James Cameron Gave Guillermo Del Toro A Million Dollars For A Startling Reason

James Cameron gave Guillermo del Toro a million dollars when del Toro's father was kidnapped.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

Hollywood is generally known as a dog-eat-dog kind of place, where struggling actors and filmmakers do whatever they can to make it to the top of the hill and stay there. Without a doubt, James Cameron has been on top of the hill for decades now, with multiple movies in his career achieving history’s highest-grossing status, only to be beaten by another of his projects. It turns out that James Cameron is also willing to help out his friends to a ridiculous degree, according to a UPROXX report that he personally gave filmmaker Guillermo del Toro a million dollars in cash to ransom del Toro’s kidnapped father.

It may seem like a plot that would be in a film, rather than a situation that two filmmakers would find themselves in, but James Cameron and Guillermo del Toro are actually extremely close friends and it seems are very involved in each others’ lives. Apparently, the two directors met in the early 1990s at a Fourth of July party; James Cameron had just finished wrapping up editing on Terminator 2: Judgment Day, soon to be one of the biggest movies ever, and Guillermo del Toro was just beginning work on Cronos, his acclaimed debut feature film. The two bonded over their love of film to the extent that the Blade II director actually lived in Cameron’s house for a time period. 

In 1997, Guillermo del Toro’s father was kidnapped on the streets of the family’s hometown of Guadalajara. Despite the director and his brother’s efforts, efforts to find him were unsuccessful and they did not have funds to ransom him. However, when James Cameron heard the terrifying trouble that Guillermo del Toro’s family was in, he personally took his friend to his bank, withdrew one million dollars in cash, and suggested a kidnapping negotiator who could wrap things up quickly.

It is interesting to note that James Cameron, as a man of the world, apparently has a go-to kidnapping negotiator to recommend to friends who were in the position Guillermo del Toro found himself in. Shortly after the director of Avatar provided funds, Guillermo del Toro was able to secure his father’s release, though the people behind the kidnapping were never caught or the money returned. In fact, del Toro and his family began receiving threats that have since caused the Hellboy director to permanently emigrate from Mexico. 

Sadly, kidnapping has become a serious problem in Mexico, with over a thousand people being kidnapped and held for ransom every year. Not everyone has the resources to deal with it safely or the friendship of James Cameron like Guillermo del Toro, but at least this particular story had a happy ending. Most recently, the director released the excellent Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosity on Netflix, an eight-part anthology of horror tales curated and produced by del Toro himself, based on both original and classic stories. Although the man had to live through a real-life horror story, it seems that he still has quite the taste for tales of terror.