- NOTE: This article is for the film series version of John Hammond where his portrayal was changed into a heroic character, while his portrayal in the original novel is a villainous character.
|“||Dr. Grant, my dear Dr. Sattler, welcome to Jurassic Park.||„|
|~ Hammond's most famous quote and one of the most famous movie history quotes.|
Dr. John Hammond is the overarching protagonist of the Jurassic Park franchise, serving as the major protagonist of Jurassic Park, a supporting protagonist in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and the posthumous overarching protagonist throughout the rest of the series.
In the films, he was portrayed by the late Sir Richard Attenborough.
All it is known about John Hammond's early life is that he attended university, possibly, but he developed a hatred of universities. John Hammond scoffed at academia and said that action was happening in laboratories not universities, so he recruited several famous intellectuals, including Robert Muldoon and other scientists, through this university/laboratory lecture.
In the 1993 movie based on the original novel, Hammond's personality was changed from a cold-hearted and eccentric CEO to a more caring and sympathetic grandfather, and unlike in the novel, Hammond survived the downfall of his park and redeemed himself by helping the survivors (including his grand-children) escaped Isla Nublar. His intention why he build Jurassic Park was similar however, though during his conversation with Ellie, he revealed that though he initially built the park to be rich, he also wanted anyone to see the dinosaurs in the world instead only seen in the movies or books, revealed that he also cared with his dinosaurs as much as with his family, visitors, and workers at the park. When the park suddenly fell into chaos, his conversation showed that he wanted to fix everything up, only for Ellie Sattler to bluntly tell him that he "never had control" and that the only thing that mattered now is the survival of the people they loved. Hammond was visibly struck by Ellie's words and spent the remainder of the film doing whatever he could to make sure that they all survived Jurassic Park. His determination to redeem himself with the disaster that roots from his dreams was apparent when he agreed with Dr. Grant that the park was a failure and should not be endorsed, though he was understandably depressed of the park's failure.
During his life in working on the park, he was also criticized by Ian that he couldn't/never meant to control the genetically-engineered dinosaur's life as "life always finds a way", a critique that he humbly accepted in the sequel after he found out that despite the heavy damage in facility that used for nursing dinosaurs due to the storm in Isla Sorna, nature had taken over the job and dinosaur ended up surviving without any need of mankind's help anymore.
He also made a major appearance in the 1997 film The Lost World: Jurassic Park, based on the novel's sequel, where he had lost control of his company InGen to his ruthless nephew Peter Ludlow, who intended to reinvigorate his uncle's past dream by opening a theme park filled with dinosaurs in San Diego. Fearing of any danger of Ludlow's plans as he already experienced the said danger himself in Isla Nublar, Hammond contacts Dr. Ian Malcolm to lead an expedition to Isla Sorna, where much of Hammond's work originated, in order to document the dinosaurs and their habitats to make the island a natural preserve. In one of his more ruthless, nearly villainous turns, he manipulated Malcolm into doing this by revealing that he had already sent Ian's fellow scientist and girlfriend Doctor Sarah Harding to Isla Sorna. Malcolm, knowing that Harding did not understand the danger she was in, made his opinion of this scheme plain to Hammond, including the now-iconic rebuttal to Hammond's assertion that they wouldn't be making the same old mistakes that time.
The mission succeeded, though Ludlow and much of his men fell victim to the carnivorous dinosaurs during the mission because he was unaware that some of Ian's friends' attempts to free dinosaurs from antagonistic humans had disastrous consequences. Ludlow also died from his own hubris, but they were deeply estranged by this point, and it was implied that Hammond briefly took back control of InGen to undo Ludlow's work.
John Hammond died shortly after the events of the second film. He was briefly mentioned in Jurassic Park III by Dr. Grant who stated how he still disagrees with his creations. His legacy still lives on in Jurassic World. Simon Masrani, CEO of Masrani Global Corporation & son of Hammond's personal friend Sanjay Masrani, acquired InGen in 1995. He later opened a now fully functioning park in 2005 on Isla Nublar: Jurassic World. Two decades after the events of the first film, Hammond's dream had finally come true in a now fully functional dinosaur park. The island's cloning facility had been named in honor of him, as well as a statue erected in the lab's entrance in a form of remembrance. But unfortunately, the history repeated itself once it was revealed that Vic Hoskins and Dr. Wu masterminded the Indominus rex's creation to be use in wars, where both Hoskins and the hybrid monster caused damages that surpassed that of what Nedry done, and eventually it also caused Hoskins' own death where the situation worsens more than he could used as his advantages, though Wu was able to escape with documents and samples of dinosaurs' DNA including the I. rex's.
