Jurassic Park 3 (stylized as Jurassic Park ///) is a 2001 American science-fiction adventure film, and the third sequel in the Jurassic Park franchise. The film stars returning actor Sam Neill as Dr. Alan Grant, along with co-stars William H. Macy (Fargo), Téa Leoni (Deep Impact), Alessandro Nivola (Face/Off) and Trevor Morgan. This is the first Jurassic Park film in the series to not be directed by Steven Spielberg, instead being directed by Joe Johnston (October Sky, Jumanji). It is also the first Jurassic film not to be based on a Michael Crichton novel, but taking characters and ideas from them.
Despite being a box office success, the film received mixed to negative reviews from both critics and fans alike, citing the short runtime of the movie (92 minutes compared to the previous films average of two hours), as well as the overall quality of the film. It is often blamed for creating a dry spell between the sequel release and caused much division among the fan community. 14 years later, its sequel, Jurassic World would be released on June 12th 2015.
Ben Hildebrand takes Eric Kirby on an illegal parasailing trip (entitled ‘DINO-SOAR‘) around the waters surrounding Isla Sorna (otherwise known as Site B), off-limits to the public. During the trip, their tour boat is attacked by an unseen creature (whose identity is never officially revealed), killing the boat crew. Before they crash, Ben detaches the line and the two are forced to fly into the island interior.
Eight years have passed since the Jurassic Park incident, and Dr. Alan Grant has been subject to undesired fame as a result. Dr. Ellie Sattler (Grant’s former love) has married someone else and has two children. At dinner, the two discuss Velociraptor behavior together before Grant leaves to attend a college speaking event (which is unsuccessful for the most part, as the attendees are interested only in Jurassic Park: San Diego, which upsets Grant). At the same time, military specialist Udesky (hire by an as-yet unseen man) prepares for a dangerous expedition with his associates Nash and Cooper.
Grant returns to the dig site in Montana and meets with his assistant, Billy Brennan. He shows him the “future of paleontology”, a 3-D printed resonating chamber of a Velociraptor, which he demonstrates to an awestruck Grant. Suddenly, a man named Paul Kirby shows up at the dig site and meets with Grant, offering him to dinner with his wife that night, which Billy forces Grant to accept to. At the dinner, the couple says they want Grant to navigate an aerial tour of Isla Sorna, which they would be willing to compensate for. Grant reluctantly accepts, and the group (joined by mercenaries M.B. Nash, Udesky and Cooper) fly to the island.
Initially, all things go well until Grant learns the group wants to land on the island. Attempting to protest, he is knocked out by Cooper and wakes up, the plane having landed already. Billy tells him that they are looking for someone, with Amanda yelling into a megaphone. The commotion lures the attention of a Spinosaurus, which chases and eats Cooper. The plane attempts to take off but strikes the rampaging Spinosaurus, causing them to crash. The Spinosaurus tracks down the plane and eats Nash, with the group barely managing to escape. Soon, the group encounters an adult male Tyrannosaurus rex (feeding on a dead Parasaurolophus), which gives chase to them, encountering the spined theropod again. The two super-predators fight (giving the group time to escape), with the Spinosaurus eventually overpowering the inexperienced theropod by snapping its neck.
Soon, Grant learns that the Kirbys are actually a middle-class divorced couple who wanted Grant to help them search for their son Eric (the same child in the introduction), thinking he had been on the island before (Isla Nublar, not Sorna). The group explores more and finds the remains of Ben Hildebrand, with a nest of Velociraptor eggs nearby. The group flees (with Billy secretly stealing some of the eggs), and they soon come across an abandoned InGen compound (the Embryonics Administration). The group explores the ruins, and Amanda is soon ambushed by a Velociraptor. The Raptor chases them through the building and into the jungle, where the group is forced to flee into a herd of hadrosaurs (Parasaurolophus and Corythosaurus), which causes a stampede. The group is forced to split up, leaving Grant and Udesky to fend for themselves.
Udesky gets trapped and attacked by a Velociraptor. Billy, Amanda and Paul discover him lying face-down in the dirt, but he begins to stir. Amanda attempts to climb down and help him, but the Raptors appear and almost kill her, having set a trap. Before leaving, a Raptor snaps Udesky’s neck, killing him. Grant hides behind a tree and soon is found by a Velociraptor, the pack beginning to circle him. Suddenly, smoke flares up around them, scaring off the Raptors. An unseen figure grabs Grant and runs through the jungle, leading him to a water truck, who is revealed to be Eric, beaten and bruised but alive. The two talk and take shelter in his makeshift home from Compsognathus, while Billy, Paul and Amanda stay in a tree for the night.
