If there's one character fans tend to most closely link to the storied Jurassic Park film franchise, it's probably Jeff Goldblum's deadpan snarking chaos theorist Ian Malcolm. However, nearly as indelibly associated with the series is Sam Neill's portrayal of heroic paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant in the first and third Jurassic Park films. Despite a long career full of memorable roles, Neill will seemingly never escape the shadow of his time battling dinosaurs - not that he really seems to mind all that much.
This held true during a recent video interview with ShortList, designed to promote Neill's new film Hunt for the Wilderpeople, a dramedy helmed by Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi. As revealed yesterday, Neill confirmed during the interview that he will again work with Waititi on the aforementioned Marvel Studios blockbuster. Sure enough, Neill was asked later in that same interview about the prospect of reprising the Alan Grant character in the upcoming Jurassic World 2, and offered a rather tongue-in-cheek reply.
"I think the problem is that no one knows where Alan Grant is anymore. He's retired from paleontology. He's sick to death of dinosaurs and running. He's not quite as fleet of foot as he was, and he's now retired to Dayton, Ohio, and has a very successful accountancy business. I think that's what's happened to Alan. Either that or he's dead."
Putting the amusing prospect of Dr. Alan Grant, C.P.A. aside, even if the erstwhile paleontologist is still alive, Neill posits that his clashes with prehistoric murder predators may have had a negative effect on his mind:
"How do you recover from all of that stuff? I don't think therapists are trained to deal with post-dino stuff. No. I don't think you get over it. Accountancy would be one way."
As for what his response would be should Universal indeed contact him about a return, Neill played coy, leaving it a bit unclear as to whether he simply doesn't think he'll get the invite or whether he just doesn't want to come back.
"The call hasn't come. And no one can find Grant. He's disappeared. Someone found his hat. His hat was floating on the Hudson river, but that was the last ever heard of him."
Neill's old Jurassic Park co-star - and now future Thor: Ragnarok co-star - Goldblum confirmed that he would be open to playing Ian Malcolm again back in April, so if Neill does indeed return to the franchise for Jurassic World 2, it would mark the first time the Malcolm and Grant characters have shared the screen since the original film.
While both have of course appeared in Jurassic sequels, they have always been in separate adventures, and fans would no doubt get quite excited were a proper reunion to happen. That said, one wonders whether Chris Pratt's Owen Grady might find himself overshadowed by the classic JP heroes should such a momentous event take place.
Jurassic World 2 opens in U.S. theaters on June 22nd, 2018.