‘Jurassic Park’ is the stuff of cinematic legend. Not just the movie itself (though, yes) but also its production. Sure, there were innumerable technical breakthroughs, but true to form for a Spielberg creature feature, they also had to contend with a few unexpected hurdles courtesy of Mother Nature. In this case, it was Hurricane Iniki, a category four storm that hit Hawaii while the film was in production. As you might expect, a hurricane of that scale was more than a little disruptive. but it didn’t just throw off the shooting schedule. It also necessitated that at least one scene be removed altogether.
‘Jurassic Park‘ memorably features Samuel L. Jackson in one of his earliest mainstream roles, that of Ray Arnold. Arnold is largely remembered for his ever-present cigarettes (“Hold on to your butts.”) and off-camera death. But that death was originally meant to be seen before the storm necessitated some minor reworking of the film. As Jackson explained in a conversation with the AV Club:
“I was actually supposed to go to Hawaii, to shoot my death scene. But there was a hurricane that destroyed all the sets. So I didn’t get to go to Hawaii. All you see is the residue of my body, my arm. But yeah, I was supposed to be on set.”
I have to admit, as cool as it might have been to actually see Jackson get ripped to shreds by a Velociraptor (based on the remainder of the film, I imagine it would have looked something like Robert “Clever Girl” Muldoon’s iconic death scene), the film might actually be better off without it. After all, the reveal of Arnold’s severed arm is incredibly effective (and a personal favorite of this writer’s).
Be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more ‘Jurassic Park’ coverage throughout the film’s twenty-fifth anniversary year as the release of ‘Jurassic World: Forgotten Kingdom’ approaches.