Released in 1968, Planet of the Apes is a science-fiction film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner and starring Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Linda Harrison, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, and other notable actors. It follows a group of astronauts stranded on a seemingly distant land 2,000 years after their departure, who find that highly intelligent primates inhabit the planet. The film was a raging success and is considered one of the greatest science fiction films of all time for its storytelling, acting, makeup, and of course, the mind-blowing ending. See exactly what went into making the film and some behind-the-scenes secrets.
It's Based On A Book
Generally, the public is most familiar with the story of Planet of the Apes in film form. Yet, the concept actually came from the French novel La Planète des singes (Planet of the Apes) by Pierre Boulle. Like most other book-to-movie adaptations, the filmmakers took some liberties and made alterations to the story.
Some of these changes included making the location Earth, having the apes less advanced than in the books, and twisting the ending entirely. There have been rumors that the newest installment in the series may come closer to the novel's original ending.
A Blacklisted Writer Completed The Script
The first draft of the 1968 version of Planet of the Apes was initially done by The Twilight Zone writer Rod Serling, although the producers were unpleased by the first draft, feeling that Serling's vision would cost too much in regards to special effects.
So, they hired Michael Wilson to make another attempt at the story, regardless of the fact that Hollywood blacklisted him during the period of McCarthyism in the United States over the fear of communism. Serling's ideas weren't completely set aside, either, as his mind-boggling twist at the end remained in the film.
Charlton Heston Was Severely Ill During Filming
In the 1960s, Charlton Heston was one of the most successful and sought-after actors of his time, with movies such as Ben-Hur, The Ten Commandments, and more under his belt. However, his seemingly weakened appearance in the film can't all be chalked up to great acting.
During the shoot for the first film, Heston was actually sick with a bad case of the flu. Disregarding Heston's condition, the producers insisted that he continued acting and incorporating his now-hoarse voice into his character for added effect. In Heston's personal diary, he reported that it was a miserable time in his acting career.
Studios And The Novel's Author Didn't Have Confidence In A Movie Adaptation
In the 1960s, movies that involved apes, especially talking and sophisticated ones tended to belong in the realm of B-movies. This proved to be a problem for producer Arthur P. Jacobs when he was going around Hollywood pitching the idea.
He was rejected almost everywhere, with even the author of the novel, Pierre Boulle, having doubt about the film finding any success. Boulle wasn't confident in his book, and in the documentary Behind the Planet of the Apes, he explained that he thought it was one of his more unimpressive works.
There Were Odd Lunch Room Dynamics On Set
In a film that included humans and various different species of primates, supposedly, the actors socialized according to their particular characters' species. During lunchtime on set, without any instruction, the humans ate with the humans, the chimpanzees with the chimpanzees, the orangutans with their own kind, and so on.
This confused even the producers, with Charlton Heston commenting, "I have no explanation for it whatsoever." To an extent, some of the actors rarely even spoke to each other, even if they had been friendly on other film sets.
The Twist Ending Was Kept Under Lock And Key
Considering the mass spread and availability, it's almost impossible to keep anything a secret, especially when it comes to movie spoilers. Thankfully, Planet of the Apes was one of the first films that made a true effort to keep the movie's ending a real secret.
Many later directors learned the importance of a final twist by example from Planet of the Apes and have provided audiences with some incredible ones since. When the movie came out in 1968, movie-goers were absolutely shocked when it's discovered that Taylor has been on Earth all along.
There Were Hints At The Twist
When Zira shows Taylor the Forbidden Zone map, some coastlines could be identified as New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut after thousands of years and nuclear war.
Although the Hudson and East Rivers' geological markings aren't there on the map, there is clearly evidence of Long Island, Long Island South, Lower New York Bay, Staten Island, and the Atlantic Ocean. It's likely only a few people noticed this when the film first came out.
The Idea For The Ending Happened At A Deli
While formulating the story and considering how they wanted to conclude it, producer Arthur Jacobs and Blake Edwards came to an epiphany, not in a writing room, but over some sandwiches at a deli.
The two were having lunch together discussing the film when they saw a picture of the Statue of Liberty, which gave birth to the mind-bending and groundbreaking ending that we know and love today. Hopefully, that exact deli has been made into a national landmark because some true history occurred there.
