Home Films James Cameron calls his failed Spider-Man movie “the greatest movie I’ve ever made”

James Cameron calls his failed Spider-Man movie “the greatest movie I’ve ever made”


James Cameron, the director of films as famous as Titanic, The Terminator, Aliens and Avatar, has revealed that the Spider-Man movie he failed to make was “the greatest movie I have ever made. “.

IGN participated in a panel discussion with James Cameron regarding his upcoming book – Tech Noir: The Art of James Cameron – and Matt Singer of ScreenCrush asked him about his attempt to bring Spider-Man back to the big screen before Terminator 2.

In Tech Noir, which contains hundreds of artwork by Cameron himself throughout his life as well as personal commentary, he included his concept art for this Spider-Man film and explained how it was. ‘was “the greatest movie I have ever made”. In our panel discussion, he extrapolated that thought and explained a bit more what this movie could have been and why it never reached the finish line.

“I think it would have been very different,” Cameron said. “The treatment I wrote – with Stan Lee’s blessing, I mean – Stan and I became friends around this process, it was one of his favorite characters, and I didn’t budge without it. ask her permission. “

He obviously went to Stan Lee with a plan in place, and one of the biggest changes to Spider-Man from the comics he wanted to make was to give Peter Parker organic web shooters. While this isn’t news per se and has been known for some time, it’s always nice to hear Cameron’s take on his idea that would eventually end up in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy. .

“Going with the biological web shooters as part of his biological adaptation to the radioactive spider bite made sense to me and I checked with Stan, I said, ‘Look, that kid is Spider-Kid. The first thing you need to get your mind around is, it’s not Spider-Man. He goes through Spider-Man, but he’s not Spider-Man. He’s Spider-Kid. He’s Spider-High-School-Kid. He’s a bit of a geek and nobody notices and he’s socially unpopular and stuff, ”Cameron explained.

This new approach to Spider-Man would also be, according to Cameron, a “great metaphor for this reservoir of untapped potential that people have and do not recognize in themselves.”

“So that was a great metaphor,” Cameron said. “All that super power was, in my mind, a great metaphor for this reservoir of untapped potential that people have that they don’t recognize in themselves. And it was also in my mind, it was a metaphor for. puberty and all the changes in your body, your anxieties about society, society’s expectations, your relationships with whatever gender you choose that appeals to you, all of those things. “

Cameron’s Spider-Man movie would have had “some sort of cruel reality,” and he wanted the story to take place in the “real world” as opposed to something “mythical” like Gotham City.

“I wanted to do something that had a kind of raw reality,” Cameron explained. “Superheroes in general have always struck me as a bit of a fantasy, and I wanted to do something that would have been more in the vein of Terminator and the aliens, that you embrace reality right away. So you’re in a real world, you’re not in some mythical Gotham city, or Superman and the Daily Planet and all that stuff, where it was always very nice metaphorical and fairy-tale.

“I wanted it to be… This is New York. It’s now. 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, and then he has to improve the suit, and his big deal is the damn suit. Things like that. I wanted to anchor it in reality and anchor it in some kind of universal human experience.I think that would have been a fun movie to make.

Unfortunately for Cameron and for all of us, his version of Spider-Man was never meant to exist.

“It was basically caught in a crisis where Carolco, the company I had asked to buy the rights to, was languishing, you know,” Cameron said. “Marvel had sold it to Cannon, Cannon was that kind of low budget outfit and they never did it or knew how to do it. No one had ever thought of Spider-Man, I think, like a movie. At So when I found out it was at Cannon I asked Carolco to buy it and then Carolco went bankrupt.

He tried to save it by going to 20th Century Fox and telling them to get it back, but they didn’t want to fight Sony who “had a very questionable attachment to rights.”

“I tried to get Fox to buy it, but apparently the rights were clouded a bit and Sony had a very questionable attachment to the rights and Fox wouldn’t defend it,” Cameron explained. “Peter Chernin just didn’t want to fight over it. He didn’t want to get into a legal battle about it. And I’m like, ‘Are you kidding? This thing could be worth, I don’t know, a billion dollars! ‘ 10 billion dollars later … “

Although it was never made, this attempt to make a Spider-Man movie was an important learning experience for Cameron and pushed him even further in the direction of focusing on creating his own. own works rather than adapting the creations of others.

“I had also kind of made the decision after Titanic to go ahead and do my own things and not work in other people’s intellectual property houses,” Cameron concluded. “So I think that was probably the kick in the ass I needed to do my own stuff.”

While we may never get to see James Cameron’s Spider-Man, web-slinger fans don’t have much to wait until Spider-Man: No Way Home hits theaters exclusively on December 17, 2021.

Any advice to give us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an e-mail to [email protected].

Adam Bankhurst is a news editor for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Tic.