‘Jurassic Park’ TV Reboot: Could These Actors Live up to the Originals?

in Movies & TV

Laura Dern as Ellie Sattler looking at the Brachiosaur in 'Jurassic Park'

Credit: Universal Studios

A Jurassic Park TV reboot is no longer out of the question.

Earlier this year, Warner Bros. announced that Harry Potter is being reimagined as a television series, which is said to be “a faithful adaptation” of the seven books by JK Rowling. The Jurassic franchise is also based on a series of best-selling novels, so it’s possible that the original film could get “cloned,” for lack of a more appropriate term.

Jurassic Park (1993) and The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) are based on the two books by the late Michael Crichton, “Jurassic Park” (1990) and “The Lost World” (1995), but a new television series could follow them more closely. Tonally, the first two films are almost on point with the books, but Crichton’s best-sellers are still entirely different beasts.

Ellen, Alan, and Lex looking at the T-Rex in Jurassic Park
Credit: Universal Studios

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There’s a ton of content between both books that could justify a limited series, especially with a more committed focus on the genetic engineering aspect and several subplots about the dinosaurs that you won’t find in Spielberg’s two blockbusters. If a Jurassic Park TV reboot does ever happen, it doesn’t mean we won’t get any more films in the main series.

Universal Pictures are obviously cooking up another theatrical installment behind the scenes (last year’s Jurassic World Dominion did pass $1 billion worldwide, after all), but a Jurassic Park TV reboot based more directly on the books could exist in a continuity separate to the films. However, it would involve a complete recasting.

Character Poster for Jurassic World Dominion
Credit: Universal Studios

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Actors like Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, and Laura Dern have become synonymous with their Jurassic Park counterparts, Alan Grant, Ian Malcolm, and Ellie Sattler. It’s just as hard to imagine them being replaced as it is seeing new actors walk through the massive wooden doors of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Who might replace them? We’ll leave “The Lost World” for another day (that would be “Season 2”), but for now, let’s look at all the main characters from the book “Jurassic Park” who also appeared in the 1993 film, and see who could play them in a Jurassic Park TV reboot.

Related: Details for ‘Jurassic Park’ Prequel Finally Revealed

Jurassic Park TV reboot recasting

Vivien Lyra Blair — Lex Murphy

Disney Censors Stephen King's 'The Boogeyman'
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Lex Murphy is a lot younger in the book than she is in the film (her brother Tim is the eldest) and isn’t a nerd like her on-screen counterpart played by Ariana Richards (although she prefers to be called a “hacker”). In the book, Lex is bratty, annoying, and quite intolerable for the most part (which is part of her charm). While actress Vivien Lyra Blair was mostly well-behaved as a young Princess Leia in Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022), she’d be an excellent fit for Lex in a Jurassic Park TV reboot.

Related: Oscar Isaac Joins Anne Hathaway in Next “Jurassic” Film

Iain Armitage — Tim Murphy

Iain Armitage in Young Sheldon
Credit: CBS / Warner Bros. Television

Iain Armitage is known for playing Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory (2007) prequel/spinoff Young Sheldon (2017). Having Armitage replace Joe Mazzello as Tim Murphy could allow for a slightly different take on Tim, given the actor’s ability to play a nonchalant character. Tim is a dinosaur nut in “Jurassic Park” just like Joe Mazzello’s version in the film, but he’s more intelligent in the book (he’s a bit older). A sarcastic, know-it-all dinosaur enthusiast to bring some much-needed levity to a dark version of Jurassic Park? Go on, then.

Related: New Trailer Seemingly Fixes Major ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ Problem

Jesse Williams — Dennis Nedry

Jesse Williams in Cabin in the Woods
Credit: Lionsgate

Jesse Williams’ most memorable film is probably the meta-horror film, The Cabin in the Woods (2012), and he’s also appeared in several well-known television shows such as Law and Order (1990), Grey’s Anatomy (2005), and Power (2014). Williams, 41, has that sort of “genius” look about him, which would make him a good fit for Dennis Nedry. While Wayne Knight’s performance as the greedy InGen employee in Jurassic Park is perfect, Williams could help establish the character as the conniving genius from the book.

Related: ‘Jurassic World’s Biggest Character Is Finally Killed Off In Brand-New Trailer

Thomas Jane — Robert Muldoon

Thomas Jane in Deep Blue Sea
Credit: Warner Bros.

The late Bob Peck will always be remembered for his role as the weary game warden Robert Muldoon in Jurassic Park. However, Thomas Jane could make a suitable successor, mainly because of his role in Deep Blue Sea (1999), in which he plays the cautious shark expert, Carter Blake, who’s always trying to warn his co-workers about the super-intelligent apex predators. In “Jurassic Park,” Muldoon is even more paranoid about the dinosaurs than he is in the film, and we think Jane could capture this side of his character well in a Jurassic Park TV reboot.

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Henry Golding — Donald Gennaro

Tom (Henry Golding) in Last Christmas
Credit: Universal Studios

In “Jurassic Park,” the InGen lawyer Donald Gennaro is nothing like the version in the film played by Martin Ferrero. In the film, Gennaro leaves Lex and Tim exposed to the Tyrannosaurus Rex when the fences’ power goes down. Not only is Gennaro younger in the book, he takes a more active role in trying to help his fellow guests survive the dinosaur breakout. Henry Golding of Last Christmas (2019) and Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins (2021) fame could bring charm and leadership to the role of Gennaro.

