James Cameron Almost Directed Jurassic Park

Steven Spielberg beat him to the punch by 'a few hours.' Now, find out what Cameron's version would have been like.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani


It's hard to imagine anyone but Steven Spielberg directing Jurassic Park, the mega-blockbuster that brought dinosaurs to life in the modern CGI age. Anyone, that is, except James Cameron, America's other universally-acclaimed big budget filmmaker with a tendency to push the limits of special effects technology. Cameron certainly thought he could do it. He even tried to buy the rights to film Michael Crichton's novel, only to find out that Steven Spielberg had beat him to it "by a few hours."

Are we better off with Spielberg's version? James Cameron seems to think so. He admits as much in a recent intervew with Huffington Post, where he also desribed his different take on the material. "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."

Was the kid appeal really that important? Cameron certainly thinks so. "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."

The childlike sense of wonder was certainly one of the selling points of Steven Spielberg's film, but he abandoned it pretty quickly in the sequels, which were much more action-based (and not as fondly remembered). Still, somewhere in the "Fringe" universe, there's a James Cameron Jurassic Park available, and we bet it's pretty awesome too. What do you think? Would you have preferred it if James Cameron had taken the reins?

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