Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park is a nearly perfect movie. From the groundbreaking special effects that still hold up to this very day to the instantly lovable characters, the film version of Michael Crichton’s classic sci-fi horror novel is one of the best silver screen adaptations of all time. However, it now seems that Jurassic Park almost had an excellent helicopter rescue ending, and we’re now left wondering what could’ve been. Check out the newly released photos below to see for yourself.
From Phil Tippett’s Jurassic Park Early Sequence Storyboard Binder, here is a first-look at the rare storyboards for a thrilling helicopter rescue sequence set to be at the film’s finale. This is an early look of the first version (Version A) of the sequence, and was not scripted at this stage immediately after Crichton’s final draft. It later became adapted into Malia Scotch Marmo’s screenplay, but with numerous alterations.
If you don’t recall anything like a “Helicopter Rescue Sequence” during the events of the original Jurassic Park, that’s because the ending of the movie eventually received a massive overhaul to include the raptors chasing Alan Grant and John Hammond’s grandchildren through the Visitor’s Center of the park. Instead of the claustrophobic slasher style chase sequence that we saw, the original version of the script saw Alan Grant, Tim, and Lex in a mad dash to make it to a helicopter pad in a jeep — with the T-Rex in hot pursuit.
The sequence eventually sees them make it to the helicopter, only for Alan Grant to narrowly miss having a leg taken off by the behemoth dinosaur — who instead takes a big bite out of the chopper.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to this scene. On the one hand, the final version of the sequence is incredibly tense because of how tight and claustrophobic it feels. On the contrary, this original sequence could’ve been far more intense because of the sheer scale of the action. Both of them are great; it just comes down to a matter of preference.
Of course, while Jurassic Park‘s ending did eventually receive a massive overhaul, the jeep chase involving the Tyrannosaurus Rex still managed to find its way into the film. It happens when Muldoon and Ellie Sattler go to look for survivors from the first T-Rex attack, and that scene resulted in one of the best Jeff Goldblum moments of his entire career.
To this day I still can’t hear the phrase “must go faster” without thinking of Ian Malcolm, so I am eternally grateful that they still found a way to keep one of the T-Rex’s best action sequences in the film.
What do you think of this original ending for Jurassic Park? Is it better than the one we got, or do you like the ending with the raptors in the Visitor’s Center better?