When you think of Jurassic Park III, odds are you think of the image above, a talking raptor on an airplane. The scene is without question the most famous from the film, especially when you're talking about how the Jurassic Park sequels simply don't live up to the majesty of the original film. However, it's possible that, had things gone a little differently on the set, we'd all be thinking of something a little different when we think of Jurassic Park III because the ending was going to include a scene that we know would have been impressive since we eventually saw it in another movie.
In a recent interview with Jurassic Park Outpost, Shelly Johnson, cinematographer of Jurassic Park III, explained that the original plan for the ending of the film would have included a sequence where a Pteranodon attacks a helicopter. That may sound somewhat familiar, as a similar sequence ended up in Jurassic World. According to Johnson...
At one point, I’m not sure if it was written or not, there was a big discussion and some illustrations of a Pteranodon attacking a helicopter, like a big helicopter, a black Hawk. And when they fly away at the end of it they were going to attack and pick their way through the windshield, kind of like they did with the little helicopter in part four.
The fact that the scene ended up in Jurassic World likely isn't too shocking considering the fact that Steven Spielberg, who has acted as producer for the entire franchise, apparently really loved the idea of the scene back when it was part of Jurassic Park III, and that likely hadn't changed for Jurassic World. It seems that in the end, Jurassic Park III just became too big, and thus, too expensive, and the decision was made to cut the scene back then. Johnson continues...
We were kind of waiting for it because as they fly out, that’s where it was. The last thing was this attack and they had to get out of it. And it ended up getting cut because of the expense, everything, you’re at the end of the movie now. And that was the sequence we had least worked out, where everything else we had sets for and had worked it out and it just didn’t seem like it was going to be viable.
Jurassic Park III had some pretty famous production troubles that included the planned script being tossed out just before filming was set to begin. As such, a lot of the movie was put together on the fly. Even though this sequence existed as a concept, nobody really knew how it would fit into the actual story of the film as that was all being put together at the time. As such, Jurassic Park III didn't really have a plan for how to shoot the sequence and it so it was cut.
Maybe if things had gone differently we'd think of this scene when we think of Jurassic Park III and not talking raptors.