James Cameron Shares New Details About His Cancelled Spider Man Film: Calls It Greatest Movie He ‘Never’ Made
Posted:Dec. 7, 2021, 5:13 p.m.
MCU’s Spider-Man is the third iteration of the character in the modern cinema. Before all this, back in 1993, Legendary director James Cameron was roped in to write and direct a Spider-Man film. It was during post-production of his blockbuster film ‘True Lies’ that Cameron was approached. In 1993 James Cameron submitted a “script” to Carolco Pictures, which had purchased the rights to the character from Cannon Films, which had recently bankrupted. Carolco also went bankrupt before Cameron could mount his version of the character and the license was part of a thorny legal war, complicated further by Marvel’s own bankruptcy.
In an exclusive with Screen Rant, while promoting his new book Tech Noir: The Art of James Cameron, he shared new details about the film. He said that his version was supposed to be very different from the traditional Superhero films.
“The first thing you’ve got to get your mind around is it’s not Spider-Man. He goes by Spider-Man, but he’s not Spider-Man. He’s Spider-Kid. He’s Spider-High-School-Kid. He’s kind of geeky and nobody notices him and he’s socially unpopular and all that stuff. I saw the film as a metaphor for puberty and all the changes to your body, your anxieties about society, about society’s expectations, your relationships with your gender of choice that you’re attracted to, all those things.”
He also said that taking the route of biological spider webs was his idea which was also championed by Stan Lee which was later adopted into Sam Raimi films.
“Going with the biological web shooters as being part of his biological adaptation to the radioactive spider bite made sense to me. Stan Lee also championed the idea.”
Talking about his overall vision for the film, Cameron said:
“I wanted to make something that had a kind of gritty reality to it. Superheroes in general always came off as kind of fanciful to me, and I wanted to do something that would have been more in the vein of ‘Terminator’ and ‘Aliens,’ that you buy into the 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 sort of thing, where it always felt very kind of metaphorical and fairytale-like.”
Sharing further details about how he wanted the film to be, he said:
“I wanted it to be: It’s 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 suit and it’s terrible, and then he has to improve the suit, and his big problem is the damn suit. Things like that. I wanted to ground it in reality and ground it in universal human experience. I think it would have been a fun film to make.”
Cameron also said even after Carolco went bankrupt, he tried to make the film by convincing a big studio to buy rights.
“I tried to get Fox to buy it, but apparently the rights were a little bit clouded and Sony had some very questionable attachment to the rights and Fox wouldn’t go to bat for it. Peter Chernin just wouldn’t go to bat for it. He didn’t want to get into a legal fight over it. And I’m like ‘Are you kidding? This thing could be worth, I don’t know, a billion dollars!’ $10 billion later…”
It was also reported that James wanted Leonardo DiCaprio to play Spider-Man and Arnold Schwarzenegger to play Doc Ock. This looks like it would have been a wild ride. Who knows, may be James will get to direct his version sometime in future.
Tags SpiderMan JamesCameron
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