Why Jurassic Park Almost Didn’t Include Ian Malcolm, According To Jeff Goldblum

Jeff Goldblum as Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park

Before Jurassic Park, Jeff Goldblum had already made a name for himself through movies like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Big Chill, The Fly and Deep Cover, but Ian Malcolm has become one of his most popular characters. Goldblum reprised the witty chaotician a few years later for The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and we'll see him as the character for a third time later this year in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. However, had a Jurassic Park script change gone forward, Ian Malcolm would have been removed from the story entirely. Goldblum recalled director Steven Spielberg telling him the following:

He said 'You know, there's a sort of movement afoot with our little committee here as we're rewriting another version of the script to have that part removed from the script. So since we've had this meeting, there's this little wrinkle that may render this moot.'

It's hard to imagine Jurassic Park without Ian Malcolm, and not just because he was in the original novel. While not a dinosaur expert like Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler, his expertise on chaos theory would be invaluable to assessing a theme park filled with creatures that originally lived millions of years ago and are now intended to provide entertainment for tourists. This is a guy you want to pass on the futility of trying to control nature to such a massive degree. However, while speaking with Vanity Fair, Goldblum explained that there were some people on the production who wanted Ian Malcolm and Alan Grant to be fused into one character. Goldblum continued:

'The people want that character melded into the Sam Neill character' -- I don't think Sam Neill was doing it yet, but the Alan Grant character -- and I said no no no, I think keep that character...I don't know what I said, but anyway, it turns out that I got to be in it and that's the way it goes.

Whether Jeff Goldblum was able to convince Steven Spielberg to keep Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park or Spielberg came to that decision in a different way, thankfully the character remained one of the movie's lead characters, and we were gifted with moments like Ian weirdly laughing on the plane ride to the theme park, him talking about life finding a way and him posing seductively while wounded. While it's possible that Ian's removal wouldn't have affected the Jurassic Park movie too much, his presence was still welcome, particularly with his comedic comments throughout the crazy events. Dinosaurs are obviously the main draw with these movies, but certain characters can do wonders with making the tales more enjoyable.

You can see Jeff Goldblum reprising Ian Malcolm when Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom rampages into theaters on June 22, and don't forget to look through our 2018 release schedule to learn what other movies are coming out this year.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.