Jurassic Park III: Trivia & Cool Facts

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Jurassic Park III (2001) Trivia

≠ According to an interview with William H. Macy, the actor said the film’s animatronic Spinosaurus had a 1,000-horsepower motor and that creature could turn its head at twice the force of gravity, with the tip of its nose moving at a speed of more than 100 miles per hour.

≠ The effects crew used 250 gallons of oatmeal to simulate Spinosaur droppings.

≠ The establishing wide shot of the dig site was actual footage filmed in early summer 2001 of Jack Horner’s excavation, which contained several large Tyrannosaurs and some Hadrosaurs.

≠ The Spinosaurus was the largest animatronic ever built. It weighed 12 tons and was operated by hydraulics. This allowed it to operate while completely submerged in water.

≠ A few of the action sequences are borrowed from left over ideas from the first two Jurassic Park films, some of which were in the original scripts and made it as far as being storyboarded before they were scrapped due to time and budget constraints. These scenes include the pteranodon and river boat sequences.

≠ Sam Neill, as part of his contract, requested that the Australasian premiere of the film took place in his hometown of Dunedin, New Zealand.

≠ Jeff Goldblum confirmed in an interview that he was not invited back to reprise his role from the earlier Jurassic Park titles.

≠ The Raptors refusing to abandon their young is taken from Jack Horner’s research.

Jurassic Park 3: Sam Neill vs raptors

≠ When the paleontologists enter the bar for dinner with the Kirby’s, you can see a Jurassic Park (1993) pinball machine in the background.

≠ Mirroring the latest palaeontologic finds that were made at the time, feathers were added onto various parts of the Velociraptor males, most noticeably on the top of their head. More recent finds suggest that raptors were indeed covered in feathers, a fact most members of the general public still find hard to digest. However the type of feather they used in the movie is incorrect: real raptors had the same kind of feathers as modern birds, and these covered their entire body, save for the tip of their snout.

≠ Michael Crichton worked with the screenwriters several days to brainstorm about a story, but left after some days when he could not come up with a satisfactory idea.

≠ After the Spinosaurus’ attack on the airplane, Grant asks Billy how he would classify the animal. Billy’s first inclination is to say the dinosaur is a Suchomimus or Baryonyx, due to the large snout. This is a joke meant for many fans of the film who, when the new movie’s logo was first revealed, said the exact same thing Billy did. Many long pages on the message boards of fan pages and the official page were dedicated to this debate.

≠ Shooting for the film began before the final script was completed.

≠ Original scripts and storyboards had a Baryonyx as the main dinosaur instead of the Spinosaurus. Baryonyx is a close relative of the Spinosaurus and they looked basically the same. Baryonyx was a little smaller, and did not have the fin like the Spinosaurus did. Director Joe Johnston wanted a main dinosaur that would not be confused with the T-Rex. Though the Baryonyx would have been vastly different, the Spinosaurus had a bizarre look no other carnivore had.

≠ When Ellie is talking to Grant she mentions getting a quote from Jack Horner for her book. Jack Horner is a paleontologist who was Michael Crichton’s inspiration for the character of Alan Grant; he was also a consultant on all of the three “Jurassic Park” films.

≠ Steven Spielberg initially devised a story idea which involved Dr. Alan Grant living on one of InGen’s islands to study dinosaurs. Because he was not allowed in for research, he was living in a tree like Robinson Crusoe. However, Johnston rejected the idea because he couldn’t imagine Dr. Grant returning to any island inhabited by dinosaurs after the events of the first film.

Jurassic Park III Cast

≠ When Billy and Dr. Grant are on the plane, Dr. Grant sleeps like Indiana Jones, by putting his hat over his head when he sleeps.

≠ The second script involved a Pteranodon escaping from Isla Sorna and causing a string of mysterious killings on the mainland, which was to be investigated by Dr. Alan Grant and other characters. The project was green-lit but, five weeks before shooting began, the entire script was rejected by Steven Spielberg and Joe Johnston; Johnston felt that the story was too complicated. By that time, $18 million were already spent on the project.

