The snake that crawls into Dr. Robert Burke's shirt is a milk snake, which are completely harmless to humans. They are often confused with the highly-venomous coral snake due to their nearly-identical color patterns.
Director Steven Spielberg had to attend an early screening for Swingers (1996) in order to give approval for the use of the Jaws (1975) theme. There he was so impressed by Vince Vaughn that he offered him a part in this film.
When Dieter Stark, played by Peter Stormare, is first attacked by the Compys (Compsognathus), he starts yelling and throwing stones at them, then he mumbles parts of various curses in Swedish, however he doesn't complete any of them. Steven Spielberg thought it was excellent and kept the take in the final cut.
The title of the novel was simply "The Lost World", with the cover showing the familiar Jurassic Park logo to establish it as a sequel. However, the studio feared that the public might confuse it with the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle classic of the same title (the title and many plot elements were indeed deliberate references by Michael Crichton), and originally considered naming the film "The Lost Island". In the end, the novel's title was kept, but "Jurassic Park" was appended to solidify the sequel connection.
Writer David Koepp said that when he was writing the script to this movie, he taped a fan letter next to his computer screen. The letter was from a viewer of the original Jurassic Park (1993) film who complained he "waited too long" to show the dinosaurs in that film.
Steven Spielberg confessed that during production he became increasingly disenchanted with the film, admitting, "I beat myself up... growing more and more impatient with myself... It made me wistful about doing a talking picture, because sometimes I got the feeling I was just making this big silent-roar movie... I found myself saying, 'Is that all there is? It's not enough for me.'"
Steven Spielberg and John Williams felt that the score of the film needed to be slightly different to that heard in the original film. Because it was a remote island chain, they added drums and bongos.
There was a special gadget developed for the movie: strobe lights in the theatre. Theatres had to install strobe lights on the walls. The projectionists had to put some metal-markers on the film itself whenever there was a flash in the film, that triggered the lights in the audience. The problem: there isn't a single flash in the whole movie. So after having installed the very expensive system, there was actually no "correct" moment to put the markers. In their despair, they put the markers somewhere during the storm-scenes. That resulted in either a cascade of strobes or almost none at all, so it was a different experience for watching it in different theaters. The audience was warned in advance, that there were strobe lights in the performance.
The gun Roland Tembo wields is a double-barreled rifle chambered in .600 Nitro Express. B. Searcy & Co., of Boron, California custom-made 2 rifles for the film at a total cost of $100,000. Steven Spielberg kept one for his private collection. He has said that he almost never fires it because it hurts his shoulder.
Joe Johnston lobbied for the director's job but schedule problems during the post-production of Jumanji (1995) forced him out. Steven Spielberg was also adamant to direct this sequel himself, promising Johnston the director's chair for the third movie, which he indeed directed.
Several scenes were deleted from the theatrical cut. Two are included as special features on the DVD and Blu-ray: Peter Ludlow talking to the InGen committee, and Roland and Ajay talking in a Mombasa bar. A shot of Sarah running from the Stegosaurs saying "Isn't it great?" with Malcolm, Nick, and Eddie was cut, but can be seen in the trailer. Much more footage is on the cutting room floor but has not yet been made available outside of stills, adaptations, and scripts: More footage of Malcolm, Nick, and Eddie arriving on the island and setting up base-camp; more dialogue with Sarah and Malcolm on their way back to base-camp, adding background about the time between the films and their relationship; Ludlow drunkenly stumbling and breaking the baby Rex's leg (this deleted scene explains why there is a bottle next to the baby rex when Nick Van Owen runs to the baby); Kelly telling Malcolm he should marry Sarah. Certain puppets and animatronics created by Stan Winston during filming were later omitted, including several Velociraptors (whose tiger-stripes were far more visible in stills than in the finished film). Scenes such as Pteranodons attacking the helicopter and a Rex attack on the High Hide were developed but never filmed.
Jeff Goldblum hosted Saturday Night Live to promote this film. Four years earlier, he had hosted a few months after Jurassic Park (1993) had opened. That appearance also included a brief appearance by cast mate Laura Dern, with whom Goldblum was romantically involved at the time.