It was revealed in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom that he was partners with Benjamin Lockwood to make the technology to clone the dinosaurs. However, they broke off their partnership when Hammond found out about Lockwood's plan to do human cloning. There is also a painting of him in Lockwood's manor.
This portrayal of John Hammond is more sympathetic, noble and benevolent than his literature counterpart in many ways. First of all, Hammond is a genuinely loving grandfather for Tim and Lex. Then, his ambition in building Jurassic Park has a greater focus on creating a sense of wonder for the world than making a profit out of it, wanting to reintroduce the long extinct dinosaurs back to the world so everyone can see those creatures in front of their eyes instead of through media and fossil records alone. Next, he formed more amicable relationships with everyone in the park including Ian Malcolm, more open to both the latter's chaos theory concerning his park's future and belief where "life finds a way" thus beyond men's control despite his initial skepticism. Lastly, in addition of willingness to take responsibility over his actions by prioritizing to save everyone in the end after seeing his park helplessly fell into chaos and beyond saving, he developed a soft spot for his cloned dinosaurs that drove him to take extreme measures to preserve Isla Sorna without human interference.
Even so, Hammond still has many flaws that resulted him earning criticisms from others and put him somewhere between likable and unlikable person. When Nedry instigated the chaos on the park by shutting down security system and indirectly unleashed dinosaurs in the process, Hammond initially obsessed to undo the damage since the chaos won't bode well to his dreams as much as everyone else and the dinosaurs within until Ellie snapped him out of it by telling that his park had since beyond hope of salvation at that point thus what mattered being saving his loved ones. In his realization, he made a noble choice to sacrifice his already doomed dreams for the sake of greater good. Another proof of his status as a flawed character being his desire to stop Ludlow's plans to recreate Jurassic Park in San Diego and properly reestablish Isla Sorna — the island where cloned dinosaurs being made — into a natural preserve saw him resorted to manipulate Malcolm to aid him in doing so through his girlfriend Sara, a decision which admittedly extreme enough to come across villainous levels. Even Alan Grant acknowledged to the public that Hammond ended up creating dangerous monsters instead of fulfilling his lifelong dream while reflecting on Isla Nublar incident in 1993 during a conference press.
Despite aforementioned flaws and naivety which resulted his ability to take human error and unpredictability of wild animals into account left much to be desired, Hammond's inherently good nature and redemption cemented him to be a better person as much as foil to the greedier and unfeeling Ludlow. While he stoop low enough to earn criticism from Malcolm in his endeavor to stop the latter's plans as stated previously, his decision counts as a lesser of two evils given that ensued deaths of both Ludlow and his hired hunters as well as San Diego incident highlighted possible worse disaster which would occur had they not stopped. For his ambitious pursuit to build Jurassic Park, the fact that Hammond being against human cloning showed that has a set of values and scruples. Overall, Hammond represents what his book counterpart would become had he not let his greed and ambition turned him into an unfeeling person.
- The deep reason why John Hammond is not the main antagonist in the live-action Jurassic Park film is due to that Steven Spielberg wanted to focus more on the dinosaurs than the human characters. This change was what led Hammond to redeem himself rather than turn evil.
- John Hammond was originally intended to return in the fourth film but failed to do so because his actor Richard Attenborough passed away.
- Sean Connery was offered the role of John Hammond based on his performance as Professor Henry Jones, Sr. in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Subsequently, he turned it down.
- Clint Eastwood and Marlon Brando were considered for the part of John Hammond.
- Ian Bannen and Jon Pertwee were possible for Hammond.
- John Hammond on the Villains Wiki
- John Hammond on the Jurassic Park Wiki
- John Hammond on the Jurassic World: Evolution Wiki
- John Hammond on the LEGO Wiki