‘Jurassic Park’: A Paleontologist Who Worked On the Movie Could Recreate Real Dinosaurs By 2025

Jurassic Park is a movie that has inspired fans for years, spawning a hugely lucrative franchise that is going strong to this day. Released in 1993, Jurassic Park is based on the novel by science fiction writer Michael Crichton and starred Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, and Richard Attenborough in the leading roles.

Although Jurassic Park is a fictional film, there is a strong scientific undertone to the plot, and many fans, after watching the film, began to wonder if the events portrayed in the movie could actually someday occur. In the years since the film’s release, some scientists, including the one who inspired Sam Neill’s character in the film, have opened up about the possibility of real dinosaurs eventually being recreated. 

What is ‘Jurassic Park’ about?

Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Laura Dern and Sam Neill watch dinosaur eggs hatch in a scene from the film 'Jurassic Park', 1993.
Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Laura Dern and Sam Neill watch dinosaur eggs hatch in a scene from the film ‘Jurassic Park’, 1993. | Universal/Getty Images

Jurassic Park tells the story of an eccentric, wealthy businessman named John Hammond, who decides to build the world’s greatest theme park. Hammond’s theme park is built on the fictional island of Isla Nublar, and features a wildlife park of dinosaurs, who are designed and built from DNA sequencing, obtained from prehistoric mosquitos trapped in amber.

To sign off on his park, Hammond flies in a paleontologist, a mathematician, and a paleobotanist, as well as a lawyer, and Hammond’s two grandchildren, determined to experience a fun holiday. However, things quickly start to go wrong, and the dinosaurs slowly begin to take over the park, putting every human on the island in jeopardy.

The film not only featured a gripping storyline but incredible special effects, including life-sized animatronic dinosaurs and groundbreaking CGI imagery. When it was released, it quickly became one of the highest-grossing films of all time, and the years have done nothing to dim its appeal. 

Sam Neill’s character was based on Dr. Jack Horner

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Steven Spielberg, the creative force behind the Jurassic Park movie, spared no expense when it came to creating a magical movie experience. He wanted the dinosaurs to be as realistic as possible, so he hired a team of real scientists and paleontologists to have on staff as consultants.

One of the consultants for the film, and reportedly the man that Sam Neill’s Dr. Alan Grant was based on, was paleontologist Dr. Jack Horner. Horner worked not only on the original Jurassic Park film but on many of the other films in the franchise, including Jurassic Park III.

Of course, Horner’s main focus is the world of prehistoric creatures, and he has opened up on several occasions about the possibility of actually recreating dinosaurs in the future. 

Could dinosaurs be recreated by 2025?

In Jurassic Park, Hammond’s team of scientists brought back dinosaurs with the help of preserved DNA encapsulated in amber. While some scientists have stated that it isn’t outrageous to find prehistoric blood in insects trapped in amber, most agree that it is unlikely to actually find enough DNA to recreate dinosaurs.

Dr. Jack Horner even admitted in a 2018 interview that “we can’t clone dinosaurs. We can’t get any of their DNA. Even if we had dinosaur DNA, we don’t know how to actually form an animal just from DNA.”

Still, Horner has said that it is possible to create a “dinosaur-like creature” by splicing and combining different DNA sequences. Horner described the creature as being a cross between a prehistoric dinosaur and a chicken, admitting that “the tail is the biggest project. But on the other hand, we have been able to do some things recently that have given us hope that it won’t take too long.”

The scientist predicted that something could happen by the year 2025 — which, for dinosaur enthusiasts of all ages, is a promising timeline indeed.