The Film Was A Smashing Success At The Box Office
Over more than 50 years, Planet of the Apes has made an impressive impact in popular culture. The 1968 adaptation was the highest-grossing film of the year, earning more than $32 million over its budget of just $5.8 million.
Furthermore, it was also nominated for two Academy Awards, including Best Costume Design and Best Original Score. Later reboots such as Rise and Dawn and War for the Planet of the apes were also all nominated for an Oscar for Best Visual Effects.
Actors Paid The Price For The Impressive Makeup
The makeup for Planet of the Apes may have been groundbreaking at the time, especially without the use of digital technology, but it came with a price. Each day's makeup process was so extensive that the actors and extras had to wear their masks all day, both during shooting, between shots, and while on break.
On some occasions, this meant over 16 hours in full makeup! Additionally, the primate masks were so restricting that meals had to be liquified and consumed using straws. Luckily, it was all worth it in the end, at least for the audience.
There Are Nods To The Orginal In The Reboots
Because 1968's Planet of the Apes proved to be an incredibly successful venture, it's no surprise that Hollywood has attempted to squeeze it for all it's worth in the form of remakes. However, the latest franchise has not forgotten its past, and throughout the series, homages are paid to the original film.
Some of these include a jigsaw puzzle that Caesar is putting together depicting a scene from the original, Caesar's mother's name is Bright Eyes in regard to Taylor's character, and Maurice the orangutan is named after actor Maurice Evans, who played Dr. Zaius.
Taylor Was Almost Played By John Wayne
For many iconic films, it's impossible to picture the protagonist as another actor, which is exactly the case of Col. George Taylor, played by Charlton Heston. However, Taylor's role almost went to no other than John Wayne, a Western icon and one of the most respected actors of the era.
In the end, the decision was made to not include Wayne in the film, fearing that his presence would give off too much of a Western vibe when their goal was clearly science-fiction. Good thing too!
The Production Was Put On Hold
Before 20th Century Fox committed to making the film, they had reservations about how the ape faces would look on screen. So, the production scrounged up $5,000 to perform a test scene shot with Charlton Heston and Edward G. Robinson in costume as Dr. Zaius and James Brolin as another ape.
The studio was impressed with how everything came out and gave the movie the go-ahead. Yet, they delayed the film for six months in anticipation to see how their other science-fiction film, Fantastic Voyage, would do. After its success, Planet of the Apes was off to the races.
The Makeup Artist Also Had A Hand In Star-Trek
One of the most notable elements of Planet of the Apes has to be the film's incredible makeup work. The artist hired for the project turned out to be John Chambers, who was already well known in the industry for his impressive work on other science-fiction productions such as The Munsters, Lost in Space, and Outer Limits.
Yet, arguably his trademark in the genre was his makeup design for Spock's pointy ears in the Star Trek television series. He used his skills from his time working at a veteran's hospital after World War II, where he helped design prosthetics for facial reconstruction of wounded soldiers.
The Statue Of Liberty Is An Optical Illusion
In the past, the location of the final gut-wrenching scene in the film is believed to have been shot in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, but it's actually Malibu, California. And no, the production team didn't build the Statue of Liberty into the side of the cliff.
Instead, they used matte painting with a practical model for the statue. Furthermore, a half-scale of Lady Liberty's head and torch were built and shot from a scaffold during the landmark's reveal.
One Scene Was Almost Censored
Although Planet of the Apes isn't necessarily the most cheerful or kid-friendly movie, there wasn't anything that really needed to be censored, although it almost was. In the climactic ending scene, Taylor proclaims some pretty intense phrases to God.
While there was an attempt to censor the scene for profanity, Heston explained that his character wasn't cursing God but asking God to damn the people to hell responsible for destroying the world and that he wasn't just using the Lord's name in vain.
Ingrid Bergman Was Almost Involved In The Project
According to Ingrid Bergman, turning down the role of Zira was one of the greatest regrets of her career. At the time, the thought of playing a primate wasn't exactly appealing to her, and she learned she made a mistake after the movie was released.
She later told her daughter, Isabella Rossellini, that the part would have been a major opportunity for her to "disregard for regal bearing." On top of all that, she regrets missing the chance to work alongside Charlton Heston.
Earlier Drafts Had A More Hopeful Ending
Even if you haven't seen the movie, most people know that it turns out Taylor has been on Earth the entire time and is now stranded in the future. It's a bit of a depressing ending, although this wasn't always the intentional plan.
