A few of the action sequences are borrowed from left over ideas from the first two Jurassic Park movies, some of which were in the original scripts and made it as far as being storyboarded before they were scrapped due to time and budget constraints. These scenes include the pteranodon and river boat sequences.
According to an interview with William H. Macy, he said this movie's animatronic Spinosaurus had a one thousand-horsepower motor and that creature could turn its head at twice the force of gravity with the tip of its nose moving at a speed of more than one hundred miles per hour.
The Spinosaurus was the largest animatronic ever built. It was 24 feet long, weighed 24,000 Ibs and was operated by hydraulics. This allowed it to operate while completely submerged in water. It ended just behind the hip, so any shot that shows more than this had to be computer generated.
Steven Spielberg initially devised a story idea which involved Dr. Alan Grant living on one of InGen's islands to study dinosaurs. Because he was not allowed in for research, he was living in a tree like Robinson Crusoe. However, Johnston rejected the idea because he couldn't imagine Dr. Grant returning to any island inhabited by dinosaurs after the events of the first movie.
After the Spinosaurus' attack on the airplane, Grant asks Billy how he would classify the animal. Billy's first inclination is to say the dinosaur is a Suchomimus or Baryonyx, due to the large snout. This was an in-joke meant for many fans of the movie who, when the new movie's logo was first revealed, said the same thing Billy did. Many long pages on the message boards of fan pages and the official page were dedicated to this debate.
The ringing of the phone in the Spinosaurus' stomach is an homage to the crocodile from Peter Pan, who had swallowed an alarm clock that went off every time it was near, thus alerting others to its presence.
Original scripts and storyboards had a Baryonyx as the main dinosaur instead of the Spinosaurus. Baryonyx is a close relative of the Spinosaurus and they looked basically the same. Baryonyx was a little smaller and did not have the fin like the Spinosaurus did. Director Joe Johnston wanted a main dinosaur that would not be confused with the T-Rex. Though the Baryonyx would have been vastly different, the Spinosaurus had a bizarre look no other carnivore had.
When Ellie is talking to Grant she mentions getting a quote from Jack Horner for her book. Jack Horner is a paleontologist who was Michael Crichton's inspiration for the character of Alan Grant; he was also a consultant on the first three Jurassic Park movies.
In 2014, Dr. Nizar Ibrahim and Dr. Paul Sereno presented evidence that indicated that Spinosaurus was not a land animal. This was a creature adapted to life in the water, floating like a crocodile with paddle-like feet. On land, the Spinosaurus had walked on four legs. Therefore, if Spinosaurus would fight with other large predators, the battle look very different from the one in the movie. Paul Sereno said that when Spinosaurus emerged on land, it probably didn't brawl with other predators. "Big predators would likely have stayed away from fighting each other", Ibrahim says. "Whichever one got in the first big bite would have probably won a fight." In this movie, it is the Tyrannosaurus that got the first big bite and should have won the fight. Also, with a bite force of 3.5-23.5 metric tons, the T. Rex should have bitten the Spinosaur's head off. But, it's a fictional story, so anything is possible.
Mirroring the latest palaeontologic finds that were made at the time, feathers were added onto various parts of the Velociraptor males, most noticeably on the top of their head. More recent finds suggest that raptors were covered in feathers, a fact most members of the general public still find hard to digest. However, the type of feather they used in the movie is incorrect: real raptors had the same kind of feathers as modern birds, and these covered their entire body, save for the tip of their snout.
When Dr. Grant and Billy enter the bar to meet with the Kirbys, the song "Big Hat, No Cattle" by Randy Newman is playing. This is not a mere coincidence. The song is about lying and making yourself out to be someone who you are not; exactly what the Kirbys do in order to fool Dr. Grant into being their guide. This is further evidenced when Paul takes out his checkbook and claims to be capable of writing whatever amount he wants on it. In the background, you can hear the song saying: "And I lie, lie, lie..." right as the scene ends.
