Did Becoming a Dad Make Dr. Ian Malcolm a Less Interesting Character?

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Life finds a way. And so does Jeff Fucking Goldblum. The legendary actor will reportedly be reprising his role as chaos theorist and lovable smart alec Dr. Ian Malcolm in the sequel to Jurrasic World. While is not yet clear how much of a role Malcolm will have in the dino-flick, it’s good to see Dr. Malcom back the mix. Dr. Malcolm is the best character in the entire franchise (suck it, Hammond!), as fans immediately resonated with the character’s particularly quirky cadence, endlessly quotable lines, and inexplicable, yet undeniable sex appeal. But Goldblum’s return does bring up a big question: Which version of Dr. Malcolm are we going to get on screen? Because while he’s great in Jurrasic Park and pretty much the only good part of The Lost World, Goldblum is essentially playing two different characters: Malcolm the father, and Malcolm the zany chaos theorist.

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In Jurassic Park, Dr. Malcolm is a smooth sexpot with a proclivity for posing shirtless and charming the khakis off Laura Dern with his chaos theories. He’s the bad boy of science, and he left us all thirsty for knowledge. Then, in Lost World, he’s suddenly left the academic heartthrob label behind and is now in full hero-dad mode. His primary goal in the film is to protect his stowaway daughter Kelly, and the added responsibility seems to diminish his swashbuckling spirit. So which Dr. Malcolm will we see in Jurassic Universe (or whatever the hell they’re gonna call the new one)? Ideally, a matured hybrid of the two. A Dr. Malcolm who proudly bears the responsibility and duties that come with fatherhood, but is still in touch with the roguish side. Because if anyone can maintain their edge while surviving the trials of parenthood, it’s Dr. Ian Malcolm.

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