June 7, 2022
Melinda Head

End of a Dino Dynasty

We owe it all to Michael Crichton (and Steven Spielberg)

It all started with Michael Crichton, an awkward, tall (6’9”) doctor with a love for anthropology, science and technology, and a prolific imagination. He studied English and anthropology before switching to medicine, all the while writing under a variety of pseudonyms to cover his educational expenses. With 5 published books to his name by the time he graduated from Harvard Medical School, he never bothered to obtain his license to practice medicine.

The first novel penned under his own name, “The Andromeda Strain”, was published in 1969, the same year Crichton finished university.

Michael and director Steven Spielberg met through Universal, the Studio that made his New York Times Bestseller into a movie in 1971. The story is about a team of scientists who investigate a deadly virus of extraterrestrial origin.  

The question: “What are you writing these days?” would have been a normal topic of discussion between the two men. It was during this time that Crichton revealed his long-standing science fiction novel in progress, “Jurassic Park”.  

“I began to realize that … it might indeed be possible to bring extinct animals back to life.” (Author, “Jurassic Park”, Michael Crichton)

“Jurassic Park” had been turned down by book publishers and rewritten many times. The turning point was when Crichton realized that he needed to change the protagonist from a child to an adult so readers would relate to it.

After snubbing Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox and Columbia Pictures, Steven Spielberg and Universal Studios won the movie rights to “Jurassic Park” for $1.5 million. With a production budget of $63 million, the 1993 film took in the highest box office gross ever seen before, and eventually raked in over $1 billion. That’s just “Jurassic Park”, not any of the 5 sequels. Cha-ching!

“It’s based on something that’s probably going to happen one day.” (Director, Steven Spielberg)

Steven Spielberg directed “Jurassic Park” and “The Lost World: Jurassic Park”, then took on the role of Executive Producer for the remaining sequels.

Director and executive producer of “Jurassic Park”, Steven Spielberg. Did you know that his student application was rejected by USC’s film school?  Shame on them … really!!!

In addition to “Jurassic Park”, Michael Crichton also wrote “The Lost World”, before moving on to other projects. Along the way, he managed to find time to marry not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4 … but 5 women. Apparently, he was as prolific in love as he was in writing. He died from lymphoma at age 66.

Not only will Michael Crichton’s incredibly popular novels, TV series and films be forever etched in our memory, a genus of the dinosaur ankylosaur has been named in his honor, “Crichtonsaurus”.

A dinosaur has been named after Michael Crichton, author of “Jurassic Park”

Did you know that George Clooney has Michael Crichton to thank for his tremendous stardom? Clooney played the role of Dr. Doug Ross for 5 years on Crichton’s blockbuster TV series, “E.R.”, fashioned after his experience as an intern.

Michael Crichton impacted so many people. Now, as a reader of today’s FACT-ory blog, you know more about the real genius behind the “Jurassic Park” movie franchise. If you want to test your knowledge, download the Quizefy app. and try your luck at today’s “Jurassic Park” trivia quiz (available for 24 hours only). “Jurassic World Dominion” premieres in North America on Friday.

Mr. Crichton, we thank you for the incredible footprint you have left on this planet.

Now take what you’ve learned and play today’s Jurassic World Dominion Quiz of the Day:

1. Download Quizefy app.

2. 250 free gems will be instantly deposited in your name

3. Start playing immediately for free

4. Have fun and Strut Your Smart!

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About the Author

A serial entrepreneur, Melinda is a sociologist and statistician who believes there is no currency with greater value than knowledge

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