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James Cameron Says He Wanted To Direct 'Jurassic Park,' Would've Been Like 'Aliens'

by Kevin Jagernauth
September 13, 2012 11:57 AM
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While we all not-so-anxiously await James Cameron to make his "Avatar" sequels that are becoming less anticipated with each passing moment, the director continues to a seemingly never ending press run. Whether it's chatting about "Titanic" or whatever latest adventure or cause he's taking on, it's never too long before another interview the king of the world director surfaces. But thankfully, his latest little soundbyte has nothing to do with Pandora, but instead about another film helmed by his pal Steven Spielberg.

Chatting with the UK's Huffington Post, Cameron revealed that at one point he was chasing "Jurassic Park" as something to direct. "I tried to buy the book rights and he beat me to it by a few hours," he said. And really, thank God for that because as Cameron elaborates, his version would have been darker.

"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," Cameron explained. "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."

So, as "Jurassic Park" returns to theaters next summer in 3D just remember that it could've been an R-rated 'Aliens' style movie directed by James Cameron. And then say a silent thank you to whoever managed to get on the phone first and close the deal for Spielberg before Cameron got there.

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More: Jurassic Park, James Cameron

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  • Rick | September 17, 2012 8:46 AMReply

    I don't mind author commentary in my articles.

  • Luke | September 14, 2012 4:58 AMReply

    I, personally, like the introduction to this. Also, let's look at the unoriginality of James (who did say if they made battleship into a movie he would stop making movies!! :D). His movies are definitely copy cats of everyone else's ideas. His script writing is terrible. He waits until someone else tries something (Ex. The Hobbit's frames per second). The only thing he has going for him is a hot ex-wife...

  • oscar bellows | September 13, 2012 10:44 PMReply

    Author, please see the comments from Ralph and Eric? I am not saying I am an Avatar apologist or a James Cameron fan-boy, but when you say that Avatar (which made lots of money quite recently) has less-and-less-anticipated sequels, could you explain why you think so? I mean, I am not offended so much as just feeling uninformed. You as a blogger must maybe know more about what is going on than me, so why not share your knowledge and tell the reader WHY the Avatar sequel is constantly less anticipated, rather than just sayin it's so? It seems presumptuous to say we "all" anticipate it less and less when the readers don't even have the first clue why "you" think so, don't you think?

  • Angela T | September 16, 2012 4:24 PM

    I think you're hefting this into a category it doesn't quite fit in....only very journalistic pieces really try to support themselves. This writer was just making an opinionated commentary.

  • Necto | September 14, 2012 9:03 AM

    Sorry but you sir are a fool. This is how journalism is done these days. Who needs to point out the facts. When we can interpret the news into any way we see fit. You want journalistic integrity go watch a fictional tv show about it.

  • Wash | September 13, 2012 9:18 PMReply

    Crichton was meeting with Spielberg about making a TV show (later to be ER developed by Spielberg's friend John Welles) and Spielberg asked what else Crichton was up to he and he said he was writing a book about dinosaurs. Spielberg's told this story a few times and says they completely forget what they were meeting about and spent the entire time talking Jurassic.

  • Deez | September 13, 2012 9:12 PMReply

    I'd love to see Cameron make the movie he would've made but not call it a Jurassic Park. Make it his own dark, violent action packed dinosaur movie.

  • Ben | September 13, 2012 8:07 PMReply

    I disagree with the author here. I for one am still looking forward to the Avatar sequels and I think James Cameron would be perfect for a Jurassic Park reboot, even if he missed out on making it first up.

  • Amber | September 13, 2012 8:05 PMReply

    Wow, I think I would have liked James Cameron's version a lot more. It sounds like it would have been truer to the book, which does have some really dark scenes.

  • Ralph | September 13, 2012 5:51 PMReply

    This article sure sounds bitter and biased. lol.... what a waste of space.. although, i do love steven speilbergs movie a ton, the article itself just sucks.

  • eric mayher | September 13, 2012 9:23 PM

    That's every article by Kevin. He never fails to make me want to punch him in the face so if that is his goal, mission accomplished.

  • leon | September 13, 2012 5:37 PMReply

    Rated R is the only way to go... Kids should be able to see whatever they want. I di
    d when I.was a kid and I am not violent mean cruel or a bum. Ef censorahip

  • Chad b | September 13, 2012 5:36 PMReply

    The author needs to speak for himself when he says "we are all not-so-anxiously awaiting avatar" instead of the entire media world.

    This is the worst article I've read on playlist

  • Sean | September 13, 2012 5:23 PMReply

    JP was fun. Hollow but fun. Cameron would have just made it more intense. And that's why Speilberg should have stepped down for the sequel and let Cameron do his magic. He's proven twice that he excels at sequels.

