Jeff Goldblum’s portrayal of Dr. Ian Malcolm in 1993’s Jurassic Park is iconic. However, Malcolm was almost completely written out of the script, and the one who delivered the bad news was none other than director Steven Spielberg.
In one of the special features for the home release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom–titled Fallen Kingdom: The Conversation–filmmakers and the cast sat down to discuss the movie. There, Jeff Goldblum recounted when he almost lost the role of Ian Malcolm.
“When I first met Steven Spielberg at Amblin, he came in and said, ‘You know, there’s a movement afoot, a new rewrite is happening, and your character, Ian Malcolm, is being written out,'” explained Goldblum. “‘We probably wanna give these funny lines and kinda incorporate your character into the Sam Neil character.'” The moment Bryce Dallas Howard found out he almost wasn’t in the movie–seen below–was priceless.
Goldblum said he made his case to keep Malcolm in the film but doesn’t think he had any real impact on the final decision for Malcolm to stay. “I was just thrilled to be there and trusted that [Spielberg] would do something great,” he concluded.
Regardless, Goldblum went on to play Malcolm three times in Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park: The Lost World, and in Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom. While Malcolm merely bookends the latest dino-romp, he is the bridge between science and ethics for the series. “He embodies the spirit of Michael Crichton,” producer Frank Marshall said during the special feature entitled “Malcolm’s Return.” “He’s in the original book and he’s sort of the voice of reason.”
In fact, according to executive producer Colin Trevorrow in the same special feature, much of Malcolm’s dialogue from Fallen Kingdom actually came from the book Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. “And it’s amazing how many ideas that apply to this movie are in the original book.”
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is available digitally now; the home release (4K, Blu-ray, and DVD) is on September 18.