In Another Universe, James Cameron Might Have Ruined My Life


My opinion of James Cameron isn't new. What is new is the recent, apparently unsolicited, and a little suspect, revelation by James Cameron that he was interested in, and missed buying by a few hours, the rights to my favourite film, Jurassic Park. Cameron claims that his vision was a straight up horror flick, with dinosaurs being true movie monsters. Says Cameron:
“But when I saw the film, I realised that I was not the right person to make the film, he 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.”
I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I agree with James Cameron. His Jurassic Park would have been terrible, and not only because he would have lazily shunted the animals into the villainous monster category like everyone else. He, not having the connections at ILM, and not being that warm and inclusive of a director, would not have been presented by his crew unsolicited test footage of the CG T-Rex running.

Which means that Jurassic Park would not have been the first film to use substantial digitally created shots to create the dinosaurs, sparking the largest shift in movie making techniques since sound. It probably would have ended up a high budget early nighties horror flick, largely forgotten by modern viewers instead of a contemporary classic.

But beyond that, who asked him? When did he make these comments? To what end does this serve? Did Cameron look online and notice no one was talking about his absurd, Lucas-like sequel and prequel aspirations for Avatar? In fact, according to The Making of Jurassic Park (Ballentine, '93), Cameron wasn't even on the radar during the bidding war. Setting aside the gentleman's agreement between Spielberg and Crichton that had existed for sometime, the top four offers on the film rights were from 20th Century, for Joe Dante (Gremlins, and ultimately made Matinee, a fabulous film); Warner Bros, for Tim Burton (Batman, and ultimately it's sequel); TriStar, for Richard Donner (Superman '79, and ultimately Lethal Weapon 3); and Universal for Spielberg. And Crichton made the final decision, based on the agreement he had already made. So, despite no one other then Spielberg having a chance, any of those other guys were easily ahead in line on the day, Mr. Cameron.

You can keep your "missed it by that much" stories to yourself, thank you very much.

Via the Mary Sue.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.

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