Sean Connery? Jim Carrey! It could have been so very different.
Not even two dodgy sequels and 25 years passing can erase the magic of the very first time you watched Jurassic Park.
The Steven Spielberg dino adventure brought gasps from audiences – young and old – when it premiered around the world in 1993. Even today, a couple of seconds of that classic score can give you tingles and take you back to first time you saw The Park.
Like all great films, everything felt and looked like it slotted together perfectly. But that wasn’t necessarily the case, as there were plenty of other big-name stars who so very nearly got the lead roles.
1. Harrison Ford was nearly… Dr Alan Grant
If it wasn’t already greedy enough that Harrison Ford had landed himself awesome cool roles in two of the biggest movie franchises of all time – Star Wars and Indiana Jones – he could have almost have added a third dino-sized film to his CV with the lead in Jurassic Park.
Spielberg made the revelation in a Q&A session, where Ford accused the director of only ever offering him the role of Indiana. Spielberg pointed out the to audience that he’d actually offered Ford the role of Dr Alan Grant before Sam Neill. Luckily for Sam Neill, Ford for some strange reason (perhaps as karma for getting Indiana Jones after Tom Selleck gave it a miss) said ‘no’.
2. Sandra Bullock was nearly… Dr Ellie Sattler
If you believe the internet, pretty much anyone who was anyone in 1993 was considered for the role of Dr Ellie Sattler.
Gwyneth Paltrow, Robin Wright, Julianne Moore, Helen Hunt, Teri Hatcher, Elizabeth Hurley and Sherilyn Fenn are just some of the stars that apparently swirled around the movie.
One name who comes up time and time again in stories about the making of Jurassic Park is Sandra Bullock. She was just about to explode into the big time in Hollywood with Speed, but things might have unfolded slightly differently if Laura Dern hadn’t been Spielberg’s first choice for the part.
3. Jim Carrey was nearly.. Ian Malcolm
This was before Carrey’s rubber-faced smash-hits with Ace Ventura, Dumb and Dumber and The Mask, so pretty much the whole of early ’90s comedy cinema might have rewritten if he had got the role.
However, the film’s casting director Janet Hirshenon always had Jeff Goldblum in mind for the role of the mathematician and chaos theoretician – and despite a “terrific” audition, Carrey couldn’t change her mind on who should get the part.
4. Christina Ricci was nearly… Lex Murphy
Ricci was already well known as a child star for her striking role as Wednesday in 1991’s Addams Family. She apparently read for the part of Lex Murphy, but in the end missed out to Ariana Richards.
Perhaps Ricci’s distinctive look and the fact she was so well known after the Addams Family deterred the filmmakers from casting the young star.
5. Sean Connery was nearly… John Hammond
“Welcome to Jurasshick Park”. It just wouldn’t have worked, would it?
Apparently, Connery was one of the front runners for the role because of his friendship with movie’s writer Michael Crichton – he had directed Connery in The Great Train Robbery.
However, Connery wanted more money than the studio were willing to pay for a movie where the stars were really the dinosaurs. Thankfully this meant that Sir Richard Attenborough was able to take the role – and what a bloody good job he did with it.
Do you think Jurassic Park would still have been a monster hit with a different cast? Let us know below…