Entertainment

Why Samuel L. Jackson's Jurassic Park Death Isn't Seen on Screen


Samuel L. Jackson has recently revealed that his Jurassic Park role was intended to be longer and more gory, but mother nature got in the way of him returning to Kauai to finish off his scenes. As with most of his roles, Jackson’s character is memorable, but one can’t help but wonder what could have been if he were able to get the gory death that he was supposed receive on screen. It’s clear that he dies, but all we see is a severed arm and there’s not a whole lot of fun in that.

Samuel L. Jackson portrays the chief engineer, John “Ray” Arnold, of Jurassic Park and falls prey to the island’s carnivorous resident velociraptors, as revealed in an unforgettably gruesome scene where Laura Dern’s Dr. Ellie Sattler character discovers his bloody, severed arm in an abandoned electronics shed. In a recent interview with the A.V. Club, Jackson revealed that his death was going to be shown on screen, but a hurricane got in the way.

Scenes were written that showed John “Ray” Arnold’s gruesome death on screen, getting torn apart by velociraptors. However, Hurricane Iniki had different plans for Samuel L. Jackson’s place in the Jurassic Park franchise. Instead, we just get to see a severed arm and we have to use our context clues to fill in the blanks. He had this to say.

“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. All you see is the residue of my body, my arm. But, yeah, I was supposed to be on set.”

Hurricane Iniki wasn’t just any normal hurricane. It’s actually still the worst storm to ever hit Hawaii in recorded history. Hurricane Iniki hit the United States directly after the destruction caused by Hurricane Andrew in Florida and Louisiana. Iniki slammed into the south shore of Kauai, causing an estimated $1.8 billion in damage and killing six people and injuring more than 1,000. The storm lived up to its name Iniki, which means sharp and piercing winds in Hawaiian, as it battered Kauai with winds of more than 100 mph.

Samuel L. Jackson’s character spends his entire time in Jurassic Park‘s mission control center, isolated from all the other characters trying to survive on an island full of angry dinosaurs. Jackson recalls that he also spent the entirety of his time on set isolated from the rest of the cast, much like his character. Diehard Jurassic Park fans look up to John “Ray” Arnold as the unsung hero of the movie. So, who knows, maybe the Hurricane Iniki did Samuel L. Jackson a favor, keeping his character’s death a mystery, that has left fans wondering for over two decades what exactly happened to him. The original interview with Samuel L. Jackson was first published at The A.V. Club.


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