  • galdamlu | September 13, 2012 5:12 PMReply

    Admitting that he would if added Aliens to JP when it was not even in the source material ??? It would of sucked. JP reintroduced the summer movie stayed and in theatre for over a year it was amazing as that kid I loved it Spielberg did an amazing job.

  • Chad b | September 13, 2012 5:31 PM

    He didn't say he would add aliens...he just said it would be more intense like his film entitled 'aliens'

  • Steven B | September 13, 2012 4:54 PMReply


    I'm sure you think you're cute and clever with the "Avatar" bashing, but you merely come across as a childish moron.

  • rhinograph | September 13, 2012 6:56 PM

    Be careful what you say to Kevin or he might say something like, "I'm the Jagernauth, bitch!" and come running after you. (alright, bad X-men Last Stand reference, but I couldn't let it go.)

  • starway2001 | September 13, 2012 4:01 PMReply

    Basically he's saying he would've shot the movie like the book. The books was much darker and much nastier. Shame. I would've liked to have seen that version of JP and not the "Disney" version Spielberg made.

  • Ari GOLD | September 13, 2012 3:03 PMReply

    Or maybe it's because steven is ten times better than you?

  • Mangold | September 14, 2012 2:24 PM

    @ Bob- Hahahaha why don't grow up buddy. Are you that much of a child? That you have to call someone an "Idiot" for having an opinion. Oh and how am I a Spielberg basher? Because I didn't like "Cave of the Crystal Skull". Am I suppose to like whatever film he makes regardless if it was terrible or not? Eh too bad thats not gonna happen. My advice to you is get over it little boy?

  • Bob | September 13, 2012 9:09 PM

    @ Mangold - When did Cameraon every make a movie like Schindler's list, Empire of the sun, Saving Private Ryan. Don't be an idiot bashing Spielberg just because you like to kiss Cameron's ass, and that goes for everyone on here, stop kissing his ass!
    Jurrasic Park was a great movie and Cameron should really stop trying to take the spotlight from everyone. JP was not Disney. Dinosaurs are for kids, it was kids who were buying toys and books about dinosaurs, not adults. The fact that Spielberg made it for that audience was a smart move. So I say it again, stop kissing Cameron's ass.

  • Mangold | September 13, 2012 4:12 PM

    Yeah when did James Cameron ever make movie like "Cave of the Crystal Skull".

  • B | September 13, 2012 2:50 PMReply

    KEVIN JAGERNAUTH blog entries are stepping more and more into Gabe territory. Shame. And though I like Cameron, glad he didn't get his hands on it.

  • Ken | September 13, 2012 1:19 PMReply

    You know, there was a time when James Cameron was an awesome director who made fun, groundbreaking films. He still makes groundbreaking films, but in ways I don't particular care about (3D). I don't know why The Playlist is being so snarky about it acting like Avatar/Titanic-era Cameron would be making Jurassic Park when the movie was being made (and most likely, the rights were being sold) right around when Cameron made The Abyss and Terminator 2. You got something against those movies, then we gonna have a problem!

  • daniel | September 13, 2012 12:55 PMReply

    it took a while for the Playlist to step up out of this snarky writing style; sad to see it return.

  • Daniel | September 13, 2012 1:10 PM

    Yeah. Personally I think the spin on this is that James Cameron is a remarkably candid director who has the good grace to admit when he's wrong.

  • Jack | September 13, 2012 12:04 PMReply

    I think you misinterpreted his comment. He wouldn't have put aliens in it -- it simply would've been ALIENS (the movie) with dinosaurs instead.

  • JC | September 13, 2012 5:04 PM

    Anonymouse - yup, it was edited without mentioning the corrections. The IMDb link still acknowledges the original headline - "James Cameron Says He Wanted To Direct 'Jurassic Park,' Would've Put Aliens In It" and you can see a snippet or two of the original thoughts.

    Definitely a bit shady to edit the entry without acknowledging the corrections too. The IMDb entry still reads with the original headline and has this quote from before the blog entry was edited "And really, thank God for that because as Cameron elaborates, his version would have been darker...and featured aliens for some reason." I'm assuming some of the snark in this article is simply edited to reflect the new reality when it should probably have been taken out after the mistake was caught (cause I'm assuming most of the snark was there because the author thought he was literally talking about putting aliens in with dinosaurs). It's really not that big a deal that he essentially said he'd just have made it an edgier film.

  • Anonymouse | September 13, 2012 12:27 PM

    the blog entry doesn't reflect this comment. was the original content edited in some way? b/c that is a very shady practice.

  • JE | September 13, 2012 12:03 PMReply

    So reading that quote, it didn't occur to anyone that he obviously meant his movie "Aliens" with dinosaurs and NOT that was gonna put actual aliens into Jurassic Park?

  • Walt | September 13, 2012 1:12 PM

    Why would they do that? When they can easily make Cameron sound like a fool. By misinterepting what he actually said.

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