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The Lost World: Jurassic Park
File:The Lost World – Jurassic Park poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySteven Spielberg
Screenplay byDavid Koepp
Produced byGerald R. Molen
Colin Wilson
CinematographyJanusz Kamiński
Edited byMichael Kahn
Music byJohn Williams
Amblin Entertainment
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • May 19, 1997 (1997-05-19) (Los Angeles)
  • May 23, 1997 (1997-05-23) (United States)
Running time
129 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$73 million[2]
Box office$618.6 million[2]

The Lost World: Jurassic Park is a 1997 American science-fiction adventure film and the second installment in the Jurassic Park film series. A sequel to 1993's Jurassic Park, the film was directed by Steven Spielberg and written by David Koepp, loosely based on Michael Crichton's 1995 novel The Lost World. Jeff Goldblum returns as the chaos-theorist and eccentric mathematician Ian Malcolm, leading a cast that includes Julianne Moore, Pete Postlethwaite, Vince Vaughn, Vanessa Lee Chester and Arliss Howard. Goldblum is the only actor from the previous film to return with a major role. Cameos feature return appearances by Richard Attenborough as John Hammond and a brief appearance by Joseph Mazzello and Ariana Richards as Hammond's grandchildren Tim and Lex.

The story is set four years after the events of the original film and centers around the fictional Isla Sorna, a deserted island located off Central America's Pacific Coast, near Costa Rica, where the cloned dinosaurs made by John Hammond's InGen have been roaming free in their own ecosystem. Learning that his nephew, who took control of InGen, is planning to capture the Isla Sorna dinosaurs and bring them to the mainland, Hammond sends an expedition led by Dr. Ian Malcolm to arrive there before InGen's squad. The two groups confront each other in the face of extreme danger and then team up in order to survive.

After the original book's release and the first film's success, Crichton was pressured by fans and Spielberg himself for a sequel novel. After the book was published in 1995, production began on a film sequel. The Lost World's plot and imagery is substantially darker than the previous film, and the movie has more extensive usage of computer-generated imagery to depict the dinosaurs, along with life-sized animatronics. Despite garnering mixed reviews, the film was a box office success, grossing over $618 million worldwide.

A sequel, Jurassic Park III, was released on July 18, 2001.


Four years after Jurassic Park was overrun by cloned dinosaurs on the Central American island of Isla Nublar, a young girl named Cathy Bowman wanders around on nearby Isla Sorna during a family vacation, and survives an attack by a swarm of Compsognathus. Her parents file a lawsuit against the genetics company InGen, now headed by John Hammond's nephew, Peter Ludlow, who plans to use Isla Sorna to alleviate the financial losses imposed by the Jurassic Park incident. Mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm meets Hammond at his mansion. Hammond explains that Isla Sorna, abandoned years earlier during a hurricane, is where InGen created their dinosaurs before moving them to Jurassic Park on Isla Nublar. Hammond hopes to stop InGen by sending a team to Isla Sorna to document the dinosaurs, to help rally public support against human interference on the island. Ian, with his memories of the Jurassic Park incident, is reluctant to go to the island. After learning that his girlfriend, paleontologist Dr. Sarah Harding, is part of the team and is already on Isla Sorna, Ian agrees to go to the island, but only to retrieve her.

Ian meets his teammates, Eddie Carr, an equipment specialist and engineer, and Nick Van Owen, a video documentarian. After arriving on the island, they locate Sarah and discover that Ian's daughter, Kelly, had stowed away in a trailer being used as a mobile base. They then watch as an InGen team of mercenaries, hunters and paleontologists led by Ludlow arrive to capture several dinosaurs. Meanwhile, team leader Roland Tembo hopes to capture a male Tyrannosaurus by luring it to the cries of its injured infant. That night, Ian's team sneak into the InGen camp and learn the captured dinosaurs will be brought to a newly proposed theme park in San Diego. This prompts Nick and Sarah to free the caged dinosaurs, wreaking havoc upon the camp.

