Most people dreamt of seeing a real-life dinosaur when they were a kid and were amazed by the prehistoric creatures. In 1993, Steven Spielberg made those dreams a reality when Jurassic Park was released. Arguably the greatest blockbuster of all time, the movie used bleeding-edge special effects to bring dinosaurs to life. However, if it wasn’t for the genius of one man, Jurassic Park wouldn’t have happened.
Michael Crichton was the writing brain behind the movie, writing the novel in which it was based and co-writing the screenplay.
Crichton’s influence has even extended into the world of games. From video games to online slots available at NJ online casinos, Jurassic Park is still a major brand 25 years after it launched. If Crichton had only ever written Jurassic Park, he would be assured a place in the nerd culture hall of fame. But he contributed so much more than that and was a bona fide pop culture juggernaut.
Like Stephen King, Crichton’s work has often been adapted on the screen, and like King’s movie adaptations, the results have varied in quality. What sets Crichton apart from other authors (even King), is he was also a movie director. In fact, his directing career was underway around the same time that his writing career took off.
Among his notable written works include Andromeda Strain, The Great Train Robbery, Congo, Sphere, Jurassic Park, Rising Sun, The Lost World, Disclosure, and Timeline. Each of those novels was adapted into a movie. Interestingly, only Jurassic Park can be considered a bona fide film classic.
This means Crichton’s work is crying out to be adapted for modern audiences. The taught tension of the Andromeda Strain would make an amazing Netflix series, as would the psychological horror of The Sphere. It is no surprise to learn there are strong rumors that both books are in development for TV screens.
Even the pulpy adventure of Congo (a homage to King Solomon’s Mines) is ripe for a modern re-telling.
So, Crichton has had a massive impact on literature and movies, but he also contributed heavily to TV. As a trained medical doctor, Crichton wanted to create a TV drama that chronicled life in an inner-city hospital. The result was ER, a show that dominated ratings for 15 years. As other shows came and went, ER became a drama staple and is considered among the best shows ever made.
Aside from creating ER, Crichton’s fingerprints are also one of TV’s current leading shows. HBO’s Westworld is an adaptation of the movie Westworld, which was written and directed by Crichton in 1973. In recent years, Westworld has become a popular series, blending science fiction and drama effortlessly.
It is worth noting Crichton had no hand in the creation of the Westworld TV show. Sadly, the renowned author passed away in 2008 at the age of 66. While his continued denial of climate change causing environmental harm has sullied his reputation in some quarters, there’s no doubt Crichton was a major influencer of pop culture during the latter half of the 20th century.