In the end scene of Jurassic Park (1993), Dr. Alan Grant looks out the helicopter's window and sees a flock of pelicans flying beside the helicopter. At the end of this movie, he looks out of the plane's window and sees a group of Pterodons flying beside the plane.
The computer-controlled "rapid prototyper" portrayed in this movie is real technology, known as a 3-D printer, able to mechanically sculpt parts and objects in three dimensions using computerized drawings and scanned information. The machine in the movie uses Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM). Using one thin layer of bond paper and resin at a time, it carves away the unwanted material as each layer is added, until all the cross-sections have been built up into a solid replica of the original. The carving action of each layer creates a great deal of shavings and dust during the process, which you can see when Billy lifts the lid up to remove the finished model.
The second script involved a Pteranodon escaping from Isla Sorna and causing a string of mysterious killings on the mainland, which was to be investigated by Dr. Alan Grant and other characters. The project was green-lit, but five weeks before shooting began, the entire script was rejected by Steven Spielberg and Joe Johnston. Johnston felt that the story was too complicated. By that time, eighteen million dollars was already spent on the project.
The reason the Spinosaurus is absent from the list of the dinosaurs created by InGen and its overall existence on Isla sorna is left unanswered. One theory is that InGen scientist mistook the juveniles that lacked their famous sail seen in the adults for its relatives Baryonyx or Suchomimus. This could hold true as the Suchomimus type specimen is a sub-adult and the holotype of Baryonyx Is commonly believed to not have been fully grown. Furthermore, the movie Spinosaurus snout is similar in appearance to Suchomimus.
This is the shortest of the Jurassic Park film franchise. Jurassic Park (1993) runs at two hours and seven minutes, The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) runs at two hours and nine minutes, this movie runs at one hour and thirty-two minutes, Jurassic World (2015) runs at two hours and four minutes, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) runs at two hours and eight minutes.
Dr. Grant's brown truck with the Museum of the Rockies and Montana State University logos on it was based on the vehicle that belonged to Dr. Jack Horner, paleontologist consultant on the Jurassic Park movies, as well as the man on whom the character of Grant is based. It was a difficult and time consuming process to find an exact match of Dr. Horner's truck to be used in the movie.
The vocalizations of the Spinosaurus were created by mixing together the low guttural sounds of a lion and an alligator, a bear cub crying, and a lengthened cry of a large bird that gave the roars a raspy quality.
For the vocalizations of the Pteranodons, large bird sounds (including giant petrels and albatrosses) and the tree hyrax were used, the sounds of the juvenile pteranodons were of mongeese fighting, that Christopher Boyes found and recorded while on a vacation in Hawaii with his family.
In addition to the use of CGI and the Spinosaurus animatronic, a full-scale physical foot prop, whose construction was overseen by John Rosengrant, was also used during the plane attack scene. It was suspended by two poles that were operated by two Stan Winston Studio puppeteers, and was used to step on a prop of the plane's fuselage designed by Michael Lantieri that was full-scale as well.
Several designs for the Jurassic Park III logo did not feature Spinosaurus, instead featuring Velociraptor (represented as Deinonychus), Pteranodon, a Lourinhanosaurus embryo, a human embryo (usually depicted as a skeleton), and finally the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Spinosaurus is the only dinosaur in the movies that is able to survive, or at least win in a fight with a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Though the Indominus Rex from Jurassic World (2015) could be deadly enough to kill a Tyrannosaurus, as it was able to overpower Rexy before the Velociraptor Blue intervened.
In Ricardo F. Delgado's concept art for the plane attack scene after the plane's body falls to the ground, the pilot (or co-pilot) in the body of the destroyed plane makes a dash toward the plane's nose that is nearby to evade the advancing Spinosaurus, but the dinosaur notices the movement of the pilot and approaches the removed nose. In retaliation, the unlucky human desperately hides inside the plane part he or she has reached as the Spino begins rolling the plane's nose before using its head to push the plane part onto its tip. The sail-backed dinosaur then sticks its head inside the front of the plane where it finds the pilot and flings him or her up in the air where the human falls into the Spino's mouth. Furthermore, instead of the Spino losing the protagonists via getting its head stuck in-between two trees, Delgado's concept art shows that the Spino was to be trapped in a group of fallen trees apparently caused by a mudslide. During the filming of this scene, the Spino animatronic malfunctioned. When it was sticking its head inside the body of the plane, it instead began slamming into the plane "like a jackhammer" as Director Joe Johnston described the malfuction.
