Spielberg Repents for Changes He Made to E.T.

Geek Culture

Image: Universal Pictures, fair use.

Today is a special day for Star Wars geeks. Not only do the Clone Wars return for season four, but