≠ The computer-controlled “rapid prototyper” portrayed in the film is real technology, able to mechanically sculpt parts and objects in three dimensions using computerized drawings and scanned information. The machine in the film uses Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM). Using one thin layer of bond paper and resin at a time, it carves away the unwanted material as each layer is added, until all the cross-sections have been built up into a solid replica of the original. The carving action of each layer creates a great deal of shavings and dust during the process, which you can see when Billy lifts the lid up to remove the finished model.

≠ Billy has a lucky backpack. The character Sarah Harding in The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) also has a lucky backpack.

≠ First time in the franchise that a T-Rex is killed and a Raptor is not.

≠ Although this Jurassic Park movie had no book of its own, most of the scenes were taken from the first and second Jurassic Park books.

≠ This is the shortest of the Jurassic Park franchise. Jurassic Park 3 (2001) runs at 1h 32min, Jurassic Park (1993) runs at 2h 7min, The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) runs at 2h 9min, and Jurassic World (2015) runs at 2h 4min.

≠ Dr. Grant’s brown truck with the Museum of the Rockies and Montana State University logos on it is actually based on the vehicle that belongs to Dr. Jack Horner, paleontologist consultant on the Jurassic Park films as well as the man that the character of Grant is based on. It was a difficult and time consuming process to find an exact match of Dr. Horner’s truck to be used in the movie.

≠ When Dr. Grant and Billy enter the bar to meet with the Kirbys, the song “Big Hat, No Cattle” by Randy Newman is playing. This is not a mere coincidence. The song is about lying and making yourself out to be someone who you are not; exactly what the Kirbys do in order to fool Dr. Grant into being their guide. This is further evidenced when Paul takes out his checkbook and claims to be capable of writing whatever amount he wants on it. In the background, you can hear the song saying: “And I lie, lie, lie…” right as the scene ends.

The smartest thing Jurassic Park III does is keep the story nice and simple.

≠ The first of the Jurassic movies not scored by John Williams.

≠ First Jurassic Park film without a book counterpart.

≠ Probably as a joke, Barney & Friends (1992) is shown on television and then the Spinosaurus growling. Trevor Morgan was one of the kids on”Barney.”

≠ Stellan Skarsgård, Steve Buscemi, and Tony Shalhoub were considered for the role of Cooper.

≠ The only Jurassic Park movie so far where a park is not part of the main plot.

≠ The Einhorn 20mm, the large weapon used by the mercenaries, was actually a Barrett M82A2 Bullpup sniper rifle, developed for the US military, but never adopted.

≠ John Williams was contacted to write the music, but he was busy writing the music for Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001). Don Davis was chosen as composer at Williams’ recommendation.

≠ Keeps with Steven Spielberg’s theme of broken families.

≠ The 25 September 2000 draft of the screenplay credits revisions to John August. He is not credited in the final film.

≠ The original Jurassic Park (1993) came about while Steven Spielberg and Michael Crichton were developing ER (1994). William H. Macy was on that show.

≠ The first draft of the script involved a group of teenagers marooned on Isla Sorna.

≠ As he leaves Dr. Sattler’s house, Dr. Grant says that he is “The last of my breed.” Ironically, he is driving an Oldsmobile Intrigue, which was one of the last Oldsmobiles made. General Motors closed the Oldsmobile division less than three years after the film’s release.

≠ The twin engine airplane that takes them to the island is a Hawker-Beechcraft King Air 200.

≠ Stephen Sommers and Jan de Bont were both in the running to direct when Steven Spielberg declined to return to the director’s chair.

≠ Trevor Morgan, who plays Eric Kirby, also played Scott Anspaugh on ER (1994). Scott Anspaugh was the son of Dr. Donald Anspaugh (John Aylward), who was Chief of Staff. In Jurassic Park III, he plays William H. Macy’s son. William H. Macy played Dr. David Morganstern on ER, who was the Chief of Surgery. ER was also created by Michael Crichton, the creator of the Jurassic Park franchise.

≠ Téa Leoni’s husband, David Duchovny, has impersonated Jeff Goldblum, star of the previous films, on Saturday Night Live.

≠ Sam Neill plays a character in the The Hunt for Red October (1990). During the climax of that movie, his character says that he would have liked to have seen Montana. Dr Grant meets the character Billy in Montana at a dig site.