Part of the promotion for the film included a website, which visitors could explore to find out facts about the film's production. One page included John Hammon's office. If users found a hidden password they could access Hammond's computer and InGen files. For the user name Hammonj, one of the passwords was Gandhi, a reference to Richard Attenborough having directed the film Gandhi (1982).
In the book, Sarah was an animal behaviourologist, not a paleontologist; the paleontologist who Malcolm went to Isla Sorna to save was a man named Richard Levine, a character who only made it to the film as certain aspects of the Sarah character.
When the bus crashes into the video store, there is a poster of the Robin Williams film Jack that had been adapted to Jack & The Beanstalks. This is in the same shot as Schwarzeneggar's King Lear poster.
Steven Spielberg originally approached Juliette Binoche about playing the role of Sarah Harding. She supposedly replied that she would appear in the film only if she could "play the dinosaur". The part went to Julianne Moore instead. Binoche had previously declined the part of Dr. Satler in Jurassic Park (1993).
Roland (Pete Postlethwaite) refers to the Tyrannosaurus Rex as "the greatest predator there ever lived". While the Jurassic Park movies depict the T-Rex as an active hunter, the question whether the T-Rex was a predator or a poacher/scavenger has been (and still is) the subject of a decades-long debate. Opponents of the predator theory maintain that a T-Rex's arms were too short to hold down a prey, and that it would not have been able to run as fast as its prey due to its bulk; additionally, its excellent sense of smell would serve to sniff already dead prey over large distances. Supporters of the predator theory point at the fact that T-Rexes had depth perception, a trait seen mainly in predators so that they can estimate the distance to their prey. Also, fossilized skeletons of other dinosaurs have been found with healed bite marks from T-Rexes on them, which would indicate that a T-Rex had hunted them while they were alive rather than dead.
Originally, Dr. Ian Malcolm's team included a fifth member, a paleontologist named Dr. Juttson. He was obviously inspired by the character Richard Levine from the novel. Dr. Juttson was dropped due to an already overcrowded cast, and most of his lines were given to Dr. Sarah Harding.
Initially, Steven Spielberg wanted to save the San Diego sequence for a third film. However, he later decided to include it in this film after realizing that he would probably not direct another film in the series.
Camilla Belle (Cathy Bowman -the little girl attacked in the beginning of the film) and Vanessa Lee Chester (Kelly) were both in the 1995 film "A Little Princess". Camilla played Jane and Vanessa played Becky.
One shot from the film appears in the original entrance video of the World Wrestling Federation faction Degeneration-X. It's a shot of people running for their lives down the street to escape the rampaging dinosaur. The shot, from which 17 frames are used, occurs at 1:52:57 in the movie, immediately after the bus drives through the video store. The footage was used by the World Wrestling Federation in December 1997, but may have been used earlier than that.
As in the first Jurassic Park movie, this film also features a jeep falling out of a tree. During the raid on the Ingen base camp a flaming jeep is tossed up into the air and crashes down in the tree Roland is sheltering in while hunting the T-Rex. It causes him and Ajay to jump out of the tree before crashing down to the ground where it also lands on it's roof.
At one point, Roland Tembo says "Let's get this moveable feast underway." In addition to being a reference to Christian feast days which have no fixed date on the calendar, this is also a literary reference. "A Moveable Feast" is the title of Ernest Hemingway's book of memoirs about his days in Paris in the 1920s with other American expatriots and literati.
When the male T-Rex is poking it's head in Sarah's tent, and one of the mercenaries screams at the sight of the T-Rex, alarming the group. He is screaming "Matalo!" repeatedly, meaning "Kill him!" in Spanish.
In the scene where Eddie is trying to pull up the trailers with his SUV. Realistically that SUV wouldn't have been able to pull up both of those trailers. Those trailers weigh considerably more than that SUV. Not to mention the last trailer that was hanging over the cliff is dead weight.
Ian Malcolm and Dr. Sarah Harding (Jeff Goldblum and Julianne Moore) are in a relationship. This is a contrast to the novel, in which Malcolm and Sarah are former partners who have remained platonic friends (Sarah seeking out Malcolm after the events of the first film). In the novel, Kelly isn't Malcolm's daughter and she goes to the island with her friend R.B.to help find their idol/school professor Dr. Levine. Also, in the novel, Kelly is white, while her friend R.B.is black. The character of Eddie is also a stark contrast to the novel; in the novel, he's a younger man with a full head of dark hair who is killed by the velociraptors (tyrannosaurus in the film).
