Why Steven Spielberg Almost Cut Jeff Goldblum From Jurassic Park

"Jurassic Park" without Jeff Goldblum: can you imagine it? What would that even be? The answer, of course, is that it would be any one of the "Jurassic Park" sequels that don't feature Jeff Goldblum (which, by my count, is two and nine-tenths of one, but you get the idea).

If we forget about all the lesser sequels, however, and just focus in on the first and best movie, then Goldblum's character, Ian Malcolm, was an essential part of "Jurassic Park." Yet it seems that during the film's development, director Steven Spielberg and members of his creative team considered excising the character.

Speaking to GQ (via Screen Rant), Goldblum revealed that when he first met Spielberg, the team, or one faction of it, was already vying to condense Malcolm and Alan Grant (Sam Neill) into one character. Goldblum said:

"At that first meeting, [Spielberg] said, 'Hey, you know, I wanted to meet you. You know, I've enjoyed what you've done. There's a current consensus and a faction, at least, in my group here, that thinks that the script should develop a little, and we may take your character out of it. And put that character that was in the book, Malcolm, and kind of meld it into the Grant character. So, you know, it's kind of one guy.' I was, well, 'Ooh, really?' [laughs] I've made a little pitch, you know, in my way, all off the top of my head. 'I think you might enjoy having that character there, because- or I, you know, I'd be remiss before I left, if I didn't say that, I think, you know, you want somebody to-' whatever I said, you know. Not that that swayed him in any way, but luckily it wound up in the movie."

Life Finds a Way (to Keep Ian Malcolm In Jurassic Park)

To this day, people still quote Ian Malcolm's "Jurassic Park" lines, like, "Life finds a way," or, "Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should." The image of him lounging in a Sistine Chapel pose with his black shirt unbuttoned after sustaining an injury from the T. Rex has also achieved viral immortality. More importantly, the movie is just a classic.

Malcolm himself is a character who helps articulate some important themes in "Jurassic Park," like the uncontrollability of nature and the dangers of playing God — with cloned dinosaurs, or science and technology in general. You might even call his chaos theorist the heart and soul of the film. Sure, they could have probably folded some of Malcolm's lines into Grant's dialogue, but in terms of characters, the triumvirate of Grant, Malcolm, and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) are the bedrock of the geological record that is the "Jurassic Park" franchise.

After the marketing for the film featured him prominently, fans were disappointed that Malcolm only had a glorified cameo in "Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom." However, director Colin Trevorrow hopes to make good on that in "Jurassic World: Dominion." Neill has said that he, Goldblum, and Dern, will appear "all the way through the film."

Life finds a way ...