Jurassic Park Seatbelt Scene Theory Debunked By Sam Neill

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Alan Grant (Sam Neill) in Jurassic Park.

Sam Neill as Alan Grant in Jurassic Park.
Screenshot: Universal

In by Steven Spielberg 1993 movie jurassic park, life finds a way. An island made up entirely of female dinosaurs finds a way to create new life when some of the creatures spontaneously change gender. It’s a pivotal plot point, and according to a popular theory, it’s teased near the start of the film.

Like the main characters arrive at Jurassic Park by helicopter, they experience turbulence. Everyone grabs their seatbelts for safety, except Dr. Alan Grant, played by Sam Neilwho can’t find both ends. He only finds two from the same end—sometimes called the female ends – and because he is unable to attach himself, he binds them together. It’s a funny moment that some people have theorized foreshadowing what will happen later: that two female beings find a way to become one and create something new. But was this the director’s intention Spielberg? Sam Neill, the the man who actually fastened the seat belts, say no.

“I don’t think it was great metaphorical sense,” Neill told io9 with a laugh.. “No, I don’t think it was meant that way. It was just about Alan Grant hating technology. He hates computers. He hates everything to do with the modern world and the seat belt, which seems relatively simple. But I was in helicopters going, ‘Where the hell is the other part of this?’”

Alan Grant with two same seatbelt sides

I don’t care what Sam says, I still believe it’s a foreshadowing.
Screenshot: Universal

That could have been the end of the subject, but Neill was fascinated by the question. It sounded like this might be the first time he’d heard the theory. “It’s interesting,” he said. “That’s the kind of thing that happens on the internet. That there are two female parts? It’s hilarious.” But it didn’t stop there. “Also, I never quite understood that ‘this is the female end and this is the male end,'” Neill added. “It’s kind of a plumbing thing, isn’t it?” Why do we have to give sexes to pipes and objects? [Laughs].” Suffice it to say that while audience members can choose to believe the intentions of the scene, and will, the actor in the scene at least had no idea.

We’ll have many, many more Neills in the next few days. Did he think jurassic park would bear? Was he skeptical of coming back for Domination? And how many times has he seen the original? All this and more soon. And then you can see Neill as Alan Grant in Jurassic World Dominionout June 10.

Here’s the scene from the movie, set to the seatbelt moment. What do you think?


Want more io9 news? Find out when to wait for the last wonder and star wars versions, what’s next for the DC Universe in Film and TVand everything you need to know about Dragon House and The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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