In an anecdote that doesn’t get nearly as much space as it deserves, James Cameron revealed to The Huffington Post in a newly resurfaced interview that he almost bought the rights to Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park novel. Cameron says Steven Spielberg actually beat him to it “by a few hours,” though, and after he saw the finished film he realized that he wouldn’t have been the right person to make the movie anyway. He explains that his take on the story would’ve been “nastier, much nastier” than Spielberg’s version, and it would’ve been like “Aliens with dinosaurs.”
The main thing that convinced Cameron that Spielberg was the right choice was the realization that Spielberg’s movie is somewhat kid-friendly. “Dinosaurs are for 8-year-olds,” Cameron notes, saying “We can all enjoy it, too, but kids get dinosaurs and they should not have been excluded from that.” Cameron’s nastier Jurassic Park, then, would most likely have been too weird and intense for dinosaur-loving kids.