Nick also frees the infant T. rex and takes it to the trailer to mend its broken leg. After securing Kelly with Eddie, Ian realizes the infant's parents are searching for it and rushes to the trailer. As soon as Ian arrives, the infant's parents emerge on both sides of the trailer. The infant is released to the adult T. rexes, which then attack the trailer, pushing it over the edge of a nearby cliff. Eddie soon arrives, but as he tries to pull the trailer back over the edge with an SUV, the adult T. rexes return and devour him. The trailer and the SUV both plummet off the cliff and are destroyed. Ian, Sarah, and Nick are rescued by the InGen team, along with Kelly. With both groups' communications equipment and vehicles destroyed, they are forced to team up to reach the old InGen compound's radio station on foot.

The next night, the two adult T. rexes find the group's camp, as they had followed the infant's blood scent on Sarah's jacket. The female T. rex chases the group to a waterfall cave, while Roland tranquilizes the male. Much of the remaining InGen team is killed by Velociraptors while fleeing through a tall grass savannah. Nick runs ahead to the communications center at the InGen Worker's Village to call for rescue. When Ian, Sarah and Kelly arrive, they are ambushed and attacked by the raptors. They evade the raptors long enough for a helicopter to arrive and transport them off the island.

A freighter ship transports the male T. rex to the mainland, but crashes into the dock after the crew is killed by a creature of unknown species. A guard opens the cargo hold, accidentally releasing the T. rex, which escapes into San Diego and goes on a destructive rampage. Ian and Sarah retrieve the infant T. rex from a secure InGen building and use it to lure the adult back to the ship. Ludlow tries to intervene but is trapped in the cargo hold by the adult T. rex and is subsequently mauled to death by the infant. Before the adult can escape again, Sarah tranquilizes it while Ian closes the cargo hold doors. The T. rexes are escorted back to Isla Sorna, and Hammond says that the American and Costa Rican governments have agreed to declare the island a nature preserve, securing the island from any human interference, affirming that "life will find a way".


Main article: List of Jurassic Park characters
  • Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm, a mathematician and chaos theorist, and a survivor of the events on Isla Nublar from the first film.
  • Julianne Moore as Dr. Sarah Harding, a behavioral paleontologist and Ian's girlfriend.
  • Vanessa Lee Chester as Kelly Curtis, Ian's teenage daughter from a failed relationship.
  • Vince Vaughn as Nick Van Owen, a well-traveled and experienced documentarian and environmentalist.
  • Pete Postlethwaite as Roland Tembo, a big-game hunter from Africa and the leader of his team.
  • Arliss Howard as Peter Ludlow, InGen's current CEO and Hammond's conniving and greedy nephew. He is the main antagonist of the film.
  • Richard Attenborough as John Hammond, InGen's former CEO and the park's original visionary.
  • Peter Stormare as Dieter Stark, the InGen team's second-in-command, under Roland Tembo.
  • Harvey Jason as Ajay Sidhu, Roland's immensely loyal and long-time best friend and hunting partner from India.
  • Richard Schiff as Eddie Carr, a timid and sardonic field equipment expert.
  • Thomas F. Duffy as Dr. Robert Burke, the InGen team's dinosaur expert.
  • Ariana Richards as Alexis "Lex" Murphy, John Hammond's granddaughter and a survivor of the events on Isla Nublar.
  • Joseph Mazzello as Timothy "Tim" Murphy, Lex's younger brother who was with her on Isla Nublar.
  • Thomas Rosales, Jr. as Carter, a member of the InGen team.
  • Camilla Belle as Cathy Bowman, a girl attacked by Compsognathus.
  • Robin Sachs as Paul Bowman, Cathy's father.
  • Cyd Strittmatter as Deirdre Bowman, Cathy's mother.
  • Bernard Shaw (journalist) as himself on TV only.