This film features two actors from the "Death Wish" series of films. Jeff Goldblum played Freak #1 in the original "Death Wish" and Thomas F. Duffy played Nirvana in "Death Wish 2". Both were the causes of Charles Bronson's vigilante rampage.
In the novelization for Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), the book mentions drums; John Williams uses them on The Lost World's film score; it also uses the words "prehistoric times", foreshadowing Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park series, who was also a producer on Holmes.
Steven Spielberg: [Signs] Using a sign with directions or instructions as a joke. In this case, the T-Rex crosses the pier at the San Diego port bearing a sign that reads, "No animals or vegetables beyond this point."
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The script called for a scene where the Velociraptors got on board the Venture as it was about to set sail. As chaos ensued, the T-Rex also got loose, and killed everything else aboard. This explains why many of the crew members are dead in places the Rex cannot reach. The scene was never filmed.
In the novel of "Jurassic Park", the characters of both John Hammond and Ian Malcolm died (though Malcolm returned in the original novel "The Lost World" (1997), explaining that "the doctors did excellent work"). In the film version, however, both characters survived, allowing them to return in this movie.
The closing scene of this film, a view of the dinosaurs living undisturbed on the island, includes pterosaurs. They were considered for action sequences in both of the first two films, but these were abandoned, making this brief clip their first onscreen appearance. They featured prominently in the first novel, in a sequence that took place in a pterosaur aviary; this was finally realized in Jurassic Park III (2001).
David Koepp lifted several set pieces from the original Jurassic Park novel for use in this sequel. These include: The procompsognathus attacking the young girl; hiding from the Tyrannosaur behind a waterfall, while the creature tries to find them using its tongue; Dieter Stark being killed by Procompsognathids (Hammond in the novel); Roland Tembo tranquilizing the Tyrannosaur (Robert Muldoon in the novel).
Dr Malcolm accuses Peter Ludlow in the mansion of lying about the facts surrounding the deaths of 3 people during the course of events in the first film. In fact, four people died in the first film: Ray Arnold (Samuel L. Jackson'), Robert Muldoon (Bob Peck), Donald Gennaro (Martin Ferrero) and Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight); five if you include the worker at the beginning who is killed by the velociraptor. However, the worker's death already occurred before the main events of the first movie (it was the reason why a team of experts was sent to Jurassic Park in the first place), so Ludlow could not have lied about it. None of the characters could have known of Nedry's fate since he absconded with the eggs early on, and his death was not witnessed, so his status is most likely 'missing, presumed dead'.
In Michael Crichton's novel, the opposing group on the island is not led by Peter Ludlow (who does not exist in either novel), but rather by Lewis Dodgson, head of the rival company BioSyn, who had hired Dennis Nedry in the previous film. Dodgson hides from the T-Rex under a Jeep with Sarah Harding, who kicks him out to lead the T-Rex away. The T-Rex takes him home to its nest to feed to its young. This is closely paralleled by the fate of Ludlow in the film.
It's curious that Roland wishes to hunt the male/buck Tyrannosaurus, when the female Tyrannosaurus is actually larger. This could possibly stem from the fact that Roland is a professional hunter, and in sport hunting it is the male that is usually prized for its size and adornment. Roland may not have known that it is the female that holds the size.
It was mentioned that the juvenile T rex was a couple of weeks old- it would have been too long for it to be that old although its implied that InGen Accelerated the growth of their dinosaurs which could account for the issue.
If you look closely, the face of the male/buck Tyrannosaurus is adorned with many facial scars and many of the teeth in his mouth are missing or broken. This is indicative towards the Rex participating in fights for mating rights or dominance.
Due to a recent discovery of specimens of juvenile Tyrannosaurus, it is possible that infant T-Rexs actually had longer skulls, therefore making the infant T-Rex in this movie unrealistic. However, it is possible (though unlikely) that the specimen in question represents a different Genus, known as a Nanotyrannus.