Initial scripts were much more optimistic, with Michael Wilson's earlier draft having Taylor being killed by an ape assassin and Nova escaping into the Forbidden Zone carrying Taylor's child. This paved the way for a potential sequel about the rebirth of humanity. Understandably, executives were hesitant since Nova wouldn't be understood as a true human by audiences.
Kim Hunter Had To Be Medicated To Have Her Makeup Done
Actress Kim Hunter played Zira and the film and due to claustrophobia of being under the mask had to take medication each morning to relax during the makeup process. After some time, she stopped taking the pills, feeling that she didn't need them anymore.
While she thought the first makeup session without her medication went fine, her makeup artist thought otherwise. She threatened to replace Kim with someone else unless she started taking her pills again because she had to wrestle with her the whole time.
Producers Weren't Exactly Truthful When It Came To Makeup Expenses
Today, it's rare but not unheard of for some films to have a budget exceeding a whopping $1 billion! This would have been unthinkable during the 1960s. While the Planet of the Apes budget wasn't anywhere near this number, it was certainly expensive during its time.
Unsurprisingly, one of the most expensive aspects of the production was the makeup, which was over $1 million. Or was it? Actually, the makeup for the 1968 movie only cost $500,000, but producers claimed that it was more as a PR tactic so that audiences would be more inclined to see it.
The Spaceship Crash Was Difficult To Film
The spaceship crash scene was filmed on the Colorado River at a location known as The Crossing of the Fathers. Although a real crash would have been impressive, the footage was then filmed from airplanes and in water in order to recreate what it would be like in an actual crash.
However, not enough film had been shot, so effects artists and film editors took pieces of what had been filmed, reversed, inverted, and repeated them to simulate an actual spaceship crash.
Filming in The Desert Was No Easy Task
Unsurprisingly, filming in the desert ran over schedule, as they only had three days to complete the scenes they had to shoot. Producer Arthur P. Jacobs liked the long build-up in King Kong and wanted to create similar suspense in Planet of the Apes with the stranded crew wandering in the desert.
Luckily, Jacobs received three extra days of shooting approval. Nevertheless, being in such a hostile environment proved to be harsh due to the heat. This resulted in many of the cast and crew, including director Franklin Schaffner, fainting.
Michael Wilson Brought Some Comedy To The Script
After Serling's script wasn't up to the studio's expectations, Michael Wilson was brought on to take a crack at it. Besides making some major tweaks to the movie's plot, Wilson also made a point to add some humor by including more witty dialogue to make it more appealing to the general audience.
One scene of his in particular that stands out is the sham trial that Taylor goes through, which is most likely Wilson's own commentary on being blacklisted by Hollywood.
The Size Of The Film's Makeup Team Disrupted All Of Hollywood
To execute the incredible task of getting all of the cast in the appropriate makeup, the studio hired hundreds of makeup artists. They ranged from prosthetics experts, hairstylists, costume designers, and anybody else that could lend a hand.
The process was run like a machine to get hundreds of actors and extras ready to shoot a scene, with some artists having to work all day and through the night. In the documentary, Behind the Planet of the Apes, it's mentioned that the production required so many makeup artists that other films had to be delayed because of a makeup professional shortage.
A Chimp Attended The Oscars
At the 1969 Academy Awards, to no real surprise, John Chambers took home an Honorary Award for Oustanding Achievement in Makeup for Planet of the Apes. Nevertheless, the Academy made sure that there was some flare added to Chamber's acceptance of the award.
When Chambers was introduced to Walter Matthau's crowd, he was appropriately handed his award by a chimpanzee that handed him the award. Needless to say, this won the hearts of the audience.
There's No Explanation To Tim Burton's Ending
There's no doubt that Tim Burton is talented and respected in his own right. However, his 2001 reboot of Planet of the Apes wasn't exactly well-received by many. Viewers complained that it was too slow, uneventful, and there was an uproar regarding the nonsensical when Mark Wahlberg returns to Earth to find apes have replaced all the humans.
Burton defended the ending, claiming that it wasn't supposed to make sense, and there were rumors that it was a setup for a sequel, although Burton said he'd rather jump out of a window.
Some Iconic Scenes Were Almost Cut
Prior to the film's release, two scenes were almost cut during post-production, which are both now considered iconic. They are Charleton Heston's nude scene, which was his first-ever, and the courtroom chimps parodying the three wise monkey's "See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil."