Out of all of the children, Eric is the only one who actually had to live and adapt to the island Isla Sorna, another thing that makes Eric stand out as a survivalist, is that he survived on the island alone. Characters like Lex Murphy, Tim Murphy, and Kelly Malcolm all stayed on the islands only for about two days, and they had adult protection. Gray and Zach Mitchell were only on the island for a few hours in Jurassic World (2015). Eric, however, survived on Isla Sorna for eight weeks by himself and without anyone's assistance.
Much like Spinosaurus, Pteranodon was to be an animal that was not listed on InGen's list in one of the early scripts, this would have been contradictory to what was shown in The Lost World Jurassic Park (1997) when Pteranodon (Geosterbergia) was seen on the factsheets given to the InGen hunters, and as one of the screensavers in the Gatherers RV.
In the script, Carnotaurus was originally supposed to be the dinosaur that the group encountered at the Spinosaur dung site. This could be why the Ceratosaurus in this movie has a color scheme similar to the Carnotaurus in Disney's Dinosaur (2000). Its color scheme is also similar to Ceratosaurus in the toy line Die-Cast: Jurassic Park (see the "Toys" tab for a picture). In this movie, the model of the Ceratosaurus was a modified T. Rex model by Model Supervisor Ken Bryan according to the commentary of this movie. Eventually, in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018), the Carnotaurus made its first appearence in the franchise.
Spinosaurus and Tyrannosaurus lived on different continents and different eras. So, the fossil record can not give a definitive answer on which species would win in a battle. It is unknown if Spinosaurus was a better fighter than Tyrannosaurus. Jack Horner explained: "We don't know how ferocious any dinosaur really was, all we have are their skeletons. If you scale the ferocious factor on the length of the animal, there was nothing that ever lived on this planet that could match (Spinosaurus). My hypothesis is that T. Rex was actually a scavenger rather than a killer. Spinosaurus was really the predatory animal."
Concept art of the Spinosaurus was created by Mark "Crash" McCreery, who had previously done conceptual artwork for the previous two movies. These include the front snout resembling Suchomimus, rather than the actual Spinosaurus, as well as a smaller and seemingly singular crest and seems to have a taller sail, even though conceptual art is known to exist of a Spinosaurus with the upper front of the snout that resembles its real-life counterpart. Years after this movie was released, McCreery considered the crocodile headed dinosaur to be one of his favorite dinosaurs to design for the first three movies, due to its unique appearance, and being larger than the Tyrannosaurus, as well as how it was a challenge to make the animal look real, rather than like a monster.
Two scenes of Ankylosaurus were removed from this movie. This included a battle between an individual and a pack of Velociraptor, and a more peaceful scene of a herd of three crossing the river on which were Dr. Alan Grant and the Kirby family. However, the scene where an Ankylosaurus fights a Velociraptor pack was later included in the LEGO Jurassic World level "Eric Kirby".
In the "Valley of the Dinosaurs" scene, you will notice small white birds resting on the dinosaurs' backs and flying above their heads. They likely accompany the herbivorous dinosaurs on the island, and perhaps eat harmful parasites from their skin while perched on their backs, in a similar fashion to the relationships between Oxpeckers and Rhinos and African Buffalo of the African plains.
Early pioneer of the dinosaur-bird connection, Robert T. Bakker has quipped that the feathery quills added to the Velociraptor for this movie "looked like a roadrunner's toupée." However, he conceded that feathers are difficult subjects for computer animation and speculated that Jurassic Park IV's raptors would have more realistic through plumage.
Despite his name, Billy Brennan is not the same Billy from Jurassic Park (1993) or the video game. However, he could be one of the paleontologists who were also part of the dig site from Jurassic Park (1993).
