Samuel L. Jackson’s Dr. Arnold was originally supposed to die onscreen in Jurassic Park, but nature… found a way to prevent him from doing so. Jackson has one of the most extensive filmographies in cinema history, appearing in numerous franchises along the way. But one of his earliest and most widely-recognizable roles was playing Dr. John/Ray Arnold in Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park in 1993.
Unfortunately, thanks to Dennis Nedry’s capitalist agenda and poorly planned escape, certain park systems were temporarily shut down and needed to be rebooted. Therefore, Dr. Arnold fully rebooted the system, but by doing so, he mistakenly turned off the electrical fence surrounding the Velociraptor paddock as well. The only way to restart the entire system was to reboot the power at the source, at the main generator. But between the time he left the group at the command center and arrived at the main generator, he was killed by a Velociraptor that managed to escape the paddock. Audiences never see Dr. Arnold die, but his death is implied when Dr. Ellie Sattler finds one his arms when she goes to the main generator. The thing is, though, he was originally supposed to die onscreen.
In an interview with A.V. Club, Samuel L. Jackson revealed that his Jurassic Park character, Dr. Arnold, was originally supposed to receive an onscreen death, but a hurricane destroyed all the sets in Hawaii, so there was no need for him to fly out there. Instead, Spielberg had to rework the character’s death offscreen.
“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 [and do a death scene].”
The storm Jackson is referring to is Hurricane Iniki, a category 4 hurricane that struck Hawaii in September 1992 (during filming) and resulted in one of the most devastating storms in the islands’ recorded history. The hurricane destroyed many of the film’s sets, which forced the production team to shoot most of the movie’s ending scenes, such as the famous Velociraptor/kitchen scene, at Universal Pictures’ studio lot in California instead.
It’s unfortunate that Samuel L. Jackson never got to film Dr. Arnold’s death in Jurassic Park. While he doesn’t say what his death scene would’ve entailed, it’s not that difficult to imagine him being torn apart by a Velociraptor, especially since audiences have seen it happen quite a few times onscreen already.
Source: A.V. Club
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