In the morning, the two groups venture out in search for each other. Eventually, the two hear the sound of Paul’s satellite phone (coming from a yet-unseen location), and the two meet again at a strip of fencing. Soon the group realizes they are being stalked by the Spinosaurus, which chases them into a building. Grant soon discovers that Billy stole the Velociraptor eggs, which he stops himself from confiscating and soon leads the group underground to an aviary. The group investigates the abandoned Aviary which Grant realizes is “a bird cage”.
A Pteranodon emerges and abducts Eric, taking him to it’s nest, where dozens of hungry baby Pteranodons wait eagerly. The group tries to rescue Eric, when Billy uses the parasail to fly to Eric. He manages to do so, but his parasail gets snagged on the cliffs, where the Pteranodons soon attack and seemingly kill him. The group escapes and drifts down the river away from the Aviary, which was left unlocked thanks to Amanda Kirby. Eric mourns the loss of Billy with Grant, and they soon come across an open field where Brachiosaurus, hadrosaurs and other herbivores are feeding and living.
At night, the group hears the satellite phone again and comes across a pile of Spinosaurus feces, where the group hastily tries to find the phone. A Ceratosaurus is attracted to the group, but soon leaves upon smelling the Spinosaurus feces (likely knowing it was in it’s territory). Later, the group comes to a wide section of river where the Spinosaurus reappears and attacks the boat. The group takes shelter in a built-in cage, and is soon dragged into the water. Paul scales a piece of construction equipment and lures the Spinosaurus‘ attention away from the group, who manages to escape. Paul is seemingly killed (the Spinosaurus being scared off by the fire Grant set off), but he soon emerges and embraces with his family.
The next day, the group nears the coastline. Hearing the sound of the ocean, the group sprints for the beach, but the Velociraptors return, surrounding the group. Grant figures out that they want the eggs, and has Amanda surrender them to the female. Using Billy’s resonating chamber, Grant confuses the Raptors momentarily, but the sound of a chopper scares them off. The group runs to the beach to find the U.S Navy and Marine Corps waiting to rescue them (sent by Ellie and Mark).
On the chopper, Grant finds that Billy is injured but alive. As the chopper takes off, the group spots a flock of Pteranodons flying away from the island, where Grant states that they could be looking for new nesting grounds, and that it’s a “whole new world for them”. Amanda jokingly dares them to nest in Enid, Oklahoma. As the choppers fly to Costa Rica, the Pteranodons soar through the clouds. Roll credits.
-Pteranodon longiceps “hippocratesi”
-Spinosaurus aegyptiacus “hammondi”
-Velociraptor antirrhopus “sornaensis”
Sam Neill – Dr. Alan Grant, a paleontologist who ventured to Isla Nublar in the first film. He is invited to Site B by a supposedly wealthy couple for an aerial tour.
William H. Macy – Paul Kirby, the owner of an Oklahoma hardware store (Kirby Paint and Tile Plus) who poses as a wealthy businessman to fool Dr. Grant into joining him on the trip to Isla Sorna.
Téa Leoni – Amanda Kirby, the former wife of Paul Kirby who joins him and the group to Isla Sorna in search for her missing son.
Alessandro Nivola – Billy Brennan, a graduate paleontology student and Dr. Grants assistant. He accompanies Grant on the trip to Isla Sorna.
Trevor Morgan – Eric Kirby, a child who get’s stranded on Isla Sorna for eight weeks before being rescued by Grant and the group.
Laura Dern – Dr. Ellie Sattler-Degler, a paleobotanist who survived the Jurassic Park incident with Dr. Grant. Calls for help to rescue the group off the island.
Michael Jeter – Udesky, one of the mercenaries hired by the Kirbys for the trip to Isla Sorna. Killed by a Velociraptor.
John Diehl – Cooper, a mercenary and weapons specialist hired by the Kirbys for the trip to Isla Sorna. Killed by the Spinosaurus.
Bruce A. Young – M.B Nash, a mercenary hired by the Kirbys to fly them to Isla Sorna. Killed by the Spinosaurus.