This was actually ad-libbed by the actors on the day of the shoot. It ended up making it into the film because the producers thought that it helped to lighten things up when the film was becoming a little too serious.
There Were Returning Actors In The Reboots
Although the latest reboots of The Planet of the Apes franchise had an ensemble cast including James Franco, Gary Oldman, John Lithgow, and Jason Clarke, none of the human actors reprise their roles in the following films.
However, that isn't the case for those portraying the simians. In the new trilogy, Andy Serkis as Caesar, Terry Notary as Rocket, and Karin Konoval as Maurice all continue to play their roles, although they are motion-capture performances.
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes Was Groundbreaking In Its Own Regard
While the original Planet of the Apes relied on impressive makeup work to create convincing apes, the newer films in the franchise utilized a whole different type of technology. Known as motion capture technology, this allows real actors to be in front of the camera, with their actions then animated to look like the real characters on the big screen.
In 2011, Rise of the Planet of the apes was one of the first movies to use motion capture technology on location rather than a studio, which was a major step forward in digital filmmaking.
Naming The Spaceship
In the 1968 film, Taylor and his crew's spacecraft is never actually given a name. Yet, in the 40th-anniversary release of the Blu-ray edition, in the short film titled A Public Service Announcement from ANSA, the ship is identified as Liberty 1.
Initially, the ship was planned on being called "Immigrant One" in an early draft of the script and then "Air Force One" in a test set of collectible cards, and even "Icarus" by a fan. Interestingly, "Icarus" became popular among the fandom.
The Violent Koba Comes From A Friendly Species
In the rebooted Planet of the Apes, the villain Koba is a nasty, vicious monster who wants nothing more than to enact revenge on the humans. To do so, he kills his once-beloved commander, Caesar. It's all very Shakespearean.
Ironically, Koba's particular species of ape isn't known for their violence. He's a bonobo, a species known for its calm presence and pacifist nature. EVen more ironic is that chimpanzees, such as Caesar, are known to be the hostile ones!
Nic Cage Encouraged Laura Dern To Take Spielberg's Call
Fans of Laura Dern's performance as Dr. Ellie Sattler in Jurassic Park have none other than Nic Cage to thank. The actor is actually one of the main reasons Dern wound up taking the original call with Spielberg. During an interview, Dern spoke of Cage’s influence on her decision.
She said, "I said to him, 'Nic, they want to put me on the phone with Steven Spielberg, but they want to talk to me about a dinosaur movie…,'" And he was like, ‘You are doing a dinosaur movie! No one can ever say no to a dinosaur movie!’ So he was such an influence on me.”
A Famous Line Was A Fleeting Comment By Phil Tippett
One of Jurassic Park's more well-known lines was nothing more than a fleeting comment made by Dinosaur Supervisor (yes, that was a real position) Phil Tippett. When speaking to director Steven Spielberg about some of the first T-rex footage, Tippet said, "I think I'm extinct," speaking of his job in the film industry.
Spielberg liked the concept so much that he added it to the script. After the scientists see the living dinosaurs in the park, Dr. Grant says, “I think we’re out of the job.” As a rebuttal, Dr. Malcolm says, “Don’t you mean extinct?”
The Ominous Cup Ripple Was Made By A Precise String Pluck
One of the more well-known scenes to come out of Jurassic Park is the ripples made in the water cup on the car's dashboard when the Tyrannosaurus rex is close. And while the engineering of the T-rex is no doubt a bit more famous than the water cup, a bit still went into the latter.
To get the beautifully precise ripple in the water, a guitar string was strung through the car and down to the ground, right below the cup. Then, someone lay underneath the car and plucked the string when the T-rex put its foot down, resulting in the water ripple.
The Ford Explorer's Sunroof Wasn’t Meant To Break
In one frightening scene, the Tyrannosaurus rex breaks through the Ford Explorer's sunroof. Unfortunately, the two kids, Lex and Tim Murphy, happen to be in the car, and they start screaming their heads off — for a good reason! Those screams aren’t actually staged.
As it turns out, there were no plans to have the sunroof break. So, the kids were completely taken off guard when the glass fell down on top of them, resulting in their terrified screams. That take is the one used in the film!
