It's not uncommon for major changes to happen between the script phase and the actual production of a major motion picture, but with a movie as big and famous as Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park, any new nugget of information is a new addition to the larger narrative around classic films, their production and reception. In a new podcast interview, Jurassic Park scribe David Koepp came through in a big way, talking a little bit about a scene that took place between the tyrannosaurus rex, the kids, and the river. The scene was in the original script and made its way to the storyboard stage, but was cut shortly after that.
According to the interview (with the ReelBlend Podcast at CinemaBlend), Koepp learned that the scene had been cut when Spielberg was walking him through some storyboards. He skipped right past the scene in question without hesitation -- something Koepp suspects might be tied to a past experience with a different summer tentpole.
"I think when I got there he was showing me a bunch of boards he'd done," Koepp said.Some of which were more or less exactly as you see them in the movie. There was a sequence with the river and the Rex and the kids. But he thumbs past it and said 'Oh, we’re not gonna do this.' It was cut very early on. There was so much that was going to be challenging and difficult, and had yet to be figured out technologically in that movie. That the idea of adding water to that made Mr. Jaws… it was gonna be hard enough."
Of course, the allusion there is to the numerous technical problems that dogged Jaws, Spielberg's 1975 summer hit that set the standard for the summer blockbuster. The animatronic shark hardly ever worked, and that cost a lot of money in both repairs and lost production time. Ironically, another big change made to one of Spielberg's movies recently surfaced in a podcast interview, when J.J. Abrams said on Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend that he had looked through the screenplay to Jaws, bound in leather in Spielberg's office, and found a forgettable series of three lines scratched out in red pen during a key scene.
In that same red pen, in the margin, read "Quint: We're gonna need a bigger boat," confirming longstanding rumors that the most iconic line in the movie was a late addition to the screenplay.
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