Jeff Goldblum has revealed the Ian Malcolm character was almost cut out of the script for Jurassic Park - until he lobbied for the role to stay. Ian Malcolm is a mathematician who is invited to visit the park before it opens and offer his opinion on the ethics of cloning dinosaurs - before all hell breaks loose. Goldblum's wry performance and quotable dialogue made him an audience favorite and the character was upgraded to a leading role for the sequel.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park finds Malcolm manipulated into visiting the original island where the dinosaurs were cloned, and again running into - and often away from - trouble. The character is due to return for the first time in twenty years for a cameo in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and will play a major part in upcoming video game Jurassic World Evolution, with Goldblum once again lending his distinctive vocal tones to the role.
While Malcolm is one of Goldblum's most beloved characters, the actor revealed in a career retrospective with Vanity Fair that he was almost wasn't in the movie at all. He learned during his first meeting with director Steven Spielberg that there was a debate about whether the movie needed Malcolm:
He said 'You know, there's a sort of movement afoot with our little committee here as we're rewriting another version of the script to have that part removed from the script. So since we've had this meeting, there's this little wrinkle that may render this moot.
Goldblum goes on to explain that he "felt moved to advocate for my inclusion," when he learned the character's personality was going to be fused with the Alan Grant role:
The people want that character melded into the Sam Neill character - I don't think Sam Neill was doing it yet, but the Alan Grant character - and I said no no no, I think keep that character but, um... I don't know what I said, but anyway, it turns out that I got to be in it and that's the way it goes.
While it could be argued the Malcolm character could be removed from the script without having much impact on the story, Jurassic Park is a lot more fun because of his inclusion. The character's colorful commentary and Goldblum's presence adds much-needed humor during the darker sections of the film. Malcolm was also such a popular character among fans of the book that author Michael Crichton brought him back for The Lost World book - despite the character having been declared dead in the original book.
While Goldblum will only be making a one scene cameo in Fallen Kingdom, the actor has teased during recent interviews that he and certain other characters - like Laura Dern's Ellie Sattler - may be returning for 2021's Jurassic World 3, which will round out the current trilogy of Jurassic Park movies.
Source: Vanity Fair
- Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) release date: Jun 22, 2018