur?

A: Do-you-think-he-saurus.

Phew, glad it’s not awkward anymore…

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