'Spider-Man' writer says James Cameron made Hollywood take superhero genre seriously

Gregory Wakeman
·Contributor
·2-min read
James Cameron had a big impact on the superhero genre (Image by Columbia Pictures)
James Cameron had a big impact on the superhero genre (Image by Columbia Pictures)

Throughout the 1990s, James Cameron fought long and hard to make his very own Spider-Man film.

Unfortunately for Cameron, and cinema fans, even though he was attached to write and direct a Spider-Man film for Carolco Pictures, the Oscar winner ultimately left the project after years of legal battles over the rights.

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Ultimately, Columbia Pictures won this fight, which resulted in Sam Raimi’s 2002 Spider-Man blockbuster. However, screenwriter David Koepp has revealed that he was still heavily inspired by Cameron’s work, especially when it came to Hollywood taking Peter Parker, and the superhero genre in general, seriously.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 06: Director James Cameron attends Red Carpet Green Dress at the Private Residence of Jonas Tahlin, CEO of Absolut Elyx on February 06, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images for Absolut Elyx)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 06: Director James Cameron attends Red Carpet Green Dress at the Private Residence of Jonas Tahlin, CEO of Absolut Elyx on February 06, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images for Absolut Elyx)

"I had a lot of my own specific thoughts about what the movie ought to be, because I had been a Spider-Man fan as a kid and young adult. But his treatment, it just took it seriously,” Koepp told IGN.

“It took Peter seriously as a character and it took a superhero movie seriously as a genre. And you hadn't seen that before. This was 2000 and 2001 when I was writing (Spider-Man) and there hadn't been a good superhero movie since probably the second Batman. X-Men was still yet to come. That came out, I think, while we were shooting."

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"The fact that he had written this 85 or whatever it was pages treatment, that in itself was really meaningful and said, no, no, take this seriously. This is a real movie with real people in it."

Koepp also made sure to include some of Cameron’s ideas for the superhero in the adaptation, admitting that Peter Parker’s “organic web-shooters” came from the mind of the Titanic, Terminator, and True Lies filmmaker, and he “was happy to use it.”