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Jurassic World Dominion: What Happened To Sarah Harding?

Following the astounding success of 1993's "Jurassic Park," Universal brought dinosaurs back to the movies for the 1997 sequel, "The Lost World: Jurassic Park." Alongside returning actors like Jeff Goldblum and Richard Attenborough, the film features franchise newcomer Julianne Moore as Dr. Sarah Harding. An experienced animal behaviorist, she joins a small research group on the dinosaur-inhabited Isla Sorna and only narrowly escapes alive. Considering her prominence in the sequel, it's reasonable to wonder why she didn't return to the movies via the "Jurassic World" films — chiefly the legacy actor-heavy "Jurassic World: Dominion."

Despite its numerous returning favorites, "Jurassic World" mastermind Colin Trevorrow wanted to make "Dominion" a film about the next generation of characters, not the previous one. "This movie clearly takes a real interest in creating new characters that a new generation is going to latch on to," he told Empire, teasing future "Jurassic" projects. With that in mind, it's plain to see why Moore's Harding didn't appear. Adding another familiar face would've only further taken the spotlight away from new characters who can serve as the future of the franchise.

Meanwhile, in-universe, Dr. Harding's post-"The Lost World" story remains untold. All we can really do is headcanon using tidbits from the films and the source material they're based on to piece together what she's potentially been up to.

Harding kept busy in the Jurassic Park books

The last we see of Sarah Harding in the "Jurassic" universe — at the end of "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" — she's romantically involved with the suave Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum). After the credits roll on that film, she's never seen at the movies again. Although, "Jurassic World: Dominion" could hint at where she is with the mention that Malcolm is now a father to five children. Did they either stay together or reconnect at a later time, having kids and raising a family? There's no way to know for sure.

Alternatively, we can look to Michael Crichton's sequel to his "Jurassic Park" book, "The Lost World," for some potential answers. On the page, Harding and Malcolm elect not to pursue a relationship, instead remaining as friends. She then departs for Africa to help Dr. Jack Thorne search for Dr. Richard Levine (who are both absent from the "Lost World" film). She's nearly killed by the nefarious Lewis Dodgson but manages to survive, eventually getting her revenge on him. With some tweaks to fit the movie continuity, perhaps she went on an adventure like this after "The Lost World" before getting out of the dinosaur game.

Julianne Moore would've happily returned as Dr. Harding

Of course, the big question is, had Colin Trevorrow found a spot for Sarah Harding to appear in "Jurassic World Dominion," would Moore have even gone for it? After all, when the movie released in 2022, it had been 25 years since Moore played the character in "The Lost World," which didn't get the most positive response from fans and critics upon release anyway. Regardless, as Moore herself has shared, had she been contacted to cameo, she gladly would've helped tell the next chapter in Harding's story.

During an interview with Collider, Moore made it clear that she's up for another run as Dr. Harding, saying, "Yeah, Sarah Harding. Maybe she's not done yet. I don't know. But no one has approached me. That's ok! But if they did? Yeah, sure! Of course, of course!" The "Jurassic World" franchise is over for the time being, but as countless properties have demonstrated as of late, as long as there's money to be made, don't expect any definitive endings. Perhaps if the "Jurassic" saga continues to expand, Moore's Harding can make a comeback.

Currently, Sarah Harding's theatrical story begins and ends within "The Lost World: Jurassic Park." Could that change? We'll just have to wait and see.