While going through Cameron’s 45-page sworn declaration defending his ownership of the “Avatar” property, the director revealed he had the idea to write a film of the same name as Steven Spielberg’s 1982 hit.
“In 1980 or 1981, I wrote notes and an initial treatment for a science fiction story that I initially called “E.T.,” meaning extraterrestrial, a commonly used term in science fiction literature. As I was writing it, I found out that Steven Spielberg was making a film called “E.T. The Extraterrestrial,” so I promptly changed the title of my story.”
The film would have been far from the extraterrestrial tale we know today.
According to Cameron, his “E.T.” would have followed humans in search of resources on another planet after Earth became all but inhabitable.
Spielberg’s version quickly prompted Cameron to change the title of his film to “Mother.”
Though the film never made it past the initial writing stages, it did serve as partial inspiration for Cameron’s “Avatar.”
This isn’t the first time Cameron nearly bested Spielberg on the rights to the same film. In another odd coincidence, Cameron also considered bringing the adaptation of Michael Crichton’s “Jurassic Park” to the big screen, too.
In September, Cameron told The Huffington Post both he and Spielberg tried to get the rights to the book at the same time but Spielberg beat him to the punch.
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