In a newly resurfaced interview from 2012, James Cameron revealed that he almost had the rights to Jurassic Park and that his version would have been “much nastier” and like “Aliens with dinosaurs.” Steven Spielberg famously directed Jurassic Park, which beat out E.T. to become the highest grossing movie of all time back in 1993. The movie is still immensely popular and spawned the new Jurassic World trilogy, which will see a sequel being released this summer. James Cameron would have made a completely different movie, so it might have been for the best that Spielberg took it on.
James Cameron recalled that Steven Spielberg literally beat him to the Jurassic Park rights by a “few hours.” He says that his movie wouldn’t have been kid-friendly, and notes that it was a good thing that he didn’t take the project on. Cameron says that dinosaurs are for kids and that it would have been a mistake to exclude them from his version of Jurassic Park. It’s hard to think of kids sitting through Jurassic Park mixed with Aliens, but it sounds pretty cool nonetheless. Cameron explains.
“But when I saw the film, I realized that I was not the right person to make the film, he (Spielberg) was. Because he made a dinosaur movie for kids, and mine would have been aliens with dinosaurs, and that wouldn’t have been fair. Dinosaurs are for 8-year-olds. We can all enjoy it, too, but kids get dinosaurs and they should not have been excluded for that. His sensibility was right for that film, I’d have gone further, nastier, much nastier.”
As it turns out, Jurassic Park wasn’t the only movie that James Cameron considered making in the early 1990s. The legendary director admitted that he was interested in Spider-Man and noted that nobody was really developing anything at the time. So, he had Carolco Pictures purchase the rights for the mighty Marvel character. He had this to say.
“Spider-Man was kind of going nowhere. Canon, a very low-budget film company back in the ’80s, had had it briefly. Nobody had really done anything with it. Marvel characters in general weren’t being developed very well at that time. I got Carolco Pictures to buy Spider-Man. I was going to launch that as a series of films. I wrote quite an extensive treatment – I think 80 or 90 pages long. And then again when Carolco collapsed, those rights were in play and I didn’t pursue it because I was on to Titanic and I was doing other things.”
Spider-Man done by James Cameron actually sounds like it could have worked out. The director did not go into specifics about his extensive treatment that he wrote, but one has to imagine that it would have also been a darker take on the source material. Additionally, the special effects would have been groundbreaking. However, it all worked out in the end for Cameron and the Spider-Man franchise.
James Cameron is currently hard at work on the next installments of the Avatar franchise while producing the new Terminator reboot. The director is in the middle of breaking new ground with underwater photography and motion capture technology to give moviegoers an experience like they’ve never had before. You can check out the original James Cameron interview where he discusses Jurassic Park and Spider-Man over at Huffington Post U.K.