Jurassic Park remains one of the most beloved and highly regarded blockbuster movies ever made. The movie features some of the most thrilling action sequences ever put to film, such as the very famous T-Rex and velociraptor fight sequence that serves as the movie's climax. However, as some recently revealed early storyboards show, that iconic scene wasn't going to be the finale of Jurassic Park.
Some of Phil Tippet's personal collections were just sold at auction. For those who may not know, Phil Tippet, who is a visual effects legend in Hollywood, served as a special effects supervisor and is credited as the "dinosaur supervisor" on Jurassic Park and was heavily involved in the movie. The Jurassic Time Facebook page got their hands on some of these items, which included very early storyboards with alternate scenes that didn't end up in the movie. The most significant of these changes revealed in the storyboards had to do with the ending. Here is what Jurassic Time had to say about the post made to their Facebook page.
"From Phil Tippett's Jurassic Park Early Sequence Storyboard Binder, here is a first-look at the rare storyboards for a thrilling helicopter rescue sequence set to be at the film's finale. This is an early look of the first version (Version A) of the sequence, and was not scripted at this stage immediately after Crichton's final draft. It later became adapted into Malia Scotch Marmo's screenplay, but with numerous alterations."
The sequence shown in these storyboards features Alan Grant driving through the jungle with Lex and Tim, desperately trying to make it to the helicopter in order to get off the island. Trees begin crashing around them and block their way, so they are forced to get out of the car and make a run for it. As soon as they do, the T-rex emerges from the treeline and chases them to the chopper. Grant, Lex and Tim narrowly get on the chopper, with Grant nearly getting chewed in half in the process. The T-rex does wind up sinking her jaws into the runner on the helicopter, almost managing to drag them down. The group finally manages to escape and as the chopper pulls away, they look down at the T-rex one last time.
It isn't clear why this sequence was ultimately changed, but it seems possible that doing all of this extra effects work with the T-rex would have been too difficult to actually manage at the time. There are only 6 minutes worth of CGI dinosaurs in Jurassic Park and only 14 minutes of dinosaur action in total. At the time, the technology was in its infancy and the animatronic dinosaurs had their limits. This final sequence, as shown in the storyboards, would have probably required a lot more in terms of technology and effects work than what wound up in the movie. It is also very possible that the other drafts of the script changed the ending enough to scrap this sequence for story reasons, as opposed to practical reasons.
There may be another reason for this scene's exclusion though. It too closely matches a scene in the 1978 sequel Jaws 2, where the shark grabs ahold of a helicopter and pulls it underwater. As Steven Spielberg directed the first Jaws, but didn't return for this follow-up, it's possible that he didn't want the scene included because of those similarities. Especially considering that the helicopter scene in Jaws 2 stands as one of its most remembered, and was used heavily in the promotion of the sequel upon its release way back in the summer of 1978, appearing in most of the TV spots and trailers at the time. Perhaps Spielberg wanted to avoid the comparison.
Jurassic World did finally give us a pretty cool helicopter scene on Isla Nublar, but things didn't work out so well for those who were on board the chopper, since they all died. As we wait for Jurassic World 2 to hit theaters next year, these new storyboards can serve to help tide Jurassic Park fans over until new information about the next installment of the franchise becomes available. Also included in the newly released storyboards was an alternate version of the Dilophosaurus scene in which Nedry is killed in his Jeep. In this alternate version, he never makes it into his Jeep and instead is dragged away by the Dilophosaurus into the woods. You can check out all of the alternate Jurassic Park storyboards for yourself below.