≠ During the flight to Isla Sorna, Billy tells Dr Grant a story about hang-gliding off cliffs in New Zealand. Sam Neill, who plays Dr Grant, is born in Ireland but grew up in New Zealand.

≠ When Dr. Grant, Billy and the Kirby’s are in the bar, the last shot is on Grants face as he prepares to name his price. The background musical lyrics are “Lies, Lies, Lies.”

≠ In the original shooting script, the character Udesky (Michael Jeter) was called Ordesky.

≠ William H. Macy would again play a character named Kirby in Blood Father (2016).

≠ The novelization for Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), another Steven Spielberg production, said “prehistoric times”, foreshadowing Spielberg’s Jurassic Park series; also, both this film and Jurassic Park (1993) have scenes with dinosaur dung.

Jurassic Park III: Epic scene with Spinosaurus


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

≠ Near the end of the movie, when the Spinosaurus attacks Amanda Kirby (Téa Leoni) in the water and tries to grab her, the actress admits that she was injured by accident during those scenes when its claws would scratch her. When Leoni returned home from work one night and her husband David Duchovny saw the various slashes on her back she received during filming, he asked “At what point in this movie do they whip you?”

≠ The original script had Billy Brennan killed, but Alessandro Nivola protested and director Joe Johnston had him brought back for the end.

≠ The closing scene, which depicts Dr. Grant watching a flock of Pteranadons was the original closing scene for the first film, but the footage was replaced with pelicans in a last minute change.

≠ Pterosaurs were included in the original “Jurassic Park” novel, and had been considered for both of the previous films, but these ideas were abandoned except for a brief scene at the end of The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997). They are finally featured in this film, in a sequence that is largely based on the aviary subplot in the first novel.

≠ The other reason the Tyrannosaurus is not featured in this movie is because the animatronic puppet was damaged at the neck and was too costly to repair. They instead changed the outcome of the Spinosaur vs. T-Rex fight to have the T-Rex’s neck broken and Spinosaur win.

≠ In the end scene of Jurassic Park (1993) Dr. Alan Grant looks out the helicopter’s window and sees a flock of pelicans, flying beside the helicopter. At the end of this film, Dr. Alan Grant looks out of the plane’s window and sees a group of Pterodons flying beside the plane.

≠ It is subtly implied that Billy was in on the expedition to search for Paul and Amanda Kirby’s son from the beginning, with his own agenda in mind. There are four distinct moments: 1. Billy gives a look that implies he was aware that Paul Kirby would be arriving after showing Dr. Grant the velociraptor resonating chamber 2. Paul Kirby, after introducing himself to Grant, says “how ya doin’, Billy?” implying that the two already knew each other 3. In the same scene, Billy hastily responds “We’d love to” Paul Kirby’s request. 4. On the plane ride to the island Billy turns around, with a clearly facetious look on his face, asks Cooper “how do you know the Kirby’s?” with which Cooper responds “through our church” with an equally sarcastic look. The fact that Billy steals raptor eggs in an effort to fund the dig site, along with his initial excitement of travelling to Isla Sorna is further evidence of this fact.

≠ According to the Masrani Global website, John Hammond was dead by the time of the events of this film.

≠ Body count: 6.

≠ There is a Fan theory that the adult male T rex killed by the Spinosaurus in this is the infant T rex from the lost world (1997) however it could be a rogue T rex as the Infant had a skin color like his parent’s while the T rex in this was more green in color.

≠ This is the second Jurassic Park movie in which actors from the television series, Miami Vice (1984), get eaten by a dinosaur. In the original Jurassic Park, it was Martin Ferrero, who played a recurring character named Izzy Moreno on Vice, as the lawyer who gets eaten by T-Rex. In JP:III, Miami Vice regular John Diehl plays Cooper, the mercenary who gets devoured by Spinosaurus as the plane is trying to take off, and Julio Oscar Mechoso, who plays the Dino-Saur boat captain eaten in the beginning of the film, played first season Miami Vice character Lester Kosko, the Vice squad’s surveillance tech expert. Cooper was also often used as an alias by Ricardo Tubbs, played by Philip Michael Thomas on Miami Vice.