If you listen closely, the Spinosaurus uses some of the sounds of the Suchomimus from the video game Warpath: Jurassic Park (1999) and the Carnotaurus from Dinosaur (2000) This is highly likely since Sound Designer Christopher Boyes previously worked on the Disney movie.
For the coloration of the Spinosaurus, Stan Winston Studio aimed for a "venomous flavor" that was seen in animals like the coral snake. Several designs of various color schemes of Spinosaurus were created by Ricardo Delgado, but the final color scheme of the Spinosaurus came from sketches by Mark "Crash" McCreery that Joey Orosco drew over using colored pencils. Orosco was also responsible for devising the red in its color scheme that the spinosaurus bears with the aim of giving it a bold look that was shared with the other dinosaurs designed for the movie. With a design chosen, Orosco, John Rosengrant, Trevor Hensley, Rob Ramsdell and Paul Mejias created a 1/5 scale maquette that was later scanned in a computer where it was then used to create the mold of the Spinosaurus animatronic via rapid prototyping. Orosco also supervised the construction of the life-sized sculpture,for a reference for video games, advertising and other merchandise for this movie, a 1/16 scale maquette was also sculpted by Joey Orosco and Scott Stoddard with Mark Maitre painting the miniature.
In the script, Corythosaurus was to be among the dinosaurs seen on the riverbank after the protagonists escape from the aviary. Originally, the stampede seen in the movie was only going to contain Parasaurolophuses, but Director Joe Johnston and Visual Effects Supervisor Jim Mitchell felt there needed to be more variety, so Corythosaurus was created for this movie. The Corythosaurus depicted in the movie was created from the Parasaurolophus model.
The juxtaposition scene has the Spinosaurus attacking Grant and company during nighttime, and Ellie's son being distracted by Barney during the afternoon. Costa Rica is in the same time zone as Central Standard Time, so there's no place in America where such a huge time difference would happen. However, Isla Sorna is many miles away from Costa Rica in this fictional story, so anything is possible.
As he leaves Dr. Sattler's house, Dr. Grant says that he is "The last of my breed." Ironically, he is driving a 1998 Oldsmobile Intrigue, which was one of the last Oldsmobiles made. General Motors closed the Oldsmobile division less than three years after this movie's release.
Trevor Morgan (Eric Kirby) played Scott Anspaugh on ER (1994). Scott Anspaugh was the son of Dr. Donald Anspaugh (John Aylward), who was Chief of Staff. In this movie, he played William H. Macy's son. William H. Macy played Dr. David Morganstern on ER (1994), who was the Chief of Surgery. ER (1994) was also created by Michael Crichton, the creator of the Jurassic Park franchise.
This wasn't the first time that Trevor Morgan had to deal with dinosaurs, let alone a purple and green Tyrannosaurus Rex with the diet of an omnivore that could talk, sing, and dance while encouraging younger children to use their imaginations. Under the lead role of Cody Newton in Barney's Great Adventure (1998), he had to tolerate (and warm up to) the whimsical escapades of the eponymous protagonist.
The scene where Alan, Paul, and Amanda are digging through Spinosaurus dung to find the ringing satellite phone is a call-back to Jurassic Park (1993) where Ellie is digging through Triceratops droppings to discover why the animal has fallen ill.
Several Triceratops can be seen with zebra-like stripes on them much like the Tyrannosaurus and male Parasaurolophus. However, this is the same texture that was used for the buck in The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), as you can see the buck Triceratops had white stripes and dark brown coloration. It was used again in this movie,, but an unused texture can be seen in the "Making-of", and the turntables though.
During production, exterior shots of the compound, and interior shots of the Embryonics Administration lobby, were filmed on the same backlot, which stood for the Site B Village in The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997). In fact, the Operations Building set was merely re-dressed, to create the façade and lobby, of the Embryonics Administration building. As of 2016, the set still exists on the Universal Studios Hollywood backlot, adjacent to the War of the Worlds (2005), and Whoville sets, although the entire structure has collapsed in upon itself.
