Jurassic Park 3: What Happened To Ben? Deleted Death Scene Explained
Ben Hildebrand was already dead by the time Alan Grant's discovered him in Jurassic Park 3, but a deleted scene reveals how he met his end.
Jurassic Park III’s Ben Hildebrand was already dead by the time Dr. Alan Grant’s team discovered him on the island, but a deleted scene reveals exactly how he met his end. The third installment of the Jurassic Park series brought Dr. Grant back into the franchise to look for two travelers, Ben Hildebrand and his girlfriend's son Eric, lost on the park's Site B, Isla Sorna, after an ill-fated parasailing trip. Though Grant was eventually successful in recovering Eric, Ben never stood a chance against the island's terrifying array of prehistoric creatures. Jurassic Park III had no shortage of dangers, including the vicious dinosaur Spinosaurus that caused Grant trouble throughout the movie — but only one familiar threat caused Ben's demise.
At the beginning of the movie, Ben and Eric were in the middle of an illegal parasailing trip over Isla Sorna when dinosaurs attacked and ate the boat crew that got a little too close to the hazardous island. Ben detached from the crashing boat and floated to the island, but the next time Ben appears, he's a legless corpse hanging in the trees, still attached to his parachute. The final cut of the movie never reveals what attacked Ben while he was stuck in the trees, just as it never reveals what dinosaur killed the boat crew, but an earlier draft of the movie contained a death scene for Ben.
The shooting script included a scene where Ben, immobilized in the trees and unable to get away, was attacked by a pack of Velociraptors. Eric had been able to detach himself from Ben and get away, and he filmed the Velociraptors with Ben's camera as they ran away from their carnage at the end of the scene. The size and manner of attack of the raptors in the movies explains why Ben's body has no legs when Grant's team finds him, as they were attacking the easy prey from the ground. Out of the many dinosaurs that appear in the Jurassic Park trilogy, Ben met his end at the claws of one of the usual suspects.
The scene was likely deleted because it didn't add much to the story. Especially since the Spinosaurus is the big bad of the movie, an extended scene of a Velociraptor attack would do little to move the plot forward. It also decreases the tension that Jurassic Park III does an excellent job of building up, as knowing Ben's fate before the reveal of his body robs that moment of its shock value, and knowing that Velociraptors were responsible adds little tension since the audience is already familiar with that particular threat. Isla Sorna's Site B dinosaurs, including the raptors, were already revealed in the previous movie, so their appearance is practically expected.
Though its impact on the story is small, the full deleted scene of Ben's death does resolve one mystery about the potential threats on Isla Sorna. Since Site B was a cloning and preparation site that lacked the organization of the real park on Isla Nublar, leaving Ben's fate to an unknown dinosaur could have led to more questions about what other surprises awaited on the island. The Velociraptor attack is nothing new, but Isla Sorna could still have surprises in store, especially if the Jurassic World trilogy returns to Site B to explore what happened in the intervening years since Jurassic Park III. Jurassic Park's islands have not given up all their secrets, but Ben's cold case is solved, and he joins a long list of the raptors' victims.