Universal Pictures officially announced Jurassic Park ///(sans title) on June 29th, 1998 with a listed release date of summer 2000. While the announcement included quotes from Spielberg “We have had an opportunity to build on the experience and excitement that audiences have come to expect from us. Michael Crichton knows how to surprise and entertain audiences with themes and stories that are smart and original.” and Crichton “I’m enormously pleased that after 65 million years, the fascination with dinosaurs seems here to stay and I’m delighted at this opportunity to collaborate again with Steven.”, this team up was not to be. Crichton ended up leaving the production, before a director was announced, to focus on his novel Timeline and Spielberg had already decided not to direct a third Jurassic during pre-production on The Lost World.
After viewing Jurassic Park, Joe Johnston had reached out to Spielberg and “asked him to put me on the short list if he ever decided not to direct a Jurassic Park sequel himself” so when the time for Jurassic Park /// came around, having recently seen Johnston’s 1999 film October Sky, Spielberg reached out and asked if Johnston would like to take the reins. Not only had Johnston continued to prove he could handle the heart required for a Jurassic film, he had an extensive effects background, traditional and digital, having worked as a model maker on Star Wars and directing films such as The Rocketeer, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and Jumanji. By August 6th, 1999 Joe Johnston had officially been announced as director.
Spielberg came to Johnston with a requirement and a story idea; the requirement, include the Pteranodons/aviary, featured in the first novel, that Spielberg had cut very early into production on the first film and ended up cutting fairly late during production of the second and the story idea was “to have Sam Neill’s character be discovered living on the island. He’d snuck in, after not being allowed in to research the dinosaurs, and was living in a tree like Robinson Crusoe” but Johnston “couldn’t imagine this guy wanting to get back on any island that had dinosaurs on it after the first movie”. So, by the time Craig Rosenberg was brought on to write, the story had changed to two private planes, adults in one teenagers in the other, headed to the Galapagos when they run into a storm that causes the plane with the five teenagers to crash land and be stuck on Isla Sorna. However, Johnston wasn’t a fan of the draft “It read like a bad episode of Friends, just not that good. (Laughs) We just took one look and it and went, “Okay, we just got start over.””
In December 1999, Peter Buchman, a Seattle playwright, was brought in to rework the script and ideas. He continued work into early 2000 ending up with a story that would begin with a US ambassador, Harlan Finch, being sent to Costa Rica because of the disappearance of two more American tourists on Isla Sorna. Finch attends a meeting with Carlos Lopez, Costa Rican minister of the interior, during which Simone Garcia, a local environmentalist, urges him to visit the police station to view the lacerated body of a dinosaur victim. At the same time, Grant, assisted by graduate student Billy Hume, is giving a lecture trying to secure money to setup a raptor research station on Sorna. In the audience are Paul and Miles Roby, a wealthy businessman and his dino-nut son, along with Susan Brentworth, Paul’s business associate and secret lover. Afterwards Finch arrives to tell Grant that if he testifies in Costa Rica the next day, to help the US gain sovereignty over Site B, he’ll give him exclusive research rights to the island. Then Mr. Roby comes up to Grant and offers a substantial donation if he’ll accompany him, Miles, Susan, his bodyguard Cooper, and pilot Tom Udesky on a sightseeing tour of Isla Sorna.
From here, the island story would have proceeded basically the same – during the tour they land, try to take off, encounter the Spinosaurus and Tyrannosaurus, find the skeleton of one of the parasailers, go to the InGen compound, get attacked by raptors because Billy stole eggs, enter the aviary where Billy saves Miles by using the parasail, face off against the Spinosaurus on the river, then end up rescued by the military. Some key differences exist though – they would have spent the night in the lab until raptors sneak in and they escape on dirt bikes, Miles would’ve fired the flare that saved the group, and the military isn’t on a rescue expedition, they’re coming to bomb the island. Which they proceed to do, causing a stampede, until a pilot sees Paul on a ridge. During the rescue attempt, Grant thwarts Colonel Peter’s want to finish bombing the island by refusing to leave and running off into the jungle.
Where the story would have greatly diverged would be the hearing Grant was supposed to testify at and the attacks on the mainland being intercut with the island action. During Grant’s group’s tour of Sorna, the hearing begins with Garcia revealing that the attacks reach as far north as Baja and as far south as Panama. At the same time, Finch is telling Lopez that if dinosaurs are breeding, “this is not a Costa Rican problem. It is a world problem.” Finch then visits a village where a dinosaur was captured only to find carnage and a broken cage. Meanwhile, Police encounter fishermen who have netted a headless carcass. A carcass Simone identifies as a Pteranodon at the same moment Grant’s group would be entering the aviary. Because of this, despite seeing Roby’s wrecked plane on satellite footage, they decide to bomb the island.