Creatures on screen[]

See also: List of cloned animals in Jurassic Park

While Jurassic Park featured mostly the animatronic dinosaurs built by Stan Winston's team, The Lost World had a higher emphasis on the computer-generated imagery of Industrial Light & Magic. This led to film featuring larger shots that offered plenty of space for the digital artists to add the dinosaurs.[3]

  • Compsognathus, nicknamed "Compies" by Stan Winston's crew, are a small carnivorous theropod which attacks in packs. Visual effects supervisor Dennis Muren considered them the most complex digital dinosaur, given their small size meant the Compys had their whole body visible and thus needed a higher sense of gravity and weight. A simple puppet Compsognathus was featured in the opening scene, and the part where Dieter Stark was killed by the pack had Peter Stormare wearing a jacket onto which various rubber Compies were attached.[3]
  • Gallimimus was shown fleeing from the InGen Hunters.
  • Mamenchisaurus was shown in a cameo when Ian's team landed on the island.
  • Pachycephalosaurus was shown being hunted down by the InGen hunters.
  • Parasaurolophus was shown being hunted down by the InGen hunters.
  • Stegosaurus was, according to Spielberg, included "by popular demand". Stan Winston's team built full-sized versions of both the infant and adult Stegosaurus, but Spielberg eventually opted to employ a digital version for the adults so they could be more mobile.[3]
  • Triceratops was shown being hunted down by the InGen hunters.

The T. rex wreaking havoc in San Diego.

  • Tyrannosaurus is featured as a whole family, with two adults and an infant. Featuring two practical T. rexes required double the work and puppeteers, and also to have the sets built around the animatronics so they would not need to leave the soundstage. The baby T. rex had two different practical versions, a "fully contained" remote controlled version the actors could carry, and a hybrid operated by both hydraulics and cables which lay on the operating table, and had the added complexity of moving as Vince Vaughn held its head.[3]
  • Velociraptor had a mechanical version which depicted the upper half of its body, and a digital full-motion computer raptor.[4]
  • Pteranodon makes a very brief appearance at the film's end.
  • Edmontosaurus (skull only)


After the release of the novel Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton was pressured by fans for a sequel novel. Having never written a sequel, he initially refused. Discussions about a sequel film began after the successful release of Jurassic Park in 1993. Steven Spielberg held discussions with David Koepp and Crichton to discuss possible ideas for a sequel film, and requested Crichton to write a sequel novel.[5][6] Joe Johnston offered to direct the film, but the job ultimately went to Spielberg. However, Johnston later directed the next film, Jurassic Park III.[7]


The Mercedes-Benz W163 used in the film

A production team was assembled in spring 1995, as Crichton was finishing the novel while Spielberg and Koepp were developing ideas for the screenplay.[8] Spielberg and Koepp discarded much of the novel's scenes and ideas,[9] choosing to devise a new story instead while including two ideas from the novel: a second island populated with dinosaurs, and a scene in which a trailer dangles from a cliff after being attacked by T. rexes.[10] Koepp said the plot of the 1962 film Hatari! – about African animals being captured for zoos – had "a big influence" on The Lost World's script.[11]

Production designer Rick Carter traveled to the Caribbean, Central America and New Zealand to scout possible locations for filming, before settling on the redwood forests of Eureka, California.[8] The location was picked because research indicated dinosaurs did not inhabit tropical habitats, but forests like the ones in Eureka.[3] Inspired by how Jurassic Park featured the Ford Explorer, Mercedes-Benz signed an endorsement deal to introduce in the film its first sports utility vehicle, the M320.[12]

Filming began on September 5, 1996, at Fern Canyon, a part of California's Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Filming continued for two weeks in other state parks and on private land in northern California. The film's opening scenes were shot in Kauai, Hawaii. Throughout the fall of 1996, filming continued on stages at Universal Studios Hollywood.[13] The Site B workers village was constructed there and left intact after filming to become a part of the theme park tour.[8] For the scene where a trailer dangles from a cliff, a whole mountainside was built over the structure of Universal's multi-storey car park.[3] Scenes involving Hammond's residence were shot during the final week of filming, at Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena, California.[14][15] Filming concluded ahead of schedule on December 11, 1996.[13] Filming at New Zealand's Fiordland National Park was originally planned to take place over five days in December,[16][17] but was cancelled because of high costs.[15] Cinematographer Janusz Kamiński, who had worked with Spielberg in Schindler's List, was brought to give a darker, more artistic look to the film, leading to a "more elegant and rich" approach focused on contrast and shadow.[3]

