John Hammond Was Supposed to Die in Jurassic Park

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Those that have read the original book know full well that John Hammond wasn’t supposed to make it out of the park and that his death would eventually be chalked up to an accident that happened during a business trip to his park. But the death that awaited him could have been much more gruesome than the one he received in the book.

If you recall he was startled by the pre-recorded roar of a T-Rex and as a result went tumbling down a hillside where he was attacked by a pack of the small but lethal dinosaurs that came to be known as ‘compies’ and met his end at the claws of his own creations. It kind of depends on who you ask but even Jeremy Dick of MovieWeb seems to make it sound as though Hammond had what was coming to him in the book. Of course if you really look at it from a different perspective the man in the book was a great deal different from the character that the late Richard Attenborough portrayed in the movie.

Both men were highly ambitious and didn’t like being told they couldn’t do something, but for some reason the man in the book seemed a bit colder, a little more ruthless when it came to getting his way, while Richard’s iteration of Hammond was more like the kindly old grandfather that was also a shrewd businessman with far-reaching ambitions. In other words one of them seemed cold and willing to do whatever it took while the other was more likely to cave in the pursuit of something that nature vetoed a long, long time ago. But I’m getting off point just a bit since the deaths of the two men could have been different had Hammond been slated for an early death in the first movie. It sounds as though he was hiding in one of the large rooms, perhaps looking melancholy at one of the displays of the park, when one of the velociraptors found him and tore him apart, giving him a rather gruesome death. But Spielberg decided to spare him instead and allowed Hammond into the second movie, which kind of deviated in a big way from the book but wasn’t quite enough to raise a tremendous stink among fans. After all the movie made Hammond into a very likable guy whereas the lawyer was the one that people might have shrugged their shoulders at and said ‘meh’ when he was chomped in half. Even with Dennis Nedry, who was perhaps the silliest of the antagonists, finally met his end people were still likely to go ‘meh’, simply because it didn’t seem like he mattered much anymore.

But John Hammond was the guy that got this whole ball of wax rolling from a story standpoint, so it’s not too hard to see how he could be seen as something of an antagonist hiding in plain sight during the book. In the movie it was simply too much to believe that he would be one of those being taken out by a dinosaur since he was too nice of a guy. He was a bit of an irritant since he didn’t want to see the writing on the wall that humanity, one of the most violent and ruinous species in the world, mixed in with dinosaurs, who were destructive simply in their very means of survival at times, could not possibly coexist, even for a matter of moments. The distance between the two species is simply too great, and as it’s been seen in the movies that have come along since, the propensity for violence between dinosaurs and human beings is something that runs along a thin edge and can become ugly very quickly. After all, humanity has come to learn that our place in this world varies from day to day, and that unless we subjugate or somehow learn to coexist with the animals around us then there’s a good chance that we’ll end up destroying them or being consumed by them in some way, shape, or form.

Nature selected dinosaurs a long time ago for extinction no matter how harsh that sounds or how fatalistic it might be. Minds like that of John Hammond are typically called great but at the same time they’re usually lacking in something called humility since they see what they CAN do, not what they SHOULD do. The lost history of this world is something that humanity is usually better off observing instead of witnessing firsthand since the histories that have come and gone haven’t always been kind. Hammond however, and those like him that came in the movies after, had to learn the hard way, and unless Spielberg had stepped in to let him into the second movie, Hammond would have perished in a most painful and horrifying manner.