Did Jurassic World ‘borrow’ my ideas?

Leaping LizardAgreed. Jurassic World is a fabulous monster movie. “Where do they get their ideas?” you might ask. And so do I. While I would never deny the originality of the writers who put the script together, I can’t help but wonder if some of their story ideas came from reading my Dinosaur Wars books. Some of the parallels make it seem that way.

For instance, one iconic scene is when the marine reptile, Mosasaurus, leaps out of a Sea-Word style aqua-theater to snap up a great white shark, a pterodactyl carrying human cargo, and… well I won’t spoil things by saying what else. But the original Jurassic Park had no aquarium and no Mosasaur. So where did the writers get their idea?

Could it be they read the scene in my book Dinosaur Wars: Counterattack, published way back in 2002, where a salmon fishing boat is threatened by a mosasaur? Or the scene in my more recent Dinosaur Wars: Blood On The Moon, in which a Mosasaur chomps a big bite out of a surfer’s board?

Let’s review. Two Jurassic Park books and three movies with no Mosasaurs in the 1990s. Then, two Dinosaur Wars books in the 2000s with Mosasaurs. Then, Jurassic World with a Mosasaurus. I get the feeling someone has been reading over my shoulder.

And that’s not all. In the first Jurassic Park books and movies, there were exactly zero dinosaur tamers. You know, like Owen Grady, the raptor trainer in Jurassic World. Somewhere in between the Jurassic Park days of the 1990s and now, the idea of a man who can control predatory dinosaurs came along. Did it originate with Jurassic World? Nope. There is another hero who has power over the beasts, and that’s the hero of the Dinosaur Wars series, Chase Armstrong.

Sit! Stay!Chase and his girl, Kit Daniels have had a series of wild encounters with T rexes and Utahraptors in all four Dinosaur Wars books. And in books three and four, they actually begin to give the mighty T rex some “human avoidance” training. And they catch and radio-collar rexes as well. Chase is clearly a model for the dinosaur-taming Owen in Jurassic World. In fact, I think Owen even looks a lot like tall, dark, and handsome Chase Armstrong.

Now mind you, I’m not accusing anyone of stealing any ideas. But being influenced by my ideas, either by reading them or talking to someone who did? Ah, that is another question.

And finally, isn’t it a shame my books weren’t made into a movie instead of, or in addition to Jurassic World? As I have written before, I had a Hollywood option deal and there was a project in motion to make Dinosaur Wars into a major motion picture when the announcement of Jurassic World brought it to a halt.

Oh well. I keep on writing, smug in the knowledge that I have imagined many more scenes with dinosaurs and humans than Jurassic World even comes close to. You might want to check out my Dinosaur Wars books sometime soon–before another Jurassic World movie comes along to ‘borrow’ a few more of my ideas!

About Tom Hopp

Thomas P Hopp is a scientist and author living in Seattle. He writes Peyton McKean mystery stories and the Dinosaur Wars science fiction series.
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