In a time when dinosaurs were the playthings of infants and palaeontologists, when Chris Pratt was still warming benches in high school, and when 50% of the world's CGI was that weird water thing from The Abyss, there came a cinematic sensation that excavated the past and gave an entire generation veloci-shaped nightmares.
Directed by legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg, and adapted for the screen by the original novel's author Michael Crichton, 1993's Jurassic Park followed a group of experts invited to an island theme park of dinosaurs created from prehistoric DNA. But things quickly go wrong, and before you can say tyrannosaurus, the gang are being hunted down by a plethora of prehistoric predators.
A pioneer of world-leading effects, Spielberg brought his signature movie magic to the production, blending computer-generated creatures with hand-built animatronics that looked real enough to break out of the screen and bite you. But it wasn't just the dinosaurs that made the film such a success. The (now) all-star cast gave the picture a depth, humour and emotional weight that turned it into a global phenomenon, with films, TV shows and merchandise out the wazoo.
With new species of dinosaur having just been discovered on the Isle of Wight, and a sixth Jurassic Park film on the way soon, what better time to take a fond look back at the people who started it all and find out where they are now?
Hold onto your butts.
9. Wayne Knight (Dennis Nedry)
Wayne Knight's Dennis Nedry is the computer programmer who brings the whole park to a standstill. Having been bribed by one of John Hammond's corporate rivals to poach a few dinosaur embryos, he deactivates the security system, unwittingly unleashing the T-rex and bringing down much of the electrified fencing, leading to a blood and gore fest of dino destruction.
Knight has spent the past few decades making an extensive number of television appearances, often in bit-parts, but sometimes as a series regular -- most notably as Newman on Seinfeld, a role he technically reprised in 2009 on Curb Your Enthusiasm.
On the big screen, he has served time with Disney and Pixar animations Tarzan (1999) and Toy Story 2 (1999), as well as heavier real-life dramas, leading up to his most recent, 12 Mighty Orphans (2021), which is based on the real-life Texan football team formed from the boys of the Masonic School for Orphans. That Knight seems to be a perpetual supporting actor even now is no slight on his career; this seems to be a trend among most of the original Jurassic Park cast, who tend to shine brighter in supporting roles (try telling us there's a Tarantino film where Sam Jackson doesn't steal the show)!
Alas, as Dennis Nedry was eviscerated by a dilophosaurus, Knight will definitely not be returning to the series any time soon -- not unless they figure out a way to clone him from scrapings of dried blood and offal.