I can vividly remember being 15-years-old and sitting in the very front row on opening day in June 1993 for Steven Spielberg's classic "Jurassic Park." At that time, I was heavily into the rapidly evolving computer animation industry - but what was completely unprepared for the visual FX that would revolutionize movie making forever. It was a moment, especially when John Williams menacing bass notes hit, that I will never forget.
So yea, I've got a bit of a soft spot for the film. Looking back nearly 20 years later, it still holds up as an entertaining piece of movie magic. And while JP's science has been dismissed as fiction, it's still referenced anytime attempts to clone extinct species are mentioned by the media. The X-Prize Foundation has even recently announced development of a "Jurassic Park" prize to be offered to the first scientific team to bring an extinct species back to life.
“Given the march of technology and the expansion of humanity over the surface of Earth, we are living during one of the highest rates of species extinction in the history of this planet,” the site says. “The goal of this X PRIZE is to find a safe, repeatable, and reliable fashion to bring back extinct species to rebuild a population.”
But I digress. Bringing you back to the main focus of this piece, I stumbled upon an interesting piece of "Jurassic Park" history yesterday concerning none other than James Cameron. According to the "Avatar" director, he was beat by Steven Spielberg to securing the film rights to Michael Crichton's novel "by only a few hours."
''But when I saw the film, I realised that I was not the right person to make the film, he was," he explained. "Because he made a dinosaur movie for kids, and mine would have been aliens with dinosaurs, and that wouldn't have been fair.''
Wait - what? Aliens with dinosaurs? I mean, yea, I love the idea (it's one that's actually in development), but why introduce something completely unrelated to the plotline of the book? ETs aside, one aspect of Cameron's vision that would have been interesting to see play out would have been the tone.
''Dinosaurs are for eight-year-olds," he tells the Huffington Post. "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.''
A darker, nastier Jurassic Park would certainly be awesome. Perhaps someone can put Cameron in a room for a few hours with writers Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, the scribes currently creating the fourth JP film, for some creative input.
Look for Cameron's next film, "Avatar 2" (sans dinosaurs), to arrive sometime in late 2015.