That Time James Cameron Tried to Buy the Rights to the “Jurassic Park” Novel

Remember that time that James Cameron tried to buy the movie rights to Jurassic Park? No? Well it did happen, the Aliens director made a bid for the novel but was just barely beaten out by a director named Steven Spielberg. Yeah, you know, that guy. The famous Jaws director managed to get there just in time to avoid showing us what might only exist in a parallel dimension where nightmares don’t just exist in space. Well, honestly it seems like they exist on earth too but at least with Spielberg you get a more family-friendly approach. To be honest Cameron wasn’t too put out by it, as he had this to say:

“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.”

Frankly it’s pretty awesome that Cameron didn’t hold a grudge and even admitted that he just wasn’t the right guy for the job at that time. It was a missed opportunity for certain but it was one of those misses that you tend to be glad about. You can probably picture what Jurassic Park might have been like if Cameron had been in the director’s chair, and it would have had a hard R rating due to graphic violence and blood and guts being strewn all over the place. Honestly the best thing about would have been the realization that the dinosaurs wouldn’t explode like acid bombs if they got shot. His style of film making is great for what he does, just as Spielberg’s is. They both create epic films that have been remembered and watched multiple times as their legends have continued to grow, but there’s no doubting the fact that Spielberg definitely plays to the less violent side of things.

But that’s what makes them who they are. Cameron is the kind of guy for whom action means that there’s going to be someone getting torn apart now and again or someone getting impaled with an arrow the size of a javelin. Spielberg is more along the lines of hiding the goriest scenes behind a car or cutting away before the whimpering lawyer gets bitten in half. Plus if you watch the original film when they find what’s left of the lawyer they say they’ve found bits of him but it’s safely off screen so people don’t have to see it. Honestly Spielberg made a dinosaur movie that was filled with chills and thrills but was still friendly enough to show to kids, which of course is a wise choice when marketing such a movie.

Even the Jurassic World films haven’t been foolish enough to pull away from that formula, and their dinosaurs are way scarier.

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