Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How Jurassic Park Changed The Fate Of Schindler's List

In 1993, legendary director Steven Spielberg released two movies that had a huge impact on the cultural zeitgeist, but for two very different reasons. "Jurassic Park," based on the book by Michael Crichton and starring Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Samuel L. Jackson, and Richard Attenborough, is about a scientific breakthrough that allowed dinosaurs to be reconstituted through cloning and their subsequent captivity in a theme park. It was released in June and was a huge success, spawning a franchise that has earned over $5 billion (via the Numbers).

"Schindler's List," a harrowing and somber black-and-white film that chronicled the efforts of the real-life Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) and his attempts to preserve and rescue as many Jews as possible during the Holocaust of World War II, is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum when compared to "Jurassic Park," and it was released in December that very same year. The movie was a critical success, earning a staggering 91 awards (via IMDb). Considering that both of these movies were epic undertakings in their own rights, what exactly happened behind the scenes in 1993?

Steven Spielberg was forced to make Jurassic Park first

According to Mental Floss, Steven Spielberg wanted to do "Schindler's List" first, but MCA/Universal President Sid Scheinberg would only allow the director to pursue his pet project after he filmed "Jurassic Park." Spielberg needed to film certain scenes of "Schindler's List" under specific weather conditions, stating of the experience (via EW.com), "That was the problem. [But] I didn't want to miss the winter. I knew I had to be shooting ['Schindler's List'] in January [on location] in Poland, so it came together awfully quickly."

Spielberg was not a fan of this ultimatum and actually ended up working on both films simultaneously. He said of the experience (via Cinemablend), "When I finally started shooting...in Poland, I had to go home about two or three times a week and get on a very crude satellite feed to Northern California...to be able to approve T-Rex shots. And it built a tremendous amount of resentment and anger that I had to do this, that I had to actually go from [the emotional weight of 'Schindler's List'] to dinosaurs chasing jeeps, and all I could express was how angry that made me at the time. I was grateful later in June, though, but until then it was a burden."

Despite the grueling ordeal, Spielberg went through the production of these classic films, and both went on to become cemented in history, with "Jurassic Park" holding a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and "Schindler's List" maintaining a 98% on the same website. It is strange to think about someone working on both of these drastically different films at the same time, and it is doubtful another director could have pulled off such a delicate balancing act.