How James Cameron and Composer James Horner Became an Unlikely and Legendary Duo

Cameron and Horner first met at Roger Corman's New World Pictures. They would reunite half a decade later for Aliens.

A young Jamie Horner, producer Gale Anne Hurd and James Cameron in the studio first met at New World Pictures.

James Horner, then known as "Jamie Horner," was teaching music at UCLA when Roger Corman threw him $4,000 and an opportunity to score a 90-minute B-movie for New World Pictures.


Horner always wanted the London Symphony Orchestra sound, like John Williams had achieved in the hugely successful Star Wars (1977). So New World's Star Wars copycat Battle Beyond the Stars was the closest he'd gotten so far.


A young James Cameron took notice, and realized Horner's score elevated the final $2M budget film into something that he thought felt like a $5M or $6M production. Cameron and Corman both realized the magic Horner brought to the film.


James' long-running friendship with Horner is depicted in the second episode of BLOCKBUSTER: THE STORY OF JAMES CAMERON — the award-winning "biopic podcast" series, starring The Walking Dead's Ross Marquand, from filmmaker and journalist Matt Schrader.



You can subscribe and listen to BLOCKBUSTER free on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, and all other platforms. BLOCKBUSTER is winner of Adweek's Creative Podcast of the Year, and earned two Webby Honorees and NYF Radio Awards, including for Best Podcast Miniseries.


While James' next film, Piranha II, would encounter its own problems due to a tiny budget, he would return to Horner a few years later, and grant Horner his request to work with the London Symphony Orchestra on Aliens.


The duo would work together again on both Titanic and Avatar — considered two of Horner's greatest scores in his career.


Their story on the next episode 3 of BLOCKBUSTER: THE STORY OF JAMES CAMERON.


You can subscribe and listen to BLOCKBUSTER free on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, as well as all other platforms. BLOCKBUSTER is winner of Adweek's Creative Podcast of the Year, and earned two Webby Honorees and NYF Radio Awards, including for Best Miniseries.


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