This article about Alan Grant was co-written with Jacopo Collinucci, our trusted illustrator and big cinema fan and connoisseur.
Here for you his official social contacts, where you can follow his amazing work (often under the alias “The Hammond Lab”): Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Below, you’ll find a wonderful illustration of his, exclusively made for this post.
Why Alan Grant
Jurassic Park, one of the most profitable sagas in the history of cinema as well as one of the intellectual properties that has influenced our generation the most. Unthinkable not to be obsessed and invaded by dinosaurs in the late 90s: “scientific” books sold at shopping center, National Geographic cassettes on the extinction of reptiles, themed toys of all kinds, the masterpiece for PlayStation Dino Crisis by Shinki Mikami and so on…
All this know-how we’ve gained, we owe it to Crichton’s book, from which Spielberg’s masterpiece blockbuster was taken.
We’ve known for a few months that the third chapter of Jurassic World, the sequel / reboot saga of Jurassic Park, will be released in theaters by June 2021. Above all we know that the original Holy Trinity will attend the cast: Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum. Of the trio, Spielberg clearly focused more on Neill’s Alan Grant, presenting him as the most melancholic character and, in doing so, in certain scenes, he decided to depart from Crichton’s writing, ultimately creating a new one (e.g: in the movie, the paleontologist hates children whilst in the book he loves them).
Grant is the most melancholic character: he’s grumpy, worried about not having enough money to continue his excavations, hates computers, is skeptical about the existence of the park, the helicopter terrifies him, nor he can stand the “chaosologist” Ian Malcolm.
Still, we all wanted to be Alan Grant.
An ode to all dreamers, an ode to normalcy
After Spielberg dismissing Jurassic Park to devote himself to Schindler’s List, after the VHS, so damn big you could build a house with them, were replaced first by DVDs then by streaming platforms, after Grant’s return in a undertone third chapter, after dozens of visions, after all these years… we all cannot but see ourselves reflected again (if not more) in “the paleontologist”.
Of course Ian Malcolm was funny and (thanks to Jeff Goldblum) also pretty much gorgeous, but nobody was interested in math. Ellie was clearly the most “bad-ass” of the cast, still plants were boring, they didn’t have much to tell us. On the other hand, Alan Grant was a digger.
The world around him sure couldn’t capture his attention, so that’s why he begun to dig, perhaps in search of fantasies and dreams he could liberally give life to. Throughout his life, which, as far as we can guess, did not offered him much else, he constantly tried to carry on his childhood dreams.
The pre-eminently regular guy, perpetually frustrated, but who made it at the end. Through his eyes, Grant is the one who leads us to see a dinosaur for the first time, the one who, despite decades of studies, has the same reaction that we would have had. (Watch here the scene. A true lesson in film direction.)
With the Grant’s character, Spielberg takes us viewer by the hand; us, who for thirty years have been digging in our imagination, a little defeated by life, still lost in our childhood dreams. Finally, he makes us find happiness so that we can reach and touch them with our own hands (take a look).
We are exactly like Alan Grant: ordinary, a little melancholic and bent over by time, but always dreamers.
Jurassic Park is nothing more than The film in which we can open our eyes and stop dreaming for the first time, because what we have before us is exactly what we’ve always wanted.
Thank you Alan.
Jacopto’s illustration/artwork for us.