At this point the working title was Jurassic Park: Extinction, but this was widely disliked by Joe Johnston and others in charge. “The thought from the studio-and my memory is that Steven agreed- was that it sounded too final, as if it was the end of the franchise. It was also a little misleading. Extinction for who? The dinosaurs? The human race? Alan Grant?” So it became Jurassic Park ///, “No one was particularly fond of Jurassic Park /// but you certainly knew what it meant.”
This draft would go through numerous revisions, seeing a Kronosaurus come and go and a contest among storyboard artists to see if they could come up with a better opening sequence. This continued until early July 2000, mere weeks before production was slated to begin at the end of August, when David Koepp reviewed the script and suggested cutting the mainland story to create a more straightforward narrative while keeping a majority of the on island set pieces. It was then that Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, fresh off an Oscar nomination for co-writing Election, were brought in to rewrite the script with that direction. They worked through July and August, until midnight daily, to get the revisions completed so filming could begin.
Despite camera’s rolling on August 30th, 2000, Johnston was still not happy with the script and brought in John August to continue rewrites simultaneous with filming, much to the consternation of the cast and crew. At some point during the process, Peter Buchman was flown to Hawaii to work on this version of the script. It wasn’t until shooting was completed that they would have a complete script.
According to Johnston, the script for the film was never officially completed during production, stating that pages were shot that “eventually went into the final script”. Principal photography started on August 30th, 2000 at Dillingham Airfield in Mokulēia. Filming would later continue on Oahu up until September 9th, and finishing in Hawaii on September 20th. Production then shifted to California. Scenes were shot at Occidental College in Los Angeles on October 10th.
Scenes would later be filmed at Center Bay Studios in LA, with other locations in California including South Pasadena and an Irwindale rock quarry. After filming scenes on Stage 12 in Universals Backlot, the crew returned to Hawaii in January 2001 with the ending being filmed on Kauai’s Pila’a Beach.
The first teaser trailer was released on the Internet in September 2000, and for the most part was the only true early-marketing pushed by Universal (who had the mindset much of the public was aware of the film after the success of The Lost World: Jurassic Park). The marketing campaign began around April 2001 (three months before release), and was in conjunction with Kodak, LEGO, Playskool, Kellogg’s and Coca-Cola. Unlike the previous films, no burger-chain restaurant was attached outside of Canadian Burger Kings (who released toys of the film with kids meals).
Hasbro released a series of 3.75″ action figures of the film (which included playsets, dinosaurs, human figures and vehicles). These toys were made of plastic (save for one, the Electronic Spinosaurus) and were the first toys produced of Jurassic Park that did not involve Kenner (which became defunct in 2000), and are among the worst toys in terms of quality amongst Jurassic fans.
The movie first premiered on July 16th, 2001 at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles, California and would officially premiere in the United States and other countries two days later.
The film received mixed to negative reviews from critics and fans alike. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 50% rating based on 163 reviews with an average rating of 5.2/10. On Metacritic, the film has a 42/100 rating, meaning “mixed or average reviews”. On both sites, the film is the lowest rated in the Jurassic Park franchise. As of 2002, author Michael Crichton (author of the original Jurassic Park and The Lost World novels) has stated he has not seen the film (and is presumed he hadn’t before his death in 2008). In total, the film has won two awards (the Sierra Award for Best DVD and the BMI Film Award for Best Music, respectively).
Among the fan community, much division has been created as a result of the film. Many fans were displeased at the general sloppiness of the production stage (lack of a completed script being used and basically ‘winging it’). The biggest source of displeasure came from the Spinosaurus emerging victorious from the fight with the T. rex. Many fans viewed this as a slap in the face to the ‘legacy’ of the tyrant lizard, and over the next fourteen years and beyond caused much in-fighting and hatred among the fan community. From Youtube comment sections to message boards, many argued over who would truly emerge victorious in a battle between two extinct superpredators who would never meet up in reality due to their separate locations and time periods.
Many also disliked the sudden change in look with the Velociraptors, which caused a bit of a headache realizing how they fit in with the Jurassic Park canon (they have been determined to be species variation, see our Velociraptor article for more information). Overall, the general consensus among the fandom is that Jurassic Park 3 is the worst film in the franchise.
