Inside Jurassic Park: Exposing the Spinosaurus

A captivated Dr. Alan Grant is glued to the window of the Beechcraft Turboprop. Out on the runway before him, he watches Cooper, and injured mercenary collapse. Then, with brutal and cunning speed, an enormous beast siezes up the figure in its jaws. Grant sees only a glimpse of a crocodillian snout, powerful clawed forearms, and a spiny sail rising from the creature’s back. The plane lifted off, but there was an angry roar and a sudden thump. To Grant’s horror, he realized that they were going down…

This scene, lifted from this summer’s Jurassic Park III, presents the new film’s star, the Spinosaurus, as a deadly, human-muching machine; when, in fact, the Spinosaurus, despite its enormous size, was actually a fish-eater.

“We knew that we had to introduce at lest one or two new dinosaurs,” says Jurassic Park III producer Larry Franco. “Once we decided we needed a pterodactyl, we knew it had to be the biggest one. Spinosaurus was a fairly easy choice.”

“That Spinosaurus is one big motherf**cker,” laughs Stan Winston, the man in charge of the live-action dinosaurs in the new film. “Like everything else, it has been a huge undertaking, because when you go as big as we’ve gone with this dinosaur, it becomes a huge problem technically. If you can imagine anything bigger and badder than the T-rex… we have bigger and badder than the T-rex.”

When the new Jurassic Park III logo was unvieled at a trade show last summer, many fans debated over what the “Logosaurus” might be. It certainly wasn’t a Tyrannosaur as seen in the logos of the last two films in the series. Some fans were disappointed and angered by the sudden change in direction, but the main census were delighted – along with the new director, Joe Johnston, and the return of Australian actor Sam Neill as Alan Grant, this could have meant the high point of the series was coming.

“This film is going to be compared to the first two, and whatever I do is going to be compared to what Steven Spielberg did on those.” says director Johnston, aware that the new film was in need of a new direction. “For me, it’s a pretty loaded situation to walk on to. We broke every rule we could possibly break making this movie.”

“I have a phobia about being trapped underwater,” Sam Neill comments about filming a major action scene with the Spinoaurus, labeled the “Barge Attack”. “There’s a scene about being trapped underwater, and there’s a scene where some of us either do or do not drown. Needless to say, I did not enjoy that much. But it was good to do a bit of action for a while. If nothing else, it gets you fit.”

Yahoo “Jurassic Park 3” Press Release Peek

We were able to get our hands on the Press Release for the World Premier of Universal Pictures Jurassic Park III, transcribed below. Sounds like a party we would love to attend!

“World Premiere of Universal Pictures’ and
Amblin Entertainment’s “Jurassic Park III”

“Jurassic Park III” cast members Sam Neill, William H. Macy,
Tea Leoni, Alessandro Nivola, Trevor Morgan, Michael Jeter,
John Diehl and Bruce A. Young, plus director Joe Johnston,
screenwriters Peter Buchman, Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor, and
producer Larry Franco.

PLUS Christian Bale, Drew Carey, Vanessa Lee Chester, Sheryl Crowe, Sam Elliott, Andy Garcia, Seth Green, Alyson Hannigan, James Keach, Rob Lowe, Natasha Lyonne, Camryn Manheim, Chi McBride, Ralf Moeller, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Haley Joel Osment, Chris Owen, Anna Pacquin, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Jane Seymour, Garry Shandling, Jeffrey Tambor, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Jon Voight, Paul Walker, Forest Whitaker and others.

WHERE: Universal Amphitheatre

WHEN: Monday, July 16, 2001
5 PM Call-time for Arrivals | 6 PM Light Supper | 7:30 PM Screening

SATELLITE COORDINATES

REDACTED

Jurassic Park III” opens nationwide on Wednesday, July 18.

CONTACTS

REDACTED

Sam Niell on Dr. Allen Grant and “Jurassic Park 3”

Sam Neill, who reprises the role of Alan Grant in the upcoming sequel Jurassic Park III, told SCI FI Wire that he believes the third installment in the dinosaur franchise will surpass the last one, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, which he passed up. “Ironically, the faster and more action there is in the film, the slower they are to make” Neill said in an interview from is home in New Zealand. “In order to keep morale up, [the producers] would show us cut footage–which was breathtaking.”

Neill–a genre favorite in films like the first Jurassic Park and Bicentennial Man–said the new dinosaurs are better than before. “The animatronic creatures that we were working with were
extraordinary–not just realistic, but the things you can do with them was incredible,” he said. “If a 44-foot high creature … is looming over you bigtime, it’s not difficult to feel fear, if that’s what’s required in the script. … There was a remarkable day when one dinosaur mortally wounded another dinosaur. That was more terrifying than you could imagine.”

Like his co-star, Téa Leoni, Neill is a good sport about playing opposite the dinosaurs. And he doesn’t feel that the dinosaurs and effects take over the film, just as he disagrees with similar criticisms that swirled around the first film some eight years back.

“That was certainly one of the criticisms in the first film,” he said. “I think that’s a pretty good [movie]. I
would take issue with this–there was a couple of criticisms in the New York Times vs. the New Yorker, that said it was the first time in cinema history where the special effects were more real than the actors. But that was rather cruel and unnecessary.”

When asked about his favorite scene, Neill immediately pointed to a brief reunion between himself and fellow Jurassic Park cast member Laura Dern. “I have some scenes with Laura Dern, who I hadn’t worked with for … years” he said. “It was very nice being back with her again”

Jurassic Park III opens July 20.

Tea Leoni Talks “Jurassic Park 3” with Horror Online

It takes a lot to faze Tea Leoni. A few years back, the actress played second fiddle to an asteroid. Now, in Jurassic Park 3, Leoni is sharing the screen with co-stars who are a bit more fearsome and lifelike—and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I love having enormous co-stars,” she enthuses. “I was once a co-star to a comet, and actually that film did very well, and then of course I couldn’t lay claim to that either,” jokes the actress about her involvement in 1997’s Deep Impact.

Leoni agreed to do Jurassic without seeing a script first, instead basing her decision to join the cast on director Joe Johnston’s enthusiasm—and her own enthusiasm for working with Johnston and stars Sam O’Neill and William Macy.

“Joe just said, ‘Listen, you’re a mom who’s lost her 12 year old son, on an island with dinosaurs. What do you think?’

And I thought, ‘cool,’” she remembers.

Contrary to expectations, Leoni found Jurassic was blissfully free of green screen work. Instead, the dinosaurs themselves provided enough jolts of reality. “For the most part, we were face to face with some of the most terrifying puppets,” reveals Leoni. “I mean, these guys make Chucky look like child’s play. And that made the acting easy, because when you have a – whatever it is – 6 ton, 1700 horsepower, 30-foot high creature coming at you along a track at 18 MPH, you find the fear. You find the fear quite easily, actually.”

Working with the dinosaurs was a revealing experience for Leoni. “They weren’t like fun machines, but the did have personality,” she says. “These puppets are so [real]; it’s odd to even say lifelike because there’s no reference, really. No one has ever seen a moving dinosaur, but I would credit Stan Winston and his team with vivid and real imagination because you can look into each creature, even in the same species, [and see] a different personality. It wasn’t like this one’s green, or this one’s taller or this one has horns–there were different shapes to the faces, and some seem to have more smiles.”

Check out all our Jurassic Park 3 Coverage