Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park changed a major aspect surrounding Dennis Nedry’s death from the book. Based on the 1990 novel by Michael Crichton, the sci-fi adventure film from 1993 marked the first installment in the dinosaur-centric franchise. Wayne Knight starred in the film adaptation as Nedry, an antagonist who also had a pivotal role in Crichton’s original novel. Though his arc in the movie greatly matched with the book counterpart, Spielberg’s interpretation left out one important aspect in Nedry’s memorable death scene.
Fans of Crichton’s Jurassic Park book would consider the movie a fairly faithful adaptation. That said, page-to-screen adaptations always take a few liberties. While Crichton worked on the movie’s screenplay, some key scenes from the book were altered or cut altogether from the movie. For example, Dr. Alan Grant was cornered in the books by three raptors in the laboratory, forcing him to use a deadly toxin to kill them. The novel also featured a scene that expanded Lex and Tim’s face-off with raptors in the Jurassic Park buildings. After finding a baby raptor in the nursery, Tim threw the small creature to distract the fully grown raptors for an escape attempt.
Some of the characters’ fates were also adjusted for the live-action adaptation of Jurassic Park. Whereas John Hammond survived the events of the first film, the character met his death in Crichton’s book after falling down a hill where a pack of Procompsognathus ate him. Nedry, the morally corrupt computer scientist for Hammond’s park, was killed in both the book and the movie in a similar fashion. After being blackmailed, Nedry made a deal with Dr. Lewis Dodgson of the rival company, Biosyn, to steal and deliver dinosaur embryos with a modified Barbasol can. Upon taking the embryos, Nedry took a Jurassic Park Jeep to meet with a Biosyn agent at the docks. Due to the intense tropical storm, Nedry crashed the vehicle before having a deadly encounter with a Dilophosaurus. Still, the movie left out one stomach-churning detail during his death scene.
After Nedry lost the Barbasol can, he was spit in the face with poison from a Dilophosaurus. The man returned from the Jeep, where another Dilophosaurus was waiting for him. The dinosaur attacked, killing Nedry, but the extent of the event was left up to the viewers’ interpretation with only the outside of the Jeep being shown. In the book, Nedry also returned to the vehicle after the venomous Dilophosaurus blinded him. He then felt a sharp pain in his stomach before the specific point in Nedry’s arc took an even darker turn. Nedry realized he was holding his own intestines after inspecting his wound, indicating his initial encounter with the Dilophosaurus caused a gut-busting wound before finishing him off.
Seeing as Nedry’s disembowelment served as one of the most disturbing moments in the books, it made sense why it was left out of the Jurassic Park movie. Spielberg’s film carried a PG-13 rating, but showing a character holding his own intestines would have been too gory. In this case, Nedry’s demise was still integral to the plot, but keeping the exact details of his death was unnecessary. The movie also left out the fact other surviving characters found dinosaurs snacking on Nedry’s remains. Having a dinosaur devour Nedry from inside a Jeep was seemingly enough for Spielberg.