The Dinosaurs Have Little Screen Time
Contrary to popular belief, Jurassic Park sees little to no dinosaurs throughout its two-hour runtime. Only 15 minutes out of the total 128 minutes see Stan Winston's life-sized animatronic dinosaurs, including the velociraptors, a triceratops, the Tyrannosaurus rex, and the wide array of dinosaurs in the opening scene on the island.
The rest of the runtime is focused on the human cast members, many of which wind up meeting their end on the island while the rest are running and hiding for their lives. Sorry, but isn’t this film supposed to be about the dinosaurs!
The T-Rex Wasn't Going To Make A Comeback
A few weeks before filming was scheduled to wrap up, Steven Spielberg threw a twist the cast's way, changing the film’s entire ending. Originally, the raptors were supposed to meet their end by a T-rex skeleton falling on them. But the animatronic T-rex made such an impact on Spielberg that he decided to have the dino make a comeback.
In an interview, Spielberg said, "I think the star in our movie is T. rex. The audience will hate me if the T. rex doesn’t come back and make one more heroic appearance." As a result, the T-rex takes out the raptors.
Universal Secured Film Rights Before The Book Was Released
Steven Spielberg wasted no time going to Universal, asking them to secure the rights to Michael Crichton's 1990 novel Jurassic Park. The thing is, the famous director asked the studio to secure the rights a solid six months before the book was even released to the public!
At the time, both Speilberg and Crichton were working on re-vamping the screenplay for a p pet project, ER, a film based on Crichton’s time in medical school. As it turned out, both the Jurassic Park film and the drama series went on to be massive hits.
Hurricane Iniki Forced The Cast And Crew To Find Shelter
On September 11, 1992, while filming the final scenes of Jurassic Park on the island of Kauaʻi, one of the worst hurricane's in Hawaiian history struck, Hurricane Iniki. The destructive weather and harsh conditions forced the 130 cast and crew members to find shelter in their hotel rooms.
The storm only cost production a day of shooting, and they were able to use actual footage from the hurricane in the storm scenes of the film. Fun fact: it’s rumored that Richard Attenborough slept through the whole storm! That’s one heavy sleeper.
Tortoises And Horses Make Some Pretty Scary Sounds
While the gigantic Tyrannosaurus rex is truly terrifying, a few smaller dinosaurs that are equally, if not scarier, are the velociraptors. The pint-size Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaurs are quick, agile and make one creepy and screechy sounding roar that has more than one of the cast running for their lives.
Interestingly, the sound engineers didn't use a computer or inanimate objects to produce the sound. Instead, they got creative. In the sequel film, the sound coming from the velociraptors is actually mating tortoises! And their breathing is nothing more than recordings of horses.
Richard Kiley Was The Park Tour Guide In More Than The Film
Before all of the dinosaurs break loose on the island, the visitors enjoy a nice, laid back tour around the different exhibits. For the duration of the tour, they're in a Ford Explorer with a voiceover tour guide explaining various details about what they’re seeing. Well, that voice belongs to Richard Kiley.
As it so happens, though, the film wasn’t the only time Kiley played the dutiful role of the Jurassic Park tour guide. He’s actually the guide in Michael Crichton’s novel! He also narrates the Jurassic Park River Adventure ride at Universal at both the Florida and California parks.
The Triceratops Ate Some Bad Berries
It might not be outwardly mentioned in the film, but anyone who's read the Jurassic Park novel knows what’s wrong with the Triceratops Dr. Ellie Sattler and Dr. Alan Grant stumble upon during their initial visit to the park. Actually, a Stegosaurus in the novel, the doctors come across her lying on her side, terribly ill.
As it turns out, the poor dinosaurs attempted to eat some stones to help her digestion. Unfortunately, the stones happened to be next to West Indian lilac berries, a poisonous berry that made the dinosaur very sick.
Jim Carrey Almost Landed The Role Of Dr. Ian Malcolm
It's hard to imagine Jurassic Park without the sarcastic quips of Jeff Goldblum coming each time his character of Dr. Ian Malcolm is on the screen. The thing is, a lot of other actors were up for the role, including Jim Carrey, who, at the time, wasn’t exactly all that famous yet.
According to the casting director, Carrey did quite well in his audition. Still, he didn’t land the part of the doctor. Instead, he went on to star in some spectacular comedies in 1994, including Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Dumb and Dumber.
