Jurassic World Dominion’s Sam Neill Clarifies The Significant Difference Between Alan Grant And Chris Pratt’s Owen Grady

Sam Neill and Chris Pratt pictured side-by-side in Jurassic World: Dominion.
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Heroes in the Jurassic franchise exist in various forms and walks of life. From scientific experts to a human clone seeking answers to her own existence, we’re now able to see them all come together in  Jurassic World Dominion. Comparing and contrasting legacy heroes like Sam Neill’s Dr. Alan Grant and Chris Pratt’s Owen Grady is something fans have been doing for some time, and will continue to do after the film's big screen run is over. So naturally, Neill himself got into the fun, and his view on the significant difference between the characters was insightful, while slightly self-deprecating.

While speaking with Sam Neill during his press day for the third Jurassic World movie, we discussed the legacy of Michael Crichton’s learned protagonist. The conversation also included some interesting reflections on Dr. Grant that arose from Neill’s favorite Jeff Goldblum improv

Noting that Alan Grant somehow always winds up with the children, despite not having much knowledge in how to handle them, a wider subject started to open up. Mentioning how Dr. Grant has always been an academic Jurassic Park character who doesn’t want to be a part of the action, but handles himself well in a pinch, I compared that character to Indiana Jones. Once that was thrown into the air, Sam Neill shared with CinemaBlend his take on how Alan compares to the more action-ready Owen Grady from Jurassic World

It’s interesting you say that, because I’ve always seen Alan Grant as being a pretty ordinary guy that has to make the best of things under trying circumstances, very dangerous situations. Pratt’s character, on the other hand, is a full on action hero. And that’s something I never thought Alan Grant is. Alan Grant is an ordinary guy doing his best, whereas [Owen Grady] he can take charge of things. … I just dig bones. I don’t have the qualifications.

As a Navy veteran-turned-raptor trainer, Owen’s introduction in 2015’s Jurassic legacy-quel showed he was ready to handle pretty much any dino danger thrown his way. Leading trained raptors into battle against larger predators, and eventually finding himself in life or death scenarios that lead to the ending of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom unleashing a world of prehistoric animals, Chris Pratt’s character is a pure action hero. That’s definitely not the sort of character Dr. Alan Grant is, and that’s a vital difference that co-writer/director Colin Trevorrow, as well as co-writer Emily Carmichael, kept in mind for Jurassic World Dominion

In another version of this story, and in the hands of another writing team, there may have been a temptation to turn Sam Neill’s legendary paleontologist into someone who was an ace shot with a tranquilizer dart and ready for some payback. When we’re reintroduced to Alan in Dominion, that couldn’t be farther from the truth; and Sam Neill’s humorous action sequence story further backs that up.

It’s a dichotomy that ultimately serves Jurassic World’s trilogy-ending entry rather well, much like Dominion’s balance between past and present Jurassic characters. By the time the two halves of the story cross, with legacy characters uniting with the new kids on the block, the diversity in who’s on the team stands out even further. Despite Dr. Alan Grant and Owen Grady being worlds apart as far as the types of heroic skills they possess, the first trailer for Dominion showed that both men know when to warn their group not to move. 

Sam Neill’s Dr. Alan Grant may not share much in common with Chris Pratt’s Owen Grady, but Jurassic World: Dominion shows us that there’s some cases where important agreements can be had. You can see those harrowing and hilarious moments now since the movie has arrived in theaters. Meanwhile, the past adventures of Dr. Grant, Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III, are streaming for HBO Max subscribers at the time of this writing.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.