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Remember the Symbolic Seatbelt Scene in 'Jurassic Park'? It's Not That Deep, According to Sam Neill

Michele Debczak
Universal Pictures
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Jurassic Park (1993) is packed with details you may have missed on your first watch, from goofs to Easter eggs. One throw-away moment that's been reevaluated online occurs early in the movie. As the helicopter carrying John Hammond and his team of experts approaches the island, Alan Grant (played by Sam Neill) rushes to buckle his seatbelt. He's stuck with two ends that don't connect, and instead of giving up, he ties the straps together. Some fans have interpreted this as a metaphor for the theme of the film, but according to Neill, that wasn't the intention.

Jeff Goldblum's famous line, "Life, uh, finds a way," is proven true throughout Jurassic Park. Though all the dinosaurs on the island are genetically engineered to be female, Dr. Grant discovers a nest filled with eggshells. By spontaneously changing sex, the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park "find a way" to procreate in defiance of their creators' plans.

According to a popular fan theory, this idea is foreshadowed in the helicopter scene. Grant is left with two of the same buckle ends (the "female" ends), and by tying them together, he "finds a way" to make a seatbelt. The theory has become so popular in recent years that io9 thought it was worth bringing up to Sam Neill while chatting about Jurassic World: Dominion (2022).

Neill had never heard of that interpretation of the scene, and he denied that it was intentional. Rather, he said it was meant to be a humorous character moment for Grant. “No, I don’t think it was meant that way," he told io9. "It was just about Alan Grant hates technology. He hates computers. He hates anything to do with the modern world and the seatbelt, which you’d think it’d be relatively straightforward. But I’d been on helicopters going, ‘Where the hell is the other bit of this?’”

Even if the seatbelt scene wasn't that deep, Neill's comments likely won't stop new generations of Jurassic Park viewers from reading into it. As an amused Neill told io9," This is the sort of thing that happens on the internet."

If you plan to rewatch Jurassic Park ahead of the new sequel, check out these facts about the earth-shaking blockbuster.

[h/t Gizmodo]

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