25 Fun Facts About “The Lost World: Jurassic Park”

Back in 1993, Jurassic Park was more than just a movie, it was a global phenomenon that changed the world forever.  Thus a sequel was inevitable and a franchise that’s still running today was born.  The Lost World: Jurassic Park had a very mixed reception, and even now still seems to divide fans.  So on its 25th anniversary, we thought it would be fitting and fun to look at 25 Fun Facts about The Lost World: Jurassic Park!

1. Michael Crichton was incredibly reluctant to write a sequel, believing that the story was perfect the way it was, and didn’t need to be continued.  But when it was made clear that Universal would be proceeding with or without him, he agreed to write the novel, “The Lost World”.  However, in the years that follow, Crichton himself admitted that he wasn’t a big fan of his own book.

2. After the first Jurassic Park, Steven Spielberg received countless letters (many from kids) asking why the Stegosaurus wasn’t included in the movie.  So he made it a point to feature it in this film.

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It makes for one of the most memorable scenes in the movie.

3. While writing the screenplay, David Koepp kept a fan letter from the first movie that complained about how it took too long to show the dinosaurs.  This was to remind him to get to the dinosaurs sooner.

4. The title of the movie was changed from The Lost World to The Lost World: Jurassic Park to differentiate it from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Lost World”.

5. Julianne Moore later admitted that she only signed on because she was trying to pay off her divorce settlement with John Gould Rubin, plus she had always wanted to work with Steven Spielberg.

6. The producers of Swingers had requested to use the Jaws music, and Steven Spielberg himself watched the film in order to decide whether he was okay with it.  Upon seeing it, he loved Vince Vaughn’s performance and cast him in The Lost World.

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Mostly known for comedic roles, Vaughn has great chemistry with the rest of the cast here and makes for an interesting character.

7. Joe Johnston wanted to direct, but he was still working on post-production for Jumanji and was unable to.  He did however direct Jurassic Park III just a few years later.

8. A pre-That 70’s Show Mila Kunis was considered for the role of Ian Malcolm’s daughter Kelly, but Spielberg had his heart set on Vanessa Lee Chester after seeing her in A Little Princess.

9. Earlier drafts of the script had much larger parts for Lexi and Timmy, with some even having them go to the island.  Ultimately their roles were reduced down to a cameo.

10. The little girl attacked by Compsognathuses (“compys”) in the opening scene was played by Camilla Belle, who would go on to be leading star in the 2000s in movies like When a Stranger Calls, 10,000 BC, and Push.

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Fortunately the scene cuts away before they

11. The sound of the baby T-Rex calling for its parents was actually a baby camel.

12. Several scenes were shot in the same redwood forests of California where Return of the Jedi had previously been filmed.

13. The mother and father T-Rexes were such massive and heavy animatronics (9 tons each) that it was easier to construct them first, then build the set around them, rather than try to move them into an already-built set.

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It makes for one hell of a shot and a sequence that is arguably on par with the first movie.

14. The entire San Diego sequence was originally an idea for a later sequel, but Spielberg figured that this was the last Jurassic Park movie he was doing, so he wanted to include it in this one.

15. Spielberg didn’t allow for any rehearsals because he wanted the actors’ to feel more natural and seem like everything was happening to them for the first time.

16. Many have pointed out an error that the T-Rex could not have killed everyone on the cargo ship if it was still locked up in the cargo hold underneath.  This was explained by a scene that was originally scripted where there were raptors aboard the ship too.  However the scene was removed and never filmed, but this detail still remained.

17. The story that Roland tells about a man who climbed Mt. Everest with no oxygen is true. In 1978, German climber Reinhold Messner reached the summit of Everest without bringing any supplemental oxygen.  And in 1980, he really was asked in an interview, “Why would you go up there to die?” to which he replied, “I went up there to live.”

18. At the very end of the movie during the CNN broadcast, Steven Spielberg has a brief cameo.  He can be seen in the reflection of the TV, sitting next to Jeff Goldblum.

19. Screenwriter David Koepp also has a cameo as a man eaten by the T-Rex in San Diego.  He is credited as “Unlucky Bastard”.

20. Horror director Eli Roth (Cabin Fever, Hostel, Green Inferno) was an extra and appears very briefly on the subway train that Ian Malcolm is riding at the beginning of the movie.

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Before he was grossing us out with flesh eating bacteria in Cabin Fever or torturing people in Hostel, Eli Roth was just chilling on the subway, and reading a newspaper next to Ian Malcolm.

21. Steven Spielberg admitted that his heart wasn’t fully in the project and that he largely disliked doing sequels.  To date, the only sequels he’s ever directed are The Lost World and the Indiana Jones films (which he considers less sequels and more different adventures with the same character).

22. Remained the highest opening weekend of box office history until the release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone four years later in November 2001.

23. Went on to gross $618 million worldwide on a $70 million budget.  It even wound up being the 2nd highest grossing movie of 1997 (behind Titanic, which grossed $1.8 billion).

24. Nominated for an Oscar for Best Visual Effects, but lost to Titanic (which was busy sweeping up 11 wins that night).

25. Fox paid a whopping $80 million for broadcasting rights to The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and began airing it on TV November 1, 1998 (a year and a half after its theatrical release).  The TV version included several deleted scenes re-inserted into the movie.

Which of these did you already know?  Which ones surprised you?  Let us know in the comments!

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