“We had the time of our life making the original ‘Jurassic Park.'”
It’s been almost 30 years since the first-ever “Jurassic Park” film hit theaters in 1993 and released the most iconic dinosaur film franchise of all time. That year, it also became the highest-grossing film of all time — while also revolutionizing the art of CGI.
Since then, it’s inspired five additional films, with the latest flick, “Jurassic World: Dominion,” about to hit theaters. And in a true wave of nostalgia, much of the original cast will be returning to their prehistoric roots with starring roles in the new movie. Although the long-awaited reunion of Isla Nublar’s first guests will be a treat for fans, there’t been any lack of the cast on the big screen since the film’s debut.
Here’s what the “Jurassic Park” cast has been up to…
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1. Sam Neill – Dr. Alan Grant
In the original “Jurassic Park” flick, Sam Neill took the lead as paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant. He reprized his role in the film’s third installment in 2001 and even lent his voice to a video game based on the series. He’s also set to return to the franchise for the upcoming “Jurassic World: Dominion.”
“[Director] Colin [Trevorrow] turned up and was very fulsome and charming about what he wanted to do. The pitch was how much he valued the legacy cast, which I suppose is how we’re known. That was important to me, that we weren’t going to be sort of the cameo crew. We all had our own storylines,” Sam told IndieWire of the upcoming film.
But “Jurassic Park” flicks aren’t the only projects Sam has been a part of. He starred in “Peaky Blinders” as Chief Inspector Chester Campbell and had prominent roles in “Merlinand,” “The Tudors,” and the “Peter Rabbit” films. He also made a cameo in 2017’s “Thor: Ragnorak,” starring as an Asgardian actor playing Thor’s father, Odin.
Meanwhile, Sam also owns his own vineyard in his native New Zealand.
two. Laura Dern – Dr. Ellie Satler
In “Jurassic Park,” Laura Dern portrayed Dr. Ellie Sattler and a love interest for Dr. Grant – despite being 20 years his junior. She returned to the franchise in 1999 to briefly reprise her role in “Jurassic Park III” and is set to return again for “Jurassic World: Dominion.”
“We had the time of our life making the original ‘Jurassic Park’ and to come together with my co-stars…it’s an amazing experience. Embedded in this franchise is a deep environmental message. I’m very proud to be back in the hiking boots of Dr. Ellie Satler,” Laura said on “Lorraine.”
Since her days studying dinosaurs on screen, Laura has had a successful career that’s earned her an Oscar, Emmy and several Golden Globe Awards. She starred in numerous projects including “Twin Peaks” and “Big Little Lies” and even appeared in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”
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3. Jeff Goldblum – Dr. Ian Malcolm
Jeff Goldblum played the role of mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm in the original trilogy, appearing in the first and third films. He’s also slowed his voice from him to numerous “Jurassic Park” video games throughout the years. In 2018, he returned to the franchise for “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” and will reunite with his co-stars again for the upcoming “Jurassic World: Dominion.”
Jeff has certainly not shied away from the spotlight since he kicked things off in “Jurassic Park.” He’s appeared in other blockbusters like “Independence Day” as well as flicks like “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Thor: Ragnarok.” He even earned an Emmy for his work on “Will & Grace.” Jeff has also pursued a career in music, releasing albums with his jazz band, Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra, and appearing on Broadway.
4. Samuel L. Jackson – Ray Arnold
Samuel L. Jackson appeared in the very first “Jurassic Park” flick, portraying chain-smoking chief engineer Ray Arnold. While he hasn’t appeared in any further films in the franchise, Samuel once said he’d like to believe his character is still alive, “riding around on velociraptors with one arm.”
Although fans didn’t get to see him in “Jurassic Park” again, Samuel went on to appear in numerous acclaimed films including “Pulp Fiction,” “Die Hard with a Vengeance” and the “Star Wars” franchise. He even joined the Marvel Universe, where he played Avengers leader Nick Fury. Samuel has also been nominated for numerous awards and in 2022, he took home the Academy’s Honorary Award at the Oscars.
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5. Ariana Richards – Lex Murphy
Ariana Richards was just a teenager when she got her start in “Jurassic Park.” While she did make an appearance in “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” in 1999, Ariana didn’t take on many more acting jobs following the trilogy’s end. She most recently appeared in TV movie “Battledogs” in 2013, but now spends most of her time working as a successful artist and raising her daughter.
While Ariana hasn’t confirmed if she’ll ever return to the franchise, she says she wouldn’t be opposed to returning to acting “if the right project comes along.”
6. Joseph Mazzello – Tim Murphy
Joseph Mazzello played Lex’s younger brother Tim in the original “Jurassic Park” film, which marked one of his first major motion pictures as a child. He went on to appear in “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” as well as quite a few other films as a teen and young adult. He played Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz in “The Social Network” and also starred in HBO’s “The Pacific.” He went on to get a degree in cinema and television from the University of Southern California — thanks to a little help from director Steven Spielberg who wrote him a letter of recommendation.
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7. Wayne Knight – Dennis Nedry
Wayne Knight was already an established actor when he landed his role as Dennis Nedry in “Jurassic Park.” After allowing the dinosaurs to escape, he was later eaten by one — effectively ending his time with the franchise.
Although Wayne did not appear in any further “Jurassic” films, he’s been featured in numerous television series including “Seinfeld,” where he played the very memorable role of Newman. He’s also had recurring roles on “3rd Rock from the Sun,” “The Exes,” Narcos,” and “Hot in Cleveland.” Wayne even lent his voice to the animated flick “Kung Fu Panda.”
8. Sir Richard Attenborough – John Hammond
Sir Richard Attenborough had a long career in Hollywood before he was cast as John Hammond, the creator of Jurassic Park. After appearing in the first flick, he was featured in “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” and provided voiceovers for numerous video games.
Following his role in the franchise, the Oscar-winning director continued to work in Hollywood until his passing at age 90 in 2014. His last credited role was as narrator of the 2002 comedy “Puckoon” and as director of “Closing the Ring” in 2007.
9. BD Wong – Dr. Henry Wu
In the first “Jurassic Park” flick, BD Wong portrayed Henry Wu, the geneticist responsible for recreating the park’s dinosaurs. In 2015, he returned for “Jurassic World” and went on to appear in “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” and will be seen in the upcoming “Jurassic World Dominion.” He also did voiceover work for numerous franchise projects including the Lego “Jurassic World” mini-series, several video games, and the “Jurassic World” ride at Universal Studios in Los Angeles.
In addition to his work with the franchise, he’s also appeared on “Gotham,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Mr. Robot,” “The Flash,” and “Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens.”