Director James cameron has become King of the World not once, not twice, but arguably at least three times with blockbuster hits such as Aliens, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Titanic, and then Avatar. But did you know that even Cameron, at the height of his powers, couldn’t get a Spider Man film from the ground?
This was before the character made his big screen debut with Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movie in 2002, and there has been no looking back since. Cameron wrote about his unrealized Spider-Man movie in a book titled Tech Noir: The Art of James Cameron, and for the promotion of the book, he spoke to ScreenCrush about the film, which Cameron said was made with the “Stan Lee’s blessing”.
âThe first thing you have to think about,â Cameron continued, âisn’t Spider-Man. He goes through Spider-Man, but it’s not Spider-Man. It’s Spider-Kid. is Spider-High-School-Kid, he’s a bit of a geek and nobody notices and he’s socially unpopular and stuff.
James Cameron has said he sees the character as a “great metaphor”, his superpowers representing “this untapped reservoir of potential that people have and do not recognize in themselves.” And it was also in my mind a metaphor for puberty and all the changes in your body, your anxieties about society, society’s expectations, your relationships with the sex of your choice that attracts you, all these things.
He continued, âI wanted to do something that had a kind of raw reality. Superheroes in general have always come across as a bit of a fantasy to me, and I wanted to do something that would have been more in the vein of Terminator and Aliens, that you embrace reality right away. So you are in a real world, you are not in a mythical city of Gotham. Or Superman and the Daily Planet and all that sort of thing, where it always seemed very metaphorical and fairy-tale. I wanted it to be: this is New York. The snow. A guy gets bitten by a spider. He turns into this kid with these powers and he has this fantasy of being Spider-Man, and he makes this costume and it’s terrible, then he has to improve the costume, and his big deal is the damn costume. Things like that. I wanted to anchor it in reality and anchor it in the universal human experience. I think it would have been a fun movie to make.
Ultimately, the filmmaker said that not being able to do Spider-Man taught him a valuable lesson in how to move forward and focus on his “own stuff.” . He went on to direct Titanic, which won him the Oscar for Best Director, and then broke the film’s box office record with Avatar. He’s currently working on the long-awaited sci-fi film sequel, which is expected to hit theaters by the end of next year.
While producing films like Alita: Battle Angel, the filmmaker said he would only direct Avatar films from now on.
Meanwhile, Spider-Man’s third solo movie starring Tom Holland will be released later this month. By Cameron’s estimates, the character is worth tens of billions of dollars, and it was he alone who saw his potential at the time.