It turns out that dinosaurs were a very real threat during the filming of the hit 90s movie Jurassic Park – both on and off camera. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Steven Spielberg, the action movie franchise has become legendary over the years. Still, for the original film crew, a faulty T-Rex puppet is what haunts their memories of this dino saga.
In 1993, Jurassic Park was released, and the world witnessed life-like dinosaur puppets that sparked the imagination – one being a T-Rex. In fact, one of the most iconic scenes in Jurassic Park was of this T-Rex puppet in the rain going on a rampage. However, there was just one problem: the T-Rex would malfunction and subsequentially terrorise the film’s crew whenever it rained.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly (via The Atlantic), puppeteer John Rosengrant and producer Kathleen Kennedy recalled how the impressive animatronic at times had a life of its own. “The T-Rex went into the heebie-jeebies sometimes. Scared the crap out of us.” Kennedy explained.
“We’d be, like, eating lunch, and all of a sudden, a T- Rex would come alive,” she continued. “At first, we didn’t know what was happening, and then we realised it was the rain. You’d hear people start screaming.”
Rosengrant explained what happened to the puppet to make it whir to life during filming. “The T-Rex was 36 feet long and 18 feet tall. We’re talking about a hydraulically powered creature that felt like a bus going by you when it would move,” he said. “We found out not long before we were going to shoot that it was going to be raining [in the scene].”
“So it went from this beautifully tuned machine that worked fantastically to… suddenly the foam-rubber skin started absorbing water, and now all of the calculations were off, and it started to shudder. We went out and bought tons of towels and started putting big blowers, dryers, on it to dry it out.”
Luckily the puppet wasn’t unusable, and we still got to see that terrifying moment of the Explorer Ford with the T-Rex on the big screen. In the new sequel trilogy Jurassic World, we have seen an increase in the use of CGI, as opposed to strictly puppets -and it is probably due to technical issues such as this one from 1993 as to why that decision was firmly made.
You can next see the dinos hit the big screen in Jurassic World: Dominion, which is set to release in theatres on June 10, 2022.