The masterpieces that James Cameron left undone: 16 films that he started but fell by the wayside

The race of James Cameron as a director he started more than 40 years ago. In all that time he has only directed nine movies of fiction -and it is already confirmed that the tenth will be ‘Avatar 3’-, but his name has been associated as a director with many other titles that he did not deal with in the end. Some got ahead with someone else behind the scenes, but others quickly fell into oblivion.

At Espinof we wanted to take advantage of the fact that ‘Avatar: The Sense of Water’ go on sweeping the box office to remember others 16 Movies That James Cameron Set In Motion -or at least wanted to- but they stayed by the wayside. The phenomenon ‘Avatar’ it has had a lot to do with it in several cases, but there are titles that go back much further than Pandora even existed in the mind of its author. Let’s go with them:

‘Alita: Battle Angel’

The manga adaptation of Yukito Kishiro It was going to be Cameron’s first film in the 21st century, but he ended up shelving it in favor of ‘Avatar’. He later briefly took it up again with the idea of ​​making it a trilogy, but abandoned the project again and eventually handed it over to robert rodriguezalthough Cameron is credited as producer and co-writer of an impressive film but somewhat irregular.

‘Bright Angel Falling’


sounds a bit like ‘Armageddon’ by James Cameron, as it told the story of a meteorite heading towards Earth that threatened to destroy everything and the efforts of a group of astronauts to avoid it. It is not entirely clear that he was going to direct it, but he did write the script together with Peter Hyams. Unfortunately, the script leaked online and the project ended up being shelved.

‘Doomsday Protocol’

seven samurai

A futuristic science fiction film announced in 2009 described as an heir to ‘The Seven Samurai’ in which a group of humans and aliens come together to save the Earth. Written by Shane SalermoAt the time it was said that Cameron was going to work on its development, but nothing was ever heard of it again.

‘Dungeons and Dragons’

dragons and dungeons

James Cameron was one of the many directors who at some point were associated with the project that ended up giving shape to the catastrophic film released in the year 2000. The impossibility of the company that published the game reaching an agreement with Fox, where he worked the filmmaker at that time made it impossible for the thing to materialize.

‘Heavy Metal’

Love Death Robots

It was announced that the animated saga ‘Heavy Metal’ was to return in 2008 with David Fincher sponsoring the project. Fincher himself was going to direct one of the stories and it was said that both Guillermo del Toro What Zack Snyder and Gore Verbinski they wanted to take care of each other. Cameron didn’t join the project until a year later to serve as co-executive producer and direct one of the stories. Things ran aground and Cameron ended up leaving a project that ended up evolving into what we know today as the title of ‘Love, Death & Robots’.

‘The informationist’


Cameron went so far as to announce that the first film he would make after completing his work on the first two sequels to ‘Avatar’ would be this adaptation of the novel by taylor stevens about an American missionary woman in Cameroon who suffers a traumatic experience at the age of 14 and who later works for the government and different corporations obtaining specialized information in the area. Of course, its premiere was expected for 2016 and everything indicates that it has ended up being put aside in favor of more installments of ‘Avatar’.

‘The Mummy’ (by Anne Rice)


In the mid-1990s, Fox acquired the rights to the novel by Anne Rice about Ramses the Damned, of which he would publish two new installments many years later, and signed Cameron to direct it, but the project never went ahead and the studio ended up losing the rights.

‘Riskful Lies 2’

Risky lies

An announced sequel for which there was a script to the liking of all the main parties involved. The big problem was that the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 led Cameron to conclude that “Terrorism is no longer something you can take as lightly as we did in the first one. I can’t think of how it could be done in the current climate“. Everything indicates that it will never be done.

‘Jurassic Park’

Jurassic Park

Cameron was looking forward to making a movie based on the novel by Michael Crichtonbut it was not the only one and it was not the fastest either, since Steven Spielberg bought the rights bought the rights just a few hours before he tried it. Of course, Cameron recognized after seeing the film that he was glad about it and that he would not have been the right person to direct it.

‘Avatar’ prequel


Cameron announced in 2012 that he had an ‘Avatar’ prequel in mind that “It goes back to the first expeditions to Pandora, and what happened between the humans and the Na’vi”but it seems that ended up discarding the idea, because at the time he stressed that until ‘Avatar 5’ everything would be sequels to the first installment…

‘Screaming Steel’

Randall Franks

A science fiction project about a kind of motorcycle gang from the future -Cameron wanted them to use some kind of pocket rockets instead of motorcycles- in which he collaborated with Randall Frakes and J.F. Lawton of which came into existence a dash in 1991, but the filmmaker was not completely satisfied with the result and ended up abandoned in the drawer.



the novel of Stanislaw Lemm science fiction had already been brought to the big screen by Andrei Tarkosvky and Cameron spent several years trying to get the rights to both to get a new version forward. He got it, but by then he was so busy with other projects that he finally only served as a producer on the film directed by Steven Soderbergh from 2002.


spider man

Cameron himself has declared What is it “the best movie i ever made“, because in the early 90s he tried to take the adventures of the wall-climbing Marvel’s to the big screen. She had a script and she wanted Leonardo Dicaprio as a protagonist, but the bankruptcy of carolco ended up sinking the project. Then he couldn’t convince Fox to get the rights and he was finally sam raimi who adapted for Sony the character with Toby Maguire in the skin of Peter Parker.

‘The Last Train from Hiroshima’


Adaptation of the book Charles R. Pellegrino about the history of Tsutomu Yamaguchi, a Japanese man who survived the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and who died shortly after having an encounter with Cameron. The project did not finish getting ahead at the beginning of the last decade and the director chose to give priority to the sequels to ‘Avatar’.

‘terminator 3’

Dark Fate

Cameron made no secret during the ’90s that he would be delighted to do ‘terminator 3’, but everything was complicated by the sinking of Carolco. Then there was an attempt by Fox to lift the project, but the filmmaker ended up focusing on ‘Titanic’. Curiously, the plan did not include the return of arnold schwarzeneggerwho would end up participating in ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’which in its own way works as the third installment of the saga, by request Cameron’s own.

‘amazing trip’

amazing trip

new version of the movie of richard fleischer Released in 1966, it proposes a journey inside the human body thanks to a tremendous technological advance that allows the human body to be reduced to a minuscule size. Cameron showed a clear interest in it in the late 90s, but ended up putting it aside to focus on the project that ended up becoming ‘Avatar’.

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The masterpieces that James Cameron left undone: 16 films that he started but fell by the wayside

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