Why Was Samuel L. Jackson’s Death Not Shown in Jurassic Park?

In the 1993 film Jurassic Park, Samuel L. Jackson died when he was devoured by a raptor. However, this scene was never shown on screen, despite the fact Steven Spielberg had planned to shoot it.

Why Was Samuel L. Jackson’s Death Not Shown in Jurassic Park?
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Why Was Samuel L. Jackson’s Death Not Shown in Jurassic Park?

Despite countless advancements in CGI since its initial release decades ago, Jurassic Park still holds up. However, that doesn’t mean Steven Spielberg didn’t have his fair share of problems on set of the 1993 classic.

Although everyone can agree that overall, the film remains faithful to the Michael Crichton novel, there are still some details that were left out of the film, especially when it comes to the death of Samuel L. Jackson’s character. There were quite a lot of rumours as to why this may be, but we have finally learned the real reason for this oversight, which actually turned out not to be an oversight at all.

Samuel L. Jackson speaks up

In the film, Samuel L. Jackson plays John Arnold, also known as Ray in the movie, one of the park’s engineers. His character has become quite a cult figure over the years and it was the actor himself who shared this little behind the scenes story.

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.

A violent hurricane in Hawaii

According to MovieWeb, the hurricane that prevented him from going was Hurricane Iniki, the most violent hurricane to ever hit Hawaii. Although it was a setback, Spielberg and his team were able to apply their creativity which led to the legendary scene in which Dr Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) discovers Ray’s arm that had been torn off. Perhaps one of the most memorable jump scares in the history of cinema.

Nevertheless, this is only a slight deviation from Crichton’s novel. In the book, Jackson’s character doesn’t go to the maintenance shed alone, but with Muldoon who is attacked on the way by a group of raptors. Arnold then ends up in the maintenance shed alone, only to be brutally killed by a raptor who had managed to get inside.

Back in cinemas next June

The outcome would obviously have been the same, but as a result, Samuel L. Jackson only had a secondary role in Jurassic Park. The other leading actors, whose characters are still alive that is, will be back soon to continue the saga. It has been announced that Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern are all set to appear in the next film, Jurassic World: Dominion, which is due to hit cinemas in June 2021.