Although Jurassic Park is now over 26 years old, new stories, art, and secrets continue to be unearthed by its incredibly dedicated and passionate fanbase. This Jurassic June, Jurassic Time has uncovered yet another long-forgotten storyboard from the original Jurassic Park film. It is part of what Jurassic Time dubs as “The Many Deaths Of John Hammond”.
In this newly revealed storyboard page, John Hammond is in Jurassic Park’s control room during the climax when the Raptors have broken out of their pen and have entered the Visitor Center. John Hammond, with an incubator of eggs he plans to take with him upon leaving the park to “save it”, hears Lex screaming downstairs. He opens the door to the control room to help, but is greeted by a Raptor. Hammond falls backward, crashing on a tabletop model of Jurassic Park that is on display in the control room (which was to be very similar to the one we see in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), as the Raptor digs its claws deep into his chest. The incubator shatters to the floor, breaking one of the eggs while another remains unharmed.
Later on, Grant finds Hammond in the control room, barely alive, as he tells Grant that he always knew the “first batch of DNA was too unstable” and that he was looking forward to working with him at the park. He then dies as the two men are framed by the destroyed model of Jurassic Park. Then, the one unharmed egg from before cracks open, revealing an infant Triceratops.
This was one of the many deaths originally planned for John Hammond. In the novel, John Hammond dies while falling down a hill then killed by Compies. In Michael Crichton’s first draft of the screenplay, Hammond is in the Visitor Center when he falls into the destroyed scaffolding after being startled by the twitching corpse of a Raptor. Then, he is finished off by Compies like in the novel. Jurassic Time showed an illustration from this depiction some time ago.
This was then followed by Crichton’s final draft, which featured Hammond being killed by a Raptor while the “Welcome Video” of him is being played behind him, stuttering in an eerie effect as he is being attacked. The next version of his death is the one just described with the tabletop model; originating from a script revision actually tackled by someone else no one has ever known to have penned. But that is another story that will be told another time.
The other versions of his death are of Hammond simply being left behind on the island, either by his choice or by accident. Some art and storyboards of this idea were done by Art Director John Bell, with a version of this scripted in Malia Scotch Marmo’s screenplay that followed both Crichton’s and the one the tabletop Raptor death was from.
However, once David Koepp entered into the picture, it was decided Hammond no longer needed to die. Whether it was because Richard Attenborough was cast or the filmmakers decided it didn’t fit their ever-evolving take on the character remains to be seen. It seems to be a good choice for the version of the character they ended up crafting, but it will always be interesting to see just how his many deaths were once going to be played out.
You can find more rare art and storyboards from Jurassic Park at Jurassic Time, along with an audio memoir of John Hammond read by Richard Attenborough that was adapted from the Lost World game Trespasser. It includes a video version with art by Felipe Humboldt, as pictured above, who also has been uncovering many lost relics of the Jurassic Park films via Behind The Gates.
Huge thanks to to Derrick Davis for providing this article and his great work at Jurassic Time!