“Dino-Soar” Parasailing Tour: Off of Molokai’s northeast shore, Molokai, HI and Palos Verdes, CA.
Ellie Degler Sattler’s Washington D.C. Area Home: 1230 Milan Ave. South Pasadena, CA.
Dr. Alan Grant’s Fund Raiser Lecture at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.: Occidental College’s Thore Hall, 1600 Campus Road, Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, CA.
Airplane Salvage Yard: Aviation Warehouse, Inc., El Mirage, CA.
Dr. Alan Grant’s Fort Peck Lake Montana Dinosaur Digsite: Rock Quarry, Irwindale, CA and Santa Fe Springs, CA. Establishing shot Jack Horner’s early summer 2001 dinosaur excavation at Fort Peck Lake.
Hell Creek Bar and Grill, Jordan, Montana: Hell Creek Bar, Jordan, Montana.
Journey to Isla Sorna in the plane and Dr. Alan Grant’s velociraptor dream: Interior of plane Stage 18, Universal Studios Hollywood, CA.
Dinosaur Herds Fly By: Jurassic Kahili Ranch, Kilauea, Kauai, HI.
Isla Sorna Landing Strip: Abandoned Dillingham Airfield, Mokuleia, Oahu, HI.
Beachcraft Crash Site: Stage 12, Universal Studios, Hollywood, CA.
Spinosaurus chases Dr. Alan Grant and the others from the plane: Jurassic Kahili Ranch, Kilauea, Kauai, HI. and Backlot, Universal Studios, Hollywood, CA.
Tyrannosaurus feeding: Backlot, Universal Studios, Hollywood, CA.
Tyrannosaurus vs. Spinosaurus: Stage 12, Universal Studios, Hollywood, CA.
Ben and the Parasail: Heeia Kea Ranch, Oahu, HI.
Eric, Amanda, and Ben on the video camera in Costa Rica: Redondo Beach, CA.
Velociraptor nests: Manoa Valley, Oahu, HI.
Billy catches up with Dr. Grant and the others after stealing the Velociraptor eggs: Heeia Kea Ranch, Oahu, HI.
Spotting the InGen Embryonics Administration from the Ridge: Hanalei Valley Overlook, Princeville, Kauai, HI.
InGen Embryonics Administration:
Exterior: Backlot, Universal Studios, Hollywood, CA.
Interiors: Hatchery and Breeding Tanks: Center Bay Studios, Los Angeles, CA.
Dinosaur Kennels: Stage 18, Universal Studios, Hollywood, CA.
Lobby and Vending Machines: Backlot, Universal Studios, Hollywood, CA.
Parasaurolophus and Corythosaurus Stampede: Heeia Kea Ranch, Oahu, HI.
Udesky is attacked and killed by Velociraptors, and Paul, Amanda, and Billy in the trees: Stage 12, Universal Studios Hollywood, CA.
Dr. Alan Grant is surrounded by Velociraptors: Stage 12, Universal Studios Hollywood, CA.
Eric Kirby’s InGen Water Truck Shelter: Backlot, Universal Studios, Hollywood, CA.
Spinosaurus chase at the fence: Jurassic Kahili Ranch, Kilauea, Kauai, HI. and Backlot, Universal Studios Hollywood, CA
Pteranodon Observatory and Aviary: Stage 27, Stage 28, Stage 29, Stage 44, Backlot’s Falls Lake, Universal Studios Hollywood, CA, and Jurassic Kahili Ranch, Kilauea, Kauai, HI.
InGen Barge on the river: Wailua river, Kauai, HI.
Valley of Dinosaurs: Pu`u Ka Ele Reservoir, Jurassic Kahili Ranch, Kilauea, Kauai, HI.
Finding Paul Kirby’s satellite phone and the Ceratosaurus encounter: Jurassic Kahili Ranch, Kilauea, Kauai, HI.
Spinosaurus attacks the InGen Barge: Stage 27, Backlot’s Underwater Tank, and Backlot’s Falls Lake, Universal Studios Hollywood, CA.
Returning the eggs to the Velociraptors: Stage 12, Universal Studios Hollywood, CA.
Military Rescue Beach: Pilla Beach, Kappa, Kauai, HI.
Unknown Scene: Stage 747, Universal Studios, Hollywood, CA.
Unknown Scene: Stage 25, Universal Studios, Hollywood, CA. </p