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Steven Spielberg changed Jurassic Park’s original horrific book ending

The ending of Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park is hopeful and happy, but it wasn't always that way, the original ending was horrific.

Sam Neill in Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park… now there’s a Steven Spielberg classic. Not to mention one of the best movies of all time. The adventure movie about a dinosaur zoo gone horribly wrong is a magical bit of cinema history.


Spielberg’s adaptation of Michael Crichton’s novel takes some liberties; it’s a different medium, after all, and Spielberg is a director who had more than earned his right to strike out on his own.

There’s one change, however, that made the monster movie wildly different from its source material — its ending.

In Crichton’s novel, much of the Jurrasic Park cast falls prey to their dino enemies. The bad guy, Henry Wu, is taken out by Velociraptors, for example, but his movie villain counterpart survives. More head-turning, John Hammond, the park’s owner, meets an awful end when he falls into a nest of Procompsognathus and is eaten.

The biggest change, though, has to do with the fate of the island itself. The end of Jurassic Park saw the characters escape into the sunset in a helicopter, flying dinosaurs alongside, signalling a new era. In the novel, the island and its remaining inhabitants are hit with napalm.

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We don’t know about you, but that movie ending is looking sweeter and sweeter! Unless you’re a cynic and enjoy the sort of carnage the book contains. In that case, pick up the book and have some fun.

Now that’s cleared up, find out how to watch the Jurassic Park movies in order, see our picks for the best Steven Spielberg movies, or check out the new movies coming this year.