The Two Seatbelt Latches Foreshadows Evolution
One scene that happens early on in Jurassic Park that might seem silly and unnecessary actually foreshadows something monumental later down the line. On the helicopter ride to the island, Dr. Grant finds himself unable to buckle his seatbelt, as there are only two latches available with nothing actually to latch to.
This seemingly unimportant scene is a clever bit of evolution foreshadowing. Later in the film, it's revealed that the frog DNA used in the cloning process has evolved, allowing dinosaurs to change their gender, even though they’re all bred to be female. Yea, mind blown.
Harrison Ford Was Almost Running With Dinos
Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg have made cinematic history together, bringing the character of Indiana Jones to life in one of the world's leading franchises. So, it might not be too surprising that the director wanted the star actor to lead the charge in his 1993 film Jurassic Park as Dr. Alan Grant.
Well, Ford didn’t hold the same sentiment as Spielberg, and their history together didn’t sway him from turning the role down. In the end, it went to Sam Neill.
Sam Neill Was Accidently Burned By The Flare
During the scene where Dr. Grant uses a flare to distract the Tyrannosaurs rex from the kids trapped in the car, something unexpected happened to actor Sam Neill. Unfortunately, a bit of the flare dropped a little bit of something onto the actor's arm, burning him in the process.
During an interview, Neill looked back on the occurrence, saying, "It [the flare] dropped some burning phosphorous on me, got under my watch, and took a chunk of my arm out." Ouch!
Ariana Richards Scream Was The Loudest
One thing that's hard to miss in Jurassic Park is actress Ariana Richard’s character, Lex Murphy. More specifically, her scream that seems to happen every other minute after everything turns into chaos. The thing is, it’s that scream that won Richard’s the role of the young girl.
Apparently, in the audition for the role of Lex, Steven Spielberg had actresses scream (which makes sense, considering the role). Richard’s scream was so loud that it actually wound up waking up Spielberg’s wife, who happened to be taking a nap down the hall! She wound up running into the audition room to make sure everything was okay with the young girl.
The Raptors Are Just The Special Effects Team In Costumes
One of the most famous and well-known scenes in Jurassic Park is the kitchen scene. In this particular instance, Lex and Tim Murphy are in the kitchen of the Park's headquarters, trying to hide from the hungry velociraptors hunting them. While the other dinos on the island are animatronic, the raptors are a bit different.
Instead of being robots, these raptors are actually costumes with members of the special effects design team inside. See, it’s a bit less horrifying when you think about grown men running around with tiny raptor arms.
Tim Murphy Was Originally An Older Brother
In Michael Crichton's 1990 novel Jurassic Park, the character of Tim Murphy is actually the older brother to Lex. But after seeing the audition of a specific young actor, director Steven Spielberg decided to switch the age of the character, making him a younger brother.
That actor was Joseph Mazzello. And it wasn’t until the young boy was cast as Tim that Speilberg decided to switch the character’s age. Talk about waiting until the last minute to edit the screenplay!
Steven Spielberg Made A Nice Chunk Of Change
For his direction on Jurassic Park, Steven Spielberg walked away with a solid amount of money. A total of $250 million, to be exact. This sum includes profits made from the box office and various merchandise, such as hats, tee shirts, and other Jurassic Park swag.
This large amount of money is more than anyone has ever made on a single film. And that's saying something, considering the big-named films that are now part of cinematic history.
The 3D Unix Interface Was A Real Program
During one of the rare instances Lex Murphy isn't screaming, she mentions one of her talents: working with computers. Considering computers were a very new form of technology during the time the film is set, it’s quite the talent! One that’s shown in a specific scene where she reboots the park’s system.
While the 3D Unix interface Lex reboots look very fake to the modern eye, the system is actually completely real! The specific 3D browser seen in the film is a 1990 interface made by Silicon Graphics called FSN (Fusion).
Live Feed? Try QuickTime Film!
With the pixel interface of 1990s computers, the "live feed" video Dennis Nedry uses to communicate with the dock looks like nothing more than a webcam shot. But looking closely, and a bit past the 1990s technology, at what is supposed to be a live video feed from a webcam is actually pre-recorded.
In a blink and you'll miss it moment, viewers might notice that the video pop-up shown on the computer isn’t a live feed at all, but rather a pre-recorded QuickTime video being played!
