One of the experts brought to Isla Nublar to endorse John Hammond‘s island resort, Jurassic Park. Dr. Ian Malcolm was considered by many of his colleagues to be “too trendy.” A mathematician, apparent ex-hippy, and self-described “Chaotician,” Ian was a firm believer in Chaos Theory. It was his opinion that the systems at Jurassic Park were far too complex to be properly maintained, and were therefore doomed to failure. He also felt that Hammond and his scientists were undisciplined and foolish for choosing to bring dinosaurs back to life, and that there was no possible way for them to control the animals. Just to humor Hammond, he went out into the park for the tour. He arrived with the other scientists on Hammond’s helicopter and were taken by gas powered Jeep where he and the others saw first hand the fruits of Hammond’s labor in the form of a fully grown Brachiosaurus. After a discussion in the Visitor’s Center, Ian joined in on the tour.
When the power went out and the Tyrannosaurus escaped, Dr. Alan Grant saved them by distracting the T. rex with a flare. Ian tried to help, imitating Dr. Grant’s idea, but when he threw the flare away the Rex kept chasing him and finally sent him flying through the wall of the restroom where Donald Gennaro was hiding. Badly injured, Ian was buried in the rubble. Later, he was rescued by Dr. Ellie Sattler and Robert Muldoon and thus made it off the island alive.
Ian tried to tell the public of the existence of the dinosaurs following the incident, but Hammond’s nephew Peter Ludlow prevented him from doing so, making it seem as if Ian was profiting by selling stories to the media. This utterly destroyed Ian’s career as a scientist. Four years later, Ian was called in by Hammond to be a part of the team being sent in to Site B on Isla Sorna to document the dinosaurs. He refused, and added he was going to call back the other members and tell them not to go. When he found out his girlfriend Dr. Sarah Harding was already on the island he went to “rescue” her. He was especially dismayed to learn that his daughter, Kelly Curtis, had also tagged along against his wishes and constantly did his best to protect her. Ian eventually got himself caught up in Peter Ludlow’s plans to take dinosaurs off the island. When Ludlow foolishly brought the male Tyrannosaurus to San Diego and it escaped, Ian helped Sarah use the male T. rex baby to lure it back to the S.S. Venture so that it could be recaptured and returned unharmed to the island. They succeeded, and Ian’s credibility was thus restored.
Dr. Ian Malcolm was played by Jeff Goldblum.