James Cameron reveals he nearly directed ‘Jurassic Park’

'Avatar' director says he would have made dinosaur romp 'much nastier'

James Cameron has revealed that he was nearly chosen to originally direct Jurassic Park.

According to the Huffington Post, Cameron – who has helmed a series of big-budget Hollywood films including Avatar, Titanic and Terminator 2 – admitted that he tried to buy the rights to the Michael Crichton novel but was thwarted by Steven Spielberg.

Speaking at the Titanic Museum in Belfast, he said: “I tried to buy the book rights and he beat me to it by a few hours. 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.”

He then added:

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.

Spielberg’s Jurassic Park film was released in 1993 and he also helmed its 1997 sequel The Lost World. However, he passed the director’s baton to Joe Johnston for Jurassic Park III, the third and most recent instalment in the dinosaur film franchise, and will only serve as producer on Jurassic Park 4.

Cameron, meanwhile, recently revealed that pre-production on Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 is expected to begin in January (2013), before he shoots the films back-to-back. At present, neither sequel has a scheduled release date. The original Avatar opened in 2009 and became the highest-grossing movie ever with worldwide box office takings exceeding $2.7 billion (£1.7 billion).