Putting The T-Rex Together Was Almost A Fatal Project
One of the "main characters," the Tyrannosaurus rex, was almost a fatal project. Constructed using animatronic technology, one worker almost had his last day on set while applying the rubber skin over the robotic parts of the dinosaur. In doing so, he was tasked with crawling inside the robot, a dangerous mission.
The thing is, if the power was turned off, the metal sheets and hydraulics holding the T-rex's head upright would fall down and onto whoever was positioned inside the model. As fate would have it, the power in the building went off that day, trapping the worker inside the model. Thankfully, he was fine.
The Film Grossed A Almost A Billion Dollars Worldwide
While Steve Spielberg walked away from Jurassic Park with a solid paycheck, it's nothing compared to the amount of money the film grossed at the box office in both North America and worldwide during its original theatrical release. In North America alone, the original film of the Jurassic franchise grossed $357 million.
And that amount is nothing compared to the worldwide box office sum of $912 million. At the end of 1993, Jurassic Park secured its place as the highest-grossing film of the year. And this is just during its original release! After the film’s 20th anniversary, it surpassed the one billion dollar mark.
Spielberg Filled In The Dino Sounds During Filming
The dinosaur sounds heard in the film were added after filming came to a wrap. That means, while filming, the actors were surrounded by animatronic dinosaurs that did nothing more than move around. They were totally silent, making no screeching, screaming, or other roaring sounds heard in the movie.
But Steven Spielberg had a solution for the awkward dino silence. Instead of acting around the quiet robots, Spielberg would stand off-camera, making dinosaur roars in a megaphone. According to actor Sam Neill, Spielberg's dinosaur roar’s weren’t exactly convincing.
The Venom-Spitting Dilophosaurus Is Fictionalized
One of the carnivorous dinosaurs in Jurassic Park is the Dilophosaurus. And while these creatures are depicted as being kind of small and able to spit venom, neither trait is accurate. In fact, From head to tail, this specific dinosaur is said to have been over 20 feet tall.
Also, there is no proof that Dilophosaurus spit any type of venom or poison. Actually, according to PrepScholar teacher Hayley Milliman, there is no evidence stating any dinosaurs used venom of any kind. Well, the venom-spitting trait definitely makes for a more thrilling movie!
A Dino Head On A Stick Was Used In Certain Scenes
While a majority of the time, the Tyrannasorous rex seen onscreen is that of the animatronic dinosaur, there are some instances throughout Jurassic Park where that is not necessarily the case. Some scenes in the movie didn't allow for the massive robot, as filmmakers couldn’t fit it into the set, namely the finale.
In these instances, Spielberg had crew members hold up what he called a "barber pole," so the actors knew what they were screaming at. These poles were pretty much dinosaur heads fashioned to a long stick.
Jaws Makes A Cameo
In one scene with Wayne Knight, his character Dennis Nedry is seen watching another Steven Spielberg film. During the slip, Nedry is seen watching none other than the 1975 horror monster film Jaws.
The quick scene shows Nedry watching as Chief Brody throws chum into the water and the famous shark shows its many rows of sharp teeth for the first time. It's a fleeting moment but a very cool cameo for those who enjoy Spielberg films.
Dr. Ellie Slater Was A Popular Role
Laura Dern might have ultimately won the role of Dr. Ellie Sattler, but she wasn't the only one going through the auditioning process. In fact, a lot of big-name actresses were vying for the role, including Julianne Moore, Jodi Foster, Julia Roberts, Joan Cusack, Sandra Bullock, and Helen Hunt, to name a few.
Needless to say, Dern had some heavy competition. Fun fact: while Moore didn’t win the role of Dr. Sattlerr, she was cast as Saras Harding in the 1997 sequel film The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
The Lush Scenery Is Thanks To A Grade-A Greensman
On August 24, 1992, filming for Jurassic Park began on the island of Kauaʻi. If there is one thing about the film that is hard to overlook, it's the lush greenery seen throughout the beautiful landscape. Of course, to get a set to stay as lush and beautiful as the Jurassic set, a professional had to be brought in.
Danny Ondrejko was the head greensman during filming, meaning he's responsible for any and all things "green." But this most certainly wasn't his first rodeo. Ondrejko is also responsible for the sets on The Goonies, Hook, the Back to the Future franchise, and Edward Scissorhands, to name a few.