Jmes Cameron directing Jurassic Park? The mind boggles. It would have been a perfect novel for him to adapt, right?
And a combination of Cameron and Michael Crichton really could have been an incredible combustion of blockbuster storytelling. Not to mention it’s a trip to think what kind of technology Cameron could have developed to bring those big dinos to life.
As The Huffington Post recently reported, Cameron said that Steven Spielberg beat him to the rights by a few hours. In Joseph McBride’s biography of Spielberg, the director knew the movie rights to the novel would start a bidding war, but Spielberg was friends with Crichton, so he had an inside track. (In fact, a young Spielberg once gave Crichton a tour of Universal Studios in the early 70’s when the novelist had just sold The Andromeda Strain to be made into a film).
The rights for Jurassic Park went up for a “non-negotiable” asking price of $1.5 million, plus a big chunk of the gross. The rights went up for three days in May 1990, and there were offers from Warner Brothers for Tim Burton to direct, Columbia for Richard Donner, and Fox for Joe Dante, but of course Universal and Spielberg won the day.
Cameron said if he had done Jurassic Park, it would have been more in the vein of Aliens.
”I’d have gone further,” Cameron said. “Nastier, much nastier.” However, when Cameron saw the film, “I realized that I was not the right person to make the film, he was. Because he made a dinosaur movie for kids…”
“Dinosaurs are for 8-year-olds,” Cameron continued. “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.”
Still, when you think of Cameron doing an Aliens style approach to Jurassic Park, or something more violent and crazy when he was still back in his Terminator days, again, the mind boggles. It’s really too bad he’s going to be too busy with his Avatar sequels to do a Jurassic Park reboot, because his interpretation of the famous dinosaur blockbuster would indeed be something to behold.