Originally, the film would end with an aerial battle, where Pteranodons attack the helicopter trying to escape Isla Sorna. Spielberg suggested to instead have the T. rex's attack through San Diego, as he was interested in seeing dinosaurs attacking the mainland.[4] Spielberg had initially wanted such a scene to be saved for a third film, but later decided to add it into the second film after realizing that he would probably not direct another film in the series.[10] The sequence was inspired by a similar attack scene of a Brontosaurus in London in the 1925 film adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 1912 novel The Lost World.[18] Although the sequence takes place in San Diego, only one sequence is actually shot there, where the InGen helicopter flies over the wharf and banks towards the city. The other sequences were all shot in Burbank, California. Various members of the film crew were featured running from the Tyrannosaurus, with screenwriter David Koepp playing the "Unlucky Bastard" who gets eaten.[4]

Many elements from the original novel that were not ultimately used in the first film were instead used in The Lost World.[19] The opening sequence of a vacationing family's young daughter being attacked by a group of Compsognathus was very similar to the novel's opening scene, and Dieter Stark's death is also analogous to John Hammond's compy-related death in the novel. Also, Nick, Sarah, Kelly, and Burke being trapped behind a waterfall by one of the T. rexes was ultimately taken from the novel, where Tim and Lex are trapped behind a man-made waterfall with the T. rex attempting to eat them, and Roland Tembo shoots the T. rex with tranquilizer in the same way that Robert Muldoon did in the novel.

According to Jack Horner, part of the waterfall scene was written in as a favor for him by Spielberg. Burke greatly resembles Horner's rival Robert Bakker. In real life, Bakker argues for a predatory T. rex while Horner views it as primarily a scavenger. Spielberg wrote Burke into this part to have him killed by the T. rex as a favor for Horner. After the film came out, Bakker, who recognized himself in Burke and loved it, actually sent Horner a message saying, "See, I told you T. rex was a hunter!"[20]

Koepp named the characters of Roland Tembo and Nick Van Owen as a reference to one of his favorite songs, "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner", by Warren Zevon. Koepp said "since Roland is a mercenary in the song, that seemed like a good name for the hunter-for-hire in our movie. While I was at it, I thought it would be fun to make his nemesis' last name Van Owen, like in the song."[21]


Main article: The Lost World: Jurassic Park (film score)

For the sequel, composer John Williams avoided using most of the previous film's main themes, writing a more action oriented score.[22] The soundtrack was released on May 20, 1997. It, along with the soundtrack to the first movie, was re-released and remastered on November 29, 2016.[23]


File:The Lost World Topps Issue 1 covers.png

Both covers for the first issue of Topps Comics adaptation.

The Lost World was theatrically released on May 23, 1997. The marketing campaign was even more extensive than with Jurassic Park, at the cost of $250 million with 70 promotional partners. The leading partners were Burger King, whose promotion was concurrent with one for another Universal dinosaur-based franchise, The Land Before Time; JVC and Mercedes-Benz, whose products are featured in the movie; and Timberland Co., making its first film tie-in. Another partner was a then-sister company of Universal under Seagram, Tropicana Products.[24][25]

Derivative works included various video games, including both a pinball machine and an arcade game by Sega,[26] and a four-part comic series released by Topps Comics.[27][28] Fox Network paid $80 million for the broadcasting rights of The Lost World, which debuted on November 1, 1998.[29] The television version was expanded with deleted scenes, that included John Hammond's ouster by InGen executives.[30]

Home media[]

The film made its VHS and LaserDisc debut on November 4, 1997.[31] The DVD was first released on October 10, 2000, and also made available in a package with predecessor Jurassic Park.[32] The films were also featured in a deluxe limited edition box set featuring both the DVDs and soundtrack albums of the two films, two lenticulars, stills from both films, and a certificate of authenticity signed by all three producers of the set, all inside a collector case.[33] After the release of sequel Jurassic Park III, box sets including all three movies were also made available, as Jurassic Park Trilogy on December 11, 2001,[34] and as the Jurassic Park Adventure Pack on November 29, 2005.[35] The Lost World was first made available on Blu-ray on October 25, 2011 as part of a trilogy release.[36]


Box office[]

