The original Jurassic Park film may now be known as a classic of the action-adventure genre – but according to its screenwriter, it was once a very risky prospect.
“There was a certain amount of fear,” David Koepp told RadioTimes.com. “It was by no means a sure thing – it was 1993 so it was no guarantee the dinosaurs would look any good. It could have been laughable.”
Luckily for Koepp (and anyone who enjoys cinema) it was a triumph – and despite a long career as a screenwriter and director (he’s also written or co-written films including Spider-Man, Mission: Impossible and Panic Room) he still rates it as his best project.
“Jurassic Park is pretty hard to top,” he said. “It was a really lovely and respectful working experience with a lot of really good creativity.”
The next chapter in the dinosaur saga, Jurassic World (above), is coming out later this year and while Koepp isn’t directly involved in the film he says he’s had a sneak peek – and we should have high expectations.
“I’m very excited – I read a couple of drafts of their scripts and thought it was terrific,” he said. “I think that it’s gonna be great, I can’t wait. “
He added: “The thing about the Jurassic Park movies is they’re not a serialised adventure, as you’re not following a character as he goes off to a new place. Every time, you have to come up with a reason why rational people would go back to this island!”
“I think they did it brilliantly this time in a way that I absolutely believe a hundred percent, and makes me really believe in the movie.”
We couldn’t let Koepp go without asking him one (very nerdy) thing – why, in the original Jurassic Park would owner John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) hire only one disgruntled IT worker called Dennis (played by Wayne Knight) for a massive facility where he said there was “no expense spared”? It was ultimately Dennis’s betrayal that led to the dinosaur escape that formed the basis for the story (see clip above).
“Well he was very cheap, and that was a bone of contention that the Dennis Nedry character pointed out – that he didn’t have enough resources, and that Hammond cheaped out on the IT! I wouldn’t call that a plot hole, I would call that a plot engine.”
Koepp concluded: “In the new film it looks like they have more IT staff – so nothing can POSSIBLY go wrong this time.”
David Koepp’s latest film as director, Mortdecai, is in UK cinemas from 23rd January