Why John Hammond Faked Jurassic Park

John Hammond played us all like a damn fiddle.

Jurassic Park John Hammond

Without question, Jurassic Park is one of the greatest Hollywood blockbusters of all time - an expertly-crafted big-budget entertainment from Steven Spielberg, but also one which matches its ground-breaking spectacle with intelligent storytelling and well-drawn characters.

And though the screenplay - co-written by David Koepp and the novel's late author, Michael Crichton - makes pains to seal up any perceived plot discrepancies, there are certainly ambiguous aspects of the story which have led curious fans to concoct their own elaborate fan theories.

Inspired by a terrifically convincing post over at /r/FanTheories, this theory suggests that kindly industrialist John Hammond's (Richard Attenborough) plan to open a theme park filled with cloned dinosaurs might not have been as earnest as it first seemed.

If on the surface Jurassic Park seems to paint Hammond as a deeply ambitious man with a charming, grandfatherly temperament, this theory posits that he in fact plotted to execute a daring ruse right under everybody's noses by faking the park entirely.

But before we get into the why, we need to understand who John Hammond is as a person, which is best exemplified by one pivotal scene in particular...

6. The Flea Circus Metaphor

Jurassic Park John Hammond

"Creation is an act of sheer will." - John Hammond

You can learn pretty much everything you need to about John Hammond from his third act sit-down with Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), where he explains that the first attraction he ever built after moving from Scotland to London was a flea circus, and that no matter how mechanised it clearly was, people still insisted they could see the fleas performing tricks.

Hammond elaborates that he wanted Jurassic Park to be different, tears nearly forming in his eyes as he tells Ellie, "I wanted to show them something that wasn't an illusion. Something that was real. Something that they could see and touch. An aim not devoid of merit."

Ellie quickly replies by comparing Jurassic Park to the flea circus, dubbing it an illusion, and she's absolutely right, albeit in ways she can't even begin to comprehend.

You see, Hammond wasn't creating Jurassic Park as the world's most expensive flea circus intended to deceive the public, but rather a far higher level of money-givers: those investing in the park themselves.

But to be clear, there's nothing dishonest or performed about Hammond's teary-eyed statement, no matter how deceptive his plan ultimately is.

Hammond's original idea was absolutely to do Jurassic Park for real, but this all changed with one major realisation - it simply wasn't scientifically possible.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.