Following four years of growing anticipation and hype, The Lost World broke many box office records upon its release. It took in $72,132,785 on its opening weekend ($92.6 million for the four-day Memorial Day holiday) in the U.S.,[37] which was the biggest opening weekend at the time,[38] surpassing the previous record-holder Batman Forever at $52.8 million. It held onto this record for four and a half years, until the release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in November 2001. The Lost World took the record for highest single-day box office take of $26,083,950 on May 25,[39] a record held until the release of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. It also became the fastest film to pass the $100 million mark, achieving the feat in just six days.[40] However, despite these records, its total box office gross fell below the total of the original film.[41] With grossing $229,086,679 domestically and $389,552,320 internationally, the film ended up grossing $618,638,999 worldwide,[2] becoming the second highest-grossing film of 1997 behind Titanic. The film sold an estimated 49,910,000 tickets in North America.[42]

Critical response[]

The Lost World: Jurassic Park received mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 51% with 35 out of 68 reviewers giving it a positive review with the consensus summary: "The Lost World demonstrates how far CG effects have come in the four years since Jurassic Park; unfortunately, it also proves how difficult it can be to put together a truly compelling sequel."[43] Another aggregator Metacritic gives the film a weighted average rating of 59/100 based on reviews from 18 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[44]

Roger Ebert, who gave the first film three stars, gave The Lost World only two, writing that "It can be said that the creatures in this film transcend any visible signs of special effects and seem to walk the earth, but the same realism isn't brought to the human characters, who are bound by plot conventions and action formulas."[45] Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune also gave the film two stars and said, "I was disappointed as much as I was thrilled because 'The Lost World' lacks a staple of Steven Spielberg's adventure films: exciting characters. [...] Even in the original 'Jurassic Park,' the dinosaurs – not to mention the human beings – had more distinct personalities than they have here. Save for superior special effects, 'The Lost World' comes off as recycled material."[46] Conversely, Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times saw improved character development over the original, saying, "It seemed such a mistake in Jurassic Park to sideline early on its most interesting character, the brilliant, free-thinking and outspoken theorist Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) with a broken leg, but in its most inspired stroke, The Lost World brings back Malcolm and places him front and center," calling it "a pleasure to watch such wily pros as Goldblum and Attenborough spar with each other with wit and assurance."[47] The dinosaurs were even more developed as characters, with Stephen Holden of the New York Times saying, "The Lost World, unlike Jurassic Park, humanizes its monsters in a way that E.T. would understand."[48] Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B grade; he remarked, "Mr. T-Rex was cool in the first Spielberg flick, sure, but it wasn't until [it was in] San Diego that things got crazy-cool. It's the old 'tree falling in the woods' conundrum: Unless your giant monster is causing massive property damage, can you really call it a giant monster?"[49]

Spielberg confessed that during production he became increasingly disenchanted with the film, admitting, "I beat myself up... growing more and more impatient with myself... It made me wistful about doing a talking picture, because sometimes I got the feeling I was just making this big silent-roar movie... I found myself saying, 'Is that all there is? It's not enough for me.'"[50]

Awards and nominations[]

Award Subject Nominee Result
Academy Awards Best Visual Effects Dennis Muren, Stan Winston, Randal Dutra and Michael Lantieri Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Special Effects Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Pete Postlethwaite Nominated
Best Young Actress Vanessa Lee Chester Nominated
Best Fantasy Film Nominated
Best DVD Collection Nominated
Best Director Steven Spielberg Nominated
Rembrandt Awards Won
MTV Movie Awards Best Action Sequence Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Motion Picture – Animated or Mixed Media Nominated
Image Awards Outstanding Youth Actor/Actress Vanessa Lee Chester Nominated
Grammy Awards Best Instrumental Composition John Williams Nominated
Blockbuster Entertainment Awards Favorite Actor – Sci-Fi Jeff Goldblum Nominated
Favorite Actress – Sci-Fi Julianne Moore Nominated
Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Remake or Sequel Nominated
Worst Reckless Disregard for Human Life and Public Property Nominated
Worst Screenplay David Koepp, based on the book by Michael Crichton Nominated
Stinkers Bad Movie Awards[51] Worst Screenplay for a Film Grossing More Than $100 Million Worldwide Using Hollywood Math Nominated
Worst Sequel Nominated


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External links[]

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