Jack Horner was the dinosaur consultant on all the films, and he was on hand to make sure the performances of the dinosaurs were real. However, the effects team was able to push the performances to make them slightly less real for dramatic effect.
Stan Winston calls the creatures in the film the most "paleontologically correct dinosaurs" that anyone has ever created, saying, "Artistically, we have created with scientific research what now science bases what the science is. Science pushed the art, and now art pushes the science."
The reveal of the spinosaurus standing still near the fence is one of Stan Winston's favorite shots. Director Joe Johnston had to keep telling the effects team to dial back the animal's movement because he wanted it to be as still as possible before bursting into a run, which is how real predators hunt.
Sam Neill appeared in The Hunt for Red October (1990). During the climax of that movie, his character says that he would have liked to have seen Montana. Dr. Grant (Neill) appeared at Montana dig sites in Jurassic Park (1993) and this movie.
The opening shot of the film was a composite between the mountains of the Hawaiian island of Molokai and Palos Verdes in southern California. For the parasailing sequence, the actors were shot against a bluescreen with a digital parachute that featured the then-new cloth simulation.
When the boat crashes into the rocks during the parasailing sequence, digital damage had to be added to the hull. Additionally, the parasail moves in front of a mountain, but the shot was digitally altered so the parasail appears to fall behind it.
The raptors in the first Jurassic Park were controlled by cables and radio signals. The raptors from The Lost World used radio-controlled components and hydraulics. In this film, the effects team were able to fit an entire hydraulic package inside the raptors themselves to achieve a self-contained hydraulic character.
The fossil that Billy is excavating in his first scene, was a sculpture that was delivered from the art department to the studio within two days because weather issues forced this scene to be shot much earlier than it was scheduled.
Many of the shots with multiple dinosaurs, especially in wide-angle shots and scenes with large herds, employed custom animation rather than using automated computer programming. This was done so the interactions and movements of the animals looked real and imprecise, like nature.
The bushes the dinosaurs brush by when they run or walk were often computer generated, which was different from the previous films which required physical bushes for the animatronic animals to brush past.
Although the previous films talked about how fast velociraptors could run in the open, but it had never been shown until the herd chase scene outside the InGen base. The shot of this features the raptors running at approximately 40 miles per hour.
The velociraptor that appears in Grant's dream sequence on the plane was intentionally designed and lit to look like the raptors from the first film, considering that's what the character would remember. Winston called the moment, "A great Muppet shot."
The technology utilized in this film stems from technology used in previous movies some of the special effects team worked on in the past. These include the blending of live-action and CG elements in Terminator 2: Judgement Day, the large hydraulic model of the alien queen in Aliens, the integration of real-life actors with rendered characters in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, the digital animation used in Casper, and of course the previous Jurassic Park films.
Winston explains why the integration of live-action and CG helps actor performances. An animatronic dinosaur gives the actors something to react to rather than just a tennis ball on a stick. Then any CG effects that are added enhances the level of reality of the scene itself.
The design team was initially disappointed they would be building raptors again because they had been used in the previous two films. To change things up, they made them evolve a little, adding pre-feather quills on their heads. This allowed the raptors to emote more than a relatively static lizard-like face allowed in previous films. Winston said this made the raptors his favorite new dinosaur for the movie, even though the use of raptors wasn't new.
in addition to the use of CG and animatronics, the special effects team also brought back the traditional man-in-a-suit effect. The most notable instances of this include a few shots of a pteranodon in the aviary and the raptor attacking the characters in the cages at the InGen base. John Rosengrant wore the raptor suit in this sequence.
Stan Winston stated his proudest moment in the picture was when the spinosaurus attacks the boat in the lake. Normally, water can be a nightmare for hydraulic rigs, and he was stressed out by Spielberg staging the T-Rex attack in the rain in Jurassic Park and then attack through a waterfall in The Lost World. He figured Johnston wouldn't do that because he has a background in effects, but Johnston wanted the sequence in the river. Fortunately, the full-sized animatronic spinosaurus handled it fine.
