Dennis Nedry was a computer programmer at Jurassic Park and the secondary antagonist of the original Jurassic Park Film. Due to his financial problems and low salary, he accepted a bribe from Biosyn to smuggle dinosaur embryos off the island. His last name is an anagram of nerdy.
In both the film and the novel, he is devoured by a Dilophosaurus. He was directly responsible for the events that happened in both the novel and film. A combination of factors led to his demise: despite working in a career around dinosaurs, he lacked knowledge of them, and greed, which was intertwined by desperation to pay off his debt collectors and make himself rich after that.
Isla Nublar Incident (1993)
Dennis Nedry was hired by InGen as a computer programmer for Jurassic Park. At one point, Nedry was having serious financial problems and began to believe InGen wasn't paying him enough to do his job. John Hammond was aware of this, but believed Nedry was a full-grown man who could fight his own battles, as he later remarked "Your financial problems are your own". Nedry decided to accept an offer to commit economic espionage for Lewis Dodgson to steal InGen's dinosaur embryos, which would grant BioSyn a competitive edge. In exchange, Dodgson would give Nedry $1.5 million. The two met at a restaurant in San Jose, Costa Rica where Lewis Dodgson gave Dennis half of his payment and a can of shaving cream whose bottom was a secret compartment designed to hold 15 of the dinosaur embryos for 36 hours. Lewis also paid for Nedry's meal because of his full cooperation.
Afterward, Dennis Nedry returned to Isla Nublar to go back to work, waiting til night to perform his theft. To get inside the Cold Storage Room undetected, he created Whte rbt.obj, a backdoor that would disable nearly all of Jurassic Park's security except the Raptor Pen. He initiated his plan after he received a call from one of Lewis Dodgson's agents at Isla Nublar's dock who told him that he would be departing the island soon because of the storm despite Nedry wanting to do more testing on Whte rbt.obj.. Just before executing his malicious program, Dennis Nedry alerted his colleagues that he was going to get a soda and that some of Jurassic Park's security systems might be disabled because they were complying files so he wouldn't raise any suspicions, initiating the catalyst of the Isla Nublar Incident of 1993.
With the security disabled and with most of Jurassic Park's workers gone to escape the storm, Dennis Nedry traveled to the Cold Storage Room where he filled his Barbasol can with its dinosaur embryos. He then proceeded to escape the Visitor Center using Jeep 12, traveling to the East Dock to get the rest of his pay. However, the heavy rainfall disoriented him and also got himself lost in the forest, while he was driving on his way to C-3028 ship at the docks, causing him to drive off the road and accidently crash into a fallen tree in the nearby forest. Dennis Nedry responded to this situation by getting out the jeep's rope tow to get it unstuck. While unraveling the car tow he slipped on the mud he was standing on, which led to him losing his glasses, but something far worse was going to happen to Dennis. While tying the rope to the closest tree, a juvenile Dilophosaurus began to stalk him. When he disabled nearly all of the park's security, it disabled many of the security fences that kept the dinosaurs from escaping their paddocks (except for the Raptor Pen), allowing dinosaurs like Dilophosaurus to roam freely.
Nedry became uneasy upon noticing the Dilophosaurus that was following him and quickened his pace, though eventually halted his task temporarily to deal with the carnivorous dinosaur. Mistaking her for a male, Dennis tried to distract her by getting her to play fetch, but the Dilophosaur paid little attention to stick he threw. Angered by how his ruse failed, Dennis Nedry insulted the Dilophosaur before proceeding to return to his vehicle, only for him to nearly slip again. When he looked back, the Dilophosaur (having mysteriously followed him) sprayed her tar-like venom at him. Lucky for him, her venom hit him in his chest, so he was able to crawl away and to open the door to the driver's seat of his vehicle. However, the Dilophosaur spat again; this time, she successfully reached her intended target. Nedry desperately tried to get in his jeep as his eyes burned from the poison, but he knocked his head on the roof of the jeep, causing the Barbasol can to get washed away by the rain.
Immediately afterward, Nedry managed to get inside his vehicle. To his misfortune, however, the Dilophosaurus had gotten into the passenger seat. With the doors of the jeep closed shut there was nowhere for Dennis Nedry to run as the Dilophosaurus proceeded to devour him alive.
Because Nedry never arrived at the East Dock with the shaving can filled with embryos, two people he was supposed to meet with Miles Chadwick and smuggler Nima Cruz went to retrieve the can for Dodgson. While searching for the Barbasol can, Nima found Dennis' body still inside his jeep and briefly investigated his death to see if it could help her find the embryos.
His body was never recovered by the two and it is unknown if the InGen clean-up teams recovered his remains. Whatever happened in regards to his body, his death was never discovered by anyone (except possibly InGen).
Though Miles and Nima managed to uncover the Barbasol can from the mud, it stayed on Nublar and it was never delivered to Lewis Dodgson.
The dinosaurs that were free from their paddocks because of Jurassic Park's security fences being disabled by him caused chaos throughout the park. Though nearly all of the endorsement team and John Hammond's family were rescued during the Isla Nublar Incident of 1993, the remaining humans on Isla Nublar, including mercenary teams hired by InGen to retrieve any remaining survivors, were killed with only a few managing to escape the island. InGen suffered financially from the incident, but it managed to keep itself from bankruptcy. Four years later, Peter Ludlow took the position of CEO at InGen with the proposal of making a Jurassic Park in San Diego, Californa. However, his plan failed, only resulting in a loss of human life like the original Jurassic Park. It wasn't until 2005 that InGen, now under the ownership of the Masrani Global Corporation, created a successful dinosaur park called Jurassic World that lasted over a decade without any major incident until the creation and escaping of the deadly hybrid Indominus Rex.
Angry at InGen and Hammond for not paying him enough, he accepts Dodgson's offer to steal the Dinosaur Embryos. Nedry's actions show that he is willing to retort to illegal and unethical tactics when he feels wronged or something better come along. However, his evil actions proved to be his undoing, as he was killed and devoured by a Dilophosaurus.
Production and development
Wayne Knight teased that he would like to appear in a Jurassic World film: "It was small dinosaur and a big meal." He was suggesting that his character would wear an eye patch and have one arm.
- A free project emulates Nedry's desktop including the infamous error animation Jurassic Systems.
- Dennis uses an Apple Macintosh Quadra 700 and an SGI Crimson with Unix installed for his computers.
- Dennis Nedry appeared in the music video to Weird Al's Jurassic Park. He is seen shutting down the park's power.
- All three clothes Nedry wears were obviously based on all three main characters of another film directed by Steven Spielberg, The Goonies, namely Chunk, Mouth, and Mikey.
- In Lost World, Ian criticizes Peter for twisting the facts surrounding the deaths of 3 people (Donald Gennaro, Ray Arnold and Robert Muldoon). While it is not specifically stated, it is clear that Nedry was not one of the deaths Ian was talking about, probably because Ian was unaware of his death.
- Ian Malcolm mentions that InGen covered up the deaths of "three people"; Peter Ludlow mentions that the families of Gennaro, Muldoon and Robert Arnold sued InGen - presumably because of the cover up. Nedry's family is not mentioned; this means his death was not known by InGen - or, if it was, it was never revealed to his family because they never sued.