Related: Anne Hathaway to Lead Next “Jurassic” Film, Will Take Place In the ’80s

BJ Novak — Henry Wu

Ryan Howard The Office
Credit: NBCUniversal

The incredibly talented BJ Novak is best known for playing the charismatic office temp, entrepreneur, and wildcard employee, Ryan Howard, in the classic US sitcom The Office (2005 — 2013), on which he was also a writer and executive producer. Though he starts as a somewhat reserved character, Ryan eventually becomes cocky, arrogant, pretentious, innovative, and sometimes power-hungry (though lovable, hilarious, and scene-stealing all the same). These are all qualifying traits for a character like Dr. Henry Wu, the ambitious geneticist responsible for creating Jurassic Park’s dinosaurs.

Having Novak among the reboot’s creative team would also be a smart move. You only need to watch the mystery comedy film Vengeance (2022), which is a real testament to Novak’s talents as a writer, director, and actor.

Related: All the Main Villains in the ‘Jurassic Park’ Movies Ranked Worst to Best

Ben Whishaw — Ian Malcolm

Ben Whishaw in No Time to Die
Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / Eon Productions / Universal Pictures

How do you replace the charismatic Jeff Goldblum? The answer is you can’t, so maybe Ian Malcolm is best taken in a different direction — at least where his personality is concerned. His stark warnings to InGen indicate how analytical and forward-thinking he is, and we think the charming Ben Whishaw, best known for playing the genius inventor Q in the Daniel Craig Bond films, would make a great Ian Malcolm. He’s no Jeff Goldblum, but he’d be more in line with the book’s more straight-faced version of the mathematician.

Related: The 10 Worst Deaths In the ‘Jurassic Park’ Movies

Naomie Harris — Ray Arnold

Naomie Harris in No Time to Die
Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / Eon Productions / Universal Pictures

While the idea behind a Jurassic Park TV reboot would be to make a more faithful adaptation of Michael Crichton’s two novels, there’s nothing wrong with replacing a male actor with a female actor, provided the characters’ gender plays no part in the plot. Casting a female actor to play James Bond, for example, is an entirely different matter. Speaking of which, yet another No Time to Die (2021) alum has made it onto our list — Naomie Harris, who we think would make a great Ray Arnold, control room engineer and the “eyes and ears” of Jurassic Park. How does Harris qualify? Moneypenny, of course.

Related: All the Main Dinosaur Villains From the ‘Jurassic Park’ Movies Ranked Worst to Best

Rebecca Ferguson — Ellie Sattler

Rebecca Ferguson in Life (2017)
Credit: Sony Pictures

Rebecca Ferguson has already had plenty of experience in science fiction. The film Life (2017) is a white-knuckled sci-fi horror, and though it’s worlds apart from the book “Jurassic Park,” the 39-year-old actress proves she’s more than capable of playing a scientist who’s at first awe-struck by a world-changing discovery, only to be left utterly terrified and fending for her life shortly after. Ferguson is also well-versed in action roles, with her latest flick, Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One (2023), currently taking theaters by storm.

Related: OG ‘Jurassic Park’ Actor Relives Terrifying Moment From 1993 Film

Jeffrey Dean Morgan — Alan Grant

Jeffrey Dean Morgan in The Walking Dead
Credit: AMC Studios

The Walking Dead‘s Jeffrey Dean Morgan would be a perfect Sam Neill replacement. We could easily see his version of Alan Grant nursing a cold beer under the burning Montana sun while admiring the excavated remains of his temporarily-favorite dinosaur, the Velociraptor. Morgan, 57, has a ton of screen presence as the cruel villain Negan in AMC’s post-apocalyptic series, but he’s just as talented at playing warmer and more paternal characters. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is currently starring in The Walking Dead (2010) spinoff Dead City (2023).

Related: ‘Jurassic Park’ Installment “Fans Have Been Hungry for” Rumored to Be in Development

Kelsey Grammar — John Hammond

Kelsey Grammar in Trans-Formers: Age of Extinction
Credit: Paramount Pictures

Like Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum, the late Richard Attenborough is just as hard to replace. Unfortunately, the whimsical, almost Walt Disney-like Hammond can’t be found in the novel, as Crichton’s version of the InGen CEO is greedy, arrogant, and selfish. It’s a challenging role to cast, but Kelsey Grammar of Frasier (1993) fame could be a good fit. He’s a great villain in Trans-Formers: Age of Extinction (2014), but it’s his performance as the cruel, white-bearded prospector Lazy Pete in Toy Story 2 (1999) that has us convinced!

Sam Neill and Laura Dern in Jurassic Park
Credit: Universal Studios

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As per the official Jurassic World website, here’s the synopsis for Jurassic Park:

Experience one of the biggest films in motion picture history with director Steven Spielberg’s ultimate thrill ride, Jurassic Park. Featuring Academy Award® winning visual effects and ground-breaking filmmaking that has been hailed as “a triumph of special effects artistry” (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times), this epic film is sheer movie-making magic that was 65 million years in the making. Jurassic Park takes you to an amazing theme park on a remote island where dinosaurs once again roam the earth and five people must battle to survive among the prehistoric predators. Starring Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Richard Attenborough, discover the breath-taking adventure you will want to experience again and again.

Lex Murphy (Arianna RIchards) staring out the jeep window in Jurassic Park
Credit: Universal Studios

Related: Did Universal Just Foreshadow a Live-Action ‘Jurassic World’ TV Series Set on the Mainland?

Jurassic Park stars Sam Neill (Alan Grant), Laura Dern (Ellie Sattler), Jeff Goldblum (Ian Malcolm), Arianna Richards (Lex Murphy), Joe Mazzello (Tim Murphy), Richard Attenborough (John Hammond), Wayne Knight (Dennis Nedry), Bob Peck (Robert Muldoon), Samuel L Jackson (Ray Arnold), Martin Ferrero (Donald Gennaro), and BD Wong (Henry Wu).

Would you like to see a Jurassic Park TV reboot? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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