Exploring the Transformation of John Hammond in Jurassic Park

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Exploring the Transformation of John Hammond in Jurassic Park

John Hammond is known to the fans of the Jurassic Park franchise as the founder and creator of the titular park. However, unbeknownst to those who have only watched the films and have not read the novels which inspired the film franchise, John Hammond is quite different in the movies than how he was written in the novels. Not only did the character have different personalities across materials, but also he lived different lives.

When filmmakers translate books into movies, they often add, remove and change details, John Hammond is no exception. The books portrayed Hammond as a greedy capitalist who was thinking of his dinosaurs’ welfare more than his employees because the former generated him more money. Meanwhile, the movies showed him to be less of a capitalist and more of a lovable character. But how much of the character was actually changed.

How Was John Hammond Different in the Jurassic Park Books?

Exploring the Transformation of John Hammond in Jurassic Park

In a nutshell, the book version of John Hammond was a very upsetting character that a lot of readers despised. He was the epitome of capitalistic greed – a person who only had his sights set on making profit was willing to violate laws, be they legal or scientific, just to accrue the wealth he wanted. He created Jurassic Park because he thought that having real dinosaurs in today’s time would be a huge hit; however, he died at the hands (or fangs) of his very creations. Not the best way to die.

On the other hand, the film version of John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) did not die after the first film. The survival was interestingly the fact that he was no longer quite of an egocentric man and admitted that his park was a failure, which allowed him to escape disaster, which the ego of his book counterpart would have forbidden. He lived on to be present in the second film, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, where he seemed to have abandoned his capitalistic lifestyle, claiming to be a naturalist instead.

Why It’s A Good Thing Jurassic Park Changed John Hammond So Much

Exploring the Transformation of John Hammond in Jurassic Park

John Hammond dying as food for the Procompsognathus is seen as karmic justice by most of the readers, as it is very ironic that the creatures where he made his living off of, became the cause of his death. However, Hammond found a redemption arc in the films, as he learned a valuable lesson about wealth and capitalism – something he did not live to learn in the books. The change of character also made him more appealing and intriguing as a person, and his works as the creator of the park was more appreciated.

The film showing Hammond in a less negative light was a great choice by allowing the viewers learn more about the park by not killing its creator early. John Hammond living on could send a message to viewers of the possible results of unwatched greed. All in all, this makes the film character a signifier of positive change rather than just a beacon of hate and corrupt morals.

READ NEXT: Ranking the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World Movies

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