There are myths in modern Hollywood, stories that get passed around that you want to be true, but you kind of know they’re almost too cool to be accurate. One of those involves James Cameron, the iconic filmmaker behind The Terminator and Titanic, who also took on the unenviable task of creating a sequel to Sir Ridley Scott’s own masterpiece, Alien. The way that the story goes, Cameron – brimming with confidence and his signature brand of swagger – took a meeting in front of a room full of corporate suits. He wrote the word “Alien” on a board. Then he pluralized it, making it “Aliens” and insinuating he was about to up the ante on this planned sequel. Finally, he drew two lines through the S he had added, turning it onto a dollar sign.
We had a chance to sit down and interview James Cameron on behalf of a new book he has coming out titled Tech Noir: The Art of James Cameron. In the collection, we get an historical representation of Cameron’s hand-drawn storyboards, covering everything from his early Avatar ideas to his work on Aliens. And during the conversation, we had to ask him, is that Aliens story real? To which Cameron replied to CinemaBlend:
James Cameron got a kick out of reliving that moment, knowing the hubris that it took to pitch a sequel to Ridley Scott’s movie and all but guarantee another blockbuster success. Cameron’s wiser now, and as he elaborated to CinemaBlend:
As Jim Cameron says, it worked. Aliens is a different beast than Alien, but those two opening chapters remain the best in that franchise, and helped catapult Cameron to stardom. The director, in addition to promoting the fantastic book Tech Noir, is hard at work on his next Avatar movies. It’s a shame part two isn’t titled Avatar$.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.