Steven Spielberg has revealed he changed a scene in ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ and learnt from his mistake never to amend any of his iconic movies.
The 71-year-old iconic filmmaker has helmed many popular movies including ‘Jurassic Park’, ‘Jaws’ and ‘Indiana Jones’, but with his latest sci-fi ‘Ready Player One’, the film takes place in a made-up virtual world called the OASIS and features many iconic references to 1980’s pop culture.
But during an interview with Collider, Spielberg was asked whether he has been tempted to go back and rework any of his classic movies, but the filmmaker revealed he got in trouble for changing parts of ‘E.T the Extra-Terrestrial’.
As the film is largely set in the virtual reality world of The Oasis, where the main characters are desperately trying to win a treasure hunt to stop their world falling into the hands of a large corporation, eight weeks of production was spent on motion capture.
Not content with simply repeating his double-header, Spielberg aimed to better it. First came Jurassic’s sequel, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, followed by two history films: the slavery drama Amistad and his World War II masterpiece Saving Private Ryan. Something was missing though. A handful of bravura moments aside, The Lost World lacks the magic of the first film, while Amistad displays an uncertainty rarely associated with Spielberg’s cinema. Only Ryan emerges as top-tier work.
He said: “Well, I got in trouble for doing that. When ‘E.T.’ was re-released, I actually digitized five shots, where E.T. went from being a puppet to a digital puppet. I also replaced the guns.
“When the FBI ran up on the van, they now have walkie-talkies. So, there’s a really bad version of ‘E.T.’, where I took my cue from ‘Star Wars’ and all of the digital enhancements for ‘A New Hope’ that George (Lucas) put in.
“I went ahead because the marketing at Universal thought we needed something to get an audience back in to see the movie, so I did a few touch-ups in the film.
“In those days, social media wasn’t as profound as it is today, but what was just beginning erupted in a loud negative voice saying, ‘How could you ruin our favourite childhood film?'”
“So, I learned a big lesson, and that’s the last time I ever decided to mess with the past.”
“What’s done is done, and I’ll never go back and do anything to another movie that I’ve made and have control over, to enhance or change it.”