This weekend we lost the legendary Lord Richard Attenborough, and even today his loss is still felt. The tremendous actor/director of such films as The Great Escape, The Sand Pebbles, Brighton Rock, Gandhi and Chaplin left a full life and a grand legacy behind, which has mostly been highlighted by his work in Steven Spielberg's 1993 masterpiece Jurassic Park. Now while Attenborough did have an enormous legacy before his role as the eccentric John Hammond, it is that role that most modern audiences identify him with. A role that is being paid tribute by friends, colleagues, and even those who did not get to work with him, but continue his legacy tangentially.
Case in point is Colin Trevorrow's tweet from last night, showcasing what can be assumed to be a memorial to John Hammond in the Jurassic World visitors center. A bronze visage, it undoubtedly is meant to evoke the classic statue of Walt Disney standing side by side with Mickey Mouse in the Disneyland park. It is a fitting tribute to Lord Attenborough's work in the original Jurassic Park, and it's not the only one out there.
In fact, the official Jurassic World Twitter feed chimed in last night with the following tribute post.
Even Sam Neill took to his official feed and had some choice remarks to share about the man he knew as "Dickie".
While the man is a monumental figure in world cinema, his work in Jurassic Park is not only memorable because of the film's huge profile, it's also because of the role of John Hammond himself. Every child, at one point or another, dreams of what it would be like if humanity and the dinosaurs roamed the earth together. Up until Jurassic Park, that fantasy was never fully realized in the way that Spielberg managed to capture it, using Lord Attenborough's character as the gatekeeper/lovably eccentric grandfather to usher audiences worldwide into a world where that dream became a reality. Good or bad, John Hammond's efforts ushered us into that world of whimsy, and we were never the same again once he'd uttered those famous words of introduction.
Whether Bryce Dallas Howard's character is going to be Jurassic World's version of John Hammond is still left to be unseen, but if she is, you can bet any scene where she thinks back to her possible predecessor/relative will be tinged with a little more bittersweet energy.
Jurassic World opens on June 12, 2015.