Nearly 30 years on from the original Jurassic Park, the upcoming sequel Jurassic World: Dominion will mark the return of three main characters: Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum). In a recent video for Vanity Fair, the three actors share the “oral history” of the classic movie, including stories behind some of the film’s most memorable moments.
For Dern, that means recalling the preparation that went into her intense velociraptor chase scene. But Goldblum’s role in the movie evokes a single shot which has since been immortalized in meme form: the image of his character Ian Malcolm reclining with his shirt wide open, after being injured by a T-Rex. Just in case you need your memory refreshing: Malcolm’s leg is broken. There is no reason in the script for this image, and yet it remains one of many fans’ most enduring memories.
And as it turns out, it very nearly didn’t happen.
“It wasn’t in the script,” Goldblum admits in the video. “It had nothing to do with my character, it had nothing to do with the movie! I don’t know, it just happened somehow.”
Goldblum went on to say that the character of Ian Malcolm was almost cut from the script entirely, which makes a certain degree of sense given that his counterpart in the source novel by Michael Crichton ends up dying.
“I hadn’t read the script, you know, they said ‘you’ve got a meeting, they’re thinking about you for this part,'” says Goldblum. “I’d read the book, came into the meeting, and then [Spielberg] said ‘hey, you know, your part is gonna disappear, I think that’s what’s going to happen to this, so sorry about that. And I think I said, ‘oh, oh, wait, OK, but think of this, don’t do that without…’ I don’t know, think I said something, having no impact on the final decision, but luckily it did coincide with somehow the part getting in there.”
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