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Jeff Goldblum finds a way ... back to his beloved roles of the '90s. After returning as David Levinson in Independence Day: Resurgence, Goldblum is reentering the park as Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic World 2, which has fans of the original raptor-ously excited.
But Goldblum has already reprised Malcolm once, and it didn't go so well. Can Jurassic World 2 learn from the mistakes of 1997's The Lost World: Jurassic Park — and restore him to the character we loved in 1993's Jurassic Park?
Why We Loved Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park
Jeff Goldblum's character was a hit with audiences because, even though he provided some comic relief as a supporting character, he also served as the moral core of Jurassic Park, delivering famous lines such as, "Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn't stop to think if they should."
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly recently about Jurassic World 2, Goldblum emphasized that the combination of these traits — humor and decency — are why Ian Malcolm was so beloved:
"Off I go in a few weeks to London, where they’ve been hard at work, and I’ll try to contribute something to the plate of dino-entertainment. I like my character. I think my character is a saucy, sassy man of some integrity and deep thinking."
This is definitely reassuring to hear, and Goldblum further suggested that Jurassic World 2 will bring the franchise's focus back to bioethics, which were Malcolm's forte:
"Even though some might say it’s popcorn-y entertainment — top-notch, of course — in our conversation [director J.A. Bayona] was very focused on the serious issues of greed as it oftentimes comes up in those movies, and the marvels of science and reason and the very fascinating point at which our species finds itself both in real life and in this imaginary world too. I’m very interested in that myself, so I’m looking forward to this."
Why the Lost World Failed the Character
In the sequel, Malcolm's personality took a major shift in direction. Instead of being the jokingly fun mathematician in a supporting role, Malcolm was upgraded to a surly action hero. He was critical of everything and had a backhanded, cynical response to almost every other character's dialogue. It was almost like a different character was on-screen.
Additionally, Malcolm felt shoehorned into the sequel; his reasons for going back to Jurassic Park didn't feel legitimate. Jeff Goldblum is a great actor, but the script failed him by making Malcolm a brooding type who not many fans cared for.
Fortunately, with Goldblum's recent comments about Malcolm being "a saucy, sassy man of some integrity and deep thinking," it sounds like Jurassic World 2 will restore him to the lighthearted character fans have missed.
How Will Ian Malcolm Play Into Jurassic World 2?
At the moment, we don't know much about Malcolm's motivations in Jurassic World 2, but we can safely assume he's going to have at least one pivotal moment in the movie — otherwise, what would be the point in bringing back such a beloved character? The studio costs to pay Goldblum's working fee were probably quite substantial as well.
So, bringing Goldblum back was more than likely a topic of deep discussion among the producers. They'll want to use the actor wisely now that they've paid him a substantial sum to return. Because lets face it, Goldblum is a top rate actor who many studios want in their movies so you know he was paid well to be in the Jurassic spotlight once again.
Although, we can probably assume that Chris Pratt will have more screen time than Goldblum, and that's a good thing. The Lost World proved that Malcolm works best as an occasional voice of reason, not as the primary voice speaking over everyone.
So what could explain Malcolm's mellowing out between The Lost World and Jurassic World 2? The conclusion of The Lost World saw Malcolm sitting happily with his girlfriend Sarah Harding (Julianne Moore) and adopted daughter Kelly. We don't know if either of them will be mentioned in Jurassic World 2, but it seems fair to say that becoming a family man would've contributed to Malcolm regaining the charismatic persona that he apparently lost in The Lost World.
Let's just hope that he can keep that rediscovered attitude while being chased around by dinosaurs yet again!