Jurassic Park Oral History Reveals How Jim Carrey And James Cameron Almost Got Involved

Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park started stomping back into theaters on Thursday with an upgraded 3D print stretched to fit IMAX screens. Both formats seem tailor-made for the director’s larger-than-life digital dinosaur creations, which were impressive 20 years ago and remain spectacular to this day.

Even more interesting, however, is the history of the project, which has been documented in a thrilling new read by EW.com. Right off the bat, before Spielberg, producer Kathleen Kennedy and the cast and crew start opening up, we learn that Richard Donner (Superman, The Goonies) and James Cameron were potential directors for the gig. Imagine how awesome a Cameron adaptation of Michael Crichton’s bestseller might have been?

It’s such a great read, and a wonderful companion piece to Park if and when you go this weekend. Here are a few bullet points I loved while perusing this oral history:

- Nicolas Cage convinced Laura Dern, his Wild at Heart co-star, to take Spielberg’s call because, “No one can ever say no to a dinosaur movie!”- According to casting director Janet Hirshenson, everyone thought Jeff Goldblum was ideal for the part of Dr. Ian Malcom, though Jim Carrey auditioned and “was terrific, too.”- It was Spielberg’s idea to have the animated Mr. DNA character break down the intense science behind Jurassic Park. As the director says, as a compliment, screenwriter David Koepp “took [the novel] from a banquet to fast food … the movie feels like a drive thru.”- After a hurricane shut the production down on the final day of shooting, Kennedy was trying to find a plane that would get the remaining cast and crew home from Hawaii. She ran into “the young man who flew the biplane in Raiders of the Lost Ark,” according to Spielberg. “It’s once again something else that seems to only happen in the movies. And when things like that happen in movies, the audience rejects that!”

I don’t think audiences will reject Park this time around. It will be interesting to see if a 20-year-old re-release can beat new movies like the rebooted Evil Dead at the box office. And if Park does well, could it lead to more IMAX 3D versions of past Spielberg films? We shall see.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.