Jurassic Park Novel and Movie differences: Characters part II

Here’s a few more changes to the characters in the transition from novel to screen.

Lex and Tim-Hammond’s grandchildren, are also invited to the island in both versions, to help keep their mind off their parent’s divorce. However, there’s a bit of a difference-the ages are flipped, with Lex being the older sibling and the computer whiz, and Tim being the younger one. Like in the movie, Tim is obsessed with Dinosaurs, but gets on far better with Grant initially, while Lex is the more annoying one, who, like Tim in the movie, nearly dies in the Park. However, where with Tim it’s the electrical fences being turned on when he’s on them, Lex is in the novel nearly drowns in a river scene that would be sort-of adapted later on in Jurassic Park III.

Henry Wu is in both novel and film, a key geneticist in the Jurassic Park project. In the novel, he’s around quite a bit, and provides a lot of the exposition on the DNA science that is explained via the cartoon “Mr. DNA” in the film itself. In the film he appears in the Raptor hatchling scene, and explains to a stubborn Dr. Malcolm that all the Dinosaurs are female and are thus, unable to breed. Wu, like most of the park’s workers, leaves on a boat to the mainland before the Park erupts into chaos. In the novel, he remains, and is eventually killed by a Raptor. However, movie-wise he returns in Jurassic World, with a far more villainous character, working with factions within Ingen and the park to develop the Dinosaurs into weapons.

Donald Gennaro-the lawyer for the investors in the park project-is very different in the book and movie. The novel character is somewhat far more heroic, but still somewhat flawed. As part of the team back at the Visitor’s center, he helps to try to restore order to the Park after things go south, and helps Dr. Grant in dealing with the velociraptors, although he eventually begins to realize that he’s partially responsible for this mess happening in the first place. He is one of the survivors, although The Lost World novel indicates that he died of a later, unrelated disease.

Gennaro in the film is far more greedy. Initially skeptical of the safety of the park after the worker is killed, he changes his tune and becomes greedy and self-serving once he sees the Dinosaurs in action. Ultimately, he abandons Tim and Lex when the T-rex breaks through the fence, and tries to hide in one of the Park’s restrooms, and meets a humiliating end when the T-rex eats him after chasing Malcolm and demolishing the walls of the rest stop.

Robert Muldoon is very similar in both the novel and film-a mostly no-nonsense warden of the park, who feels that there must be more safety concerns, especially around the T-rex and Velociraptors. In the novel, he’s a bit more active in the park trying to corral the escaped animals, while in the film-apart from a rescue mission that recovers Malcolm-he stays in the Visitor center until the system is rebooted. In the film, he is ultimately killed when ambushed by the Velociraptors while attempting to buy some time for Ellie to restore the park systems. He survives in the novel.

The primary villains who mess up the park are Lewis Dodgson and Dennis Nedry. Dodgson is given some more background in the novel-he’s a immoral scientist working for Ingen rival Biosyn who bribes Nedry, as we see in the film. Nedry-who feels underpaid and disrespected by Hammond (but mostly due to his ambition and greed)-shuts down several of the Park’s systems in order to steal Embryos and deliver them to Biosyn’s man on the boat, but the storm at the same time frustrates this, and he ultimately wonders off-road and is killed by a poisonous Dilophosaurus. So his character, fate, and motivation is pretty much the same in both versions.

Ray Arnold-played by the legendary actor Samuel L. Jackson-is pretty much the same, although in the novel his name is “John”. This was changed to avoid confusion with John Hammond.

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