There have been a lot of great “Spider-Man” movies over time. But there’s one we’ve never seen. In fact, in the early 1990s, filmmaker James Cameron wanted to make a film about spider-man. Return on this aborted project.
Spider-Man at the movies
Today, Spider-Man is one of the most famous superheroes in movie history. But in the mid-1990s, it wasn’t the same song. There was the live series The Amazing Spider-Man, which took place from 1978 to 1979, but nothing in the cinema. It was not until the early 2000s to see Sam Raimi direct his trilogy Spiderman. It is unsurprisingly a huge success, with over $ 2.5 billion in box office revenue from three films. Then there were the two Marc Webb films with Andrew Garfield. Then, since 2016, Spider-Man has been in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in the guise of young Tom Holland. However, in the early 1990s, another project almost saw the light of day!
James Cameron and his impressive career
James Cameron is simply one of the greatest filmmakers of his generation. The latter, who began his career as a filmmaker in 1981 with Piranha 2 – The Flying Killers see you later chained successes. It is to him that we owe some of the biggest box office successes of the 1980s / 1990s like Terminator (1984), Aliens (1986), Abyss (1989), Terminator: The Last Judgment (1991), True Lies (1994) and obviously Titanic (1997). Subsequently, James Cameron is more rare behind the camera, preferring to turn to production. A new cap that allows him to finance its new very ambitious project: Avatar (2009).
But besides these famous triumphs, James Cameron nevertheless has a failure in his bow. Indeed, in the 1990s, the famous director sought to produce and direct an adaptation of Spider-Man. A project on which he violently broke his teeth. This story, he recently returned to it in his new book Tech Noir: The Art of James Cameron. A magnificent and massive illustrated volume which contains hundreds of works of art by the artist such as sketches, paintings, concept art, etc. James Cameron also discusses his film Spiderman which never saw the light of day.
The greatest movie he ever made
In the same book, James Cameron qualifies this aborted project as “The greatest movie I have ever made”. The media ScreenCrush had the opportunity to speak with James Cameron about this mysterious project Spiderman. The journalist Matt Singer asked him in particular how his vision of the character would have been different from that of other filmmakers. To which James Cameron replied:
I think it would have been very different. On the one hand, I worked with Stan Lee’s blessing. I didn’t do anything without asking her permission. I wanted to do something that had some kind of cruel 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, to embrace reality right away. So you are in a real world, you are not in a mythical city like Gotham or Metropolis, where everything always seems very metaphorical and fairy. I wanted it to be New York. It’s snowing. A guy gets bitten by a spider. He transforms into this kid with these powers and he has this fantasy of being Spider-Man. He makes his costume and it’s terrible, then he has to improve the costume, and his big problem 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.
With that in mind, James Cameron saw Spider-Man as a huge metaphor for life. For him, Spidey’s powers are “An untapped reservoir that people have in them”. That’s also James Cameron who imagined the idea that Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider. An idea dubbed by Stan Lee who then found its way into the Spiderman by Sam Raimi, and later in the pages of comics The Amazing Spider-Man.
A project that falls apart
Unfortunately, James Cameron never had the opportunity to bring his project to the big screen. In the 1980’s, Marvel Comics, then on the verge of bankruptcy, sold all film rights to its characters to various studios (Hulk at Universal, the X-Men at Fox, Spider-Man at Sony, etc …). Before the rights of Spiderman do not end up in the hands of Sony, James Cameron bought them from Marvel via the Carolco studio, with whom he directed …