A special rig of the spinosaurus' sail was built to show it rise out of the water like a shark's fin. This did not hold up as well as the full-sized animatronic rig, and the sail fell apart. Consequently, this shot was computer generated.
The T. rex animatronic was actually the same animatronic for the Buck in The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Stan Winston Studios repainted the animatronic lighter colors, however, they can both still be recognized as the same robot by the facial scarring on the right side of the muzzle. During the production of the fight with the Spinosaurus, the animatronic's neck was broke clean off the robot, because the Spinosaurus animatronic was so big and powerful it destroyed the robot with one hit.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Near the end of the movie, when the Spinosaurus attacks Amanda Kirby (Téa Leoni) in the water and tries to grab her, Leoni admits that she was injured by accident during those scenes when its claws would scratch her. When Leoni returned home from work one night and her husband David Duchovny saw the various slashes on her back she received during filming, he asked "At what point in this movie do they whip you?"
The other reason the Tyrannosaurus is not featured in this movie is because the animatronic puppet was damaged at the neck and the Spinosaurus animatronic was so big and powerful it destroyed the robot with one hit. This left many of the crew stunned, shocked and even some mourning for the animatronic with John Rosengrant saying: "That was a really sad ending to a long night of shooting. The Spino threw one final blow and broke the T. rexs neck. The head collapsed, the neck tore open in the back, and hydraulic fluid shot out of it, almost like blood spurting." Because of this mishap, this would eventually be the scene where the Spinosaurus towers over the T. rex after killing it.
Pterosaurs were included in the original "Jurassic Park" novel, and had been considered for both of the previous movies, but these ideas were abandoned except for a brief scene at the end of The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997). They are finally featured in this movie, in a sequence that is largely based on the aviary subplot in the first novel.
It is subtly implied that Billy was in on the expedition to search for Paul and Amanda Kirby's son from the beginning, with his own agenda in mind. There are four distinct moments: 1. Billy gives a look that implies he was aware that Paul Kirby would be arriving after showing Dr. Grant the velociraptor resonating chamber. 2. Paul Kirby, after introducing himself to Grant, says "how ya doin', Billy?" implying that the two already knew each other. 3. In the same scene, Billy hastily responds "We'd love to" to Paul Kirby's request. 4. On the plane ride to the island, Billy turns around, with a clearly facetious look on his face, asks Cooper "How do you know the Kirby's?" with which Cooper responds "through our church" with an equally sarcastic look. The fact that Billy steals raptor eggs in an effort to fund the dig site, along with his initial excitement of travelling to Isla Sorna, is further evidence of this fact.
Cooper may have been inspired by a character in the video game Dino Crisis (1999) named Cooper who gets eaten by a Tyrannosaurus all the way at the start of the game, just like being eaten by the Spinosaurus at the beginning of the movie.
There is a fan theory that the sub-adult T. Rex killed by the Spinosaurus in this is the infant T. Rex from The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997). However, it could be a rogue T. Rex, as the Infant had a skin color like his parents, while the T. Rex in this was more green in color. When asked if the infant T-Rex was the Tyrannosaur killed by the Spinosaurus during Stan Winston Schools "Jurassic Party" Matt Winston jokingly said "Yes! We're just making stuff up."
This is the second Jurassic Park movie in which actors from Miami Vice (1984) get eaten by a dinosaur. In Jurassic Park (1993), it was Martin Ferrero, who played a recurring character named Izzy Moreno on Miami Vice (1984), as the lawyer who gets eaten by T. Rex. In this movie, Miami Vice (1984) regular John Diehl plays Cooper, the mercenary who gets devoured by Spinosaurus as the plane is trying to take off, and Julio Oscar Mechoso, who plays the Dino-Soar boat Captain eaten in the beginning, played first season Miami Vice (1984) character Lester Kosko, the Vice squad's surveillance tech expert. Cooper was also often used as an alias by Ricardo Tubbs, played by Philip Michael Thomas on Miami Vice (1984).