James Cameron Loathed His Own Movie Because of Stallone Making it 'Amoral'
The movie did not turn out as Cameron wanted it to and all because of Sly.
You may not have noticed, but in the credits of one of the failed Hollywood sequels Rambo: First Blood Part II there are two screenwriters.
One of them is legendary Rambo himself – Sylvester Stallone. And the second is a little known at that time screenwriter and director James Cameron.
More precisely, when the second Rambo movie was released, he had already become famous – The Terminator was released a year earlier.
But at the time of the beginning of writing the Rambo script, Cameron did not have great merits.
In fact, Cameron was the author of the original screenplay for the second Rambo, and David Morrell, the author of the first book, wrote his second book on the basis of the Cameron's script.
So what does Sly have to do with the script? Well, he made this script the way we ended up seeing it in the movie.
He remade it for himself, threw out a lot of the scenes that Cameron had written and changed the rest, moved the main character from a psychiatric hospital to a prison at the beginning of the movie and invented famous arrows with exploding tips.
James Cameron was clearly not happy with Stallone's remake, as he said when interviewed by LA Times.
"I admire the film's success and I'm happy for everybody involved, but I always have to distance myself from it because it's not the film I wrote – it was substantially rewritten by Sylvester Stallone. The script that I wrote was pretty violent, but not in such an amoral way," the director said.
The basic idea of the script written by Cameron remained the same, of course. It was changed in small ways.
But the cinema history shows that it is often the little things that make the difference between a classic movie and a complete failure.
Perhaps if the director had not followed Sly's changes, but had shot the movie according to Cameron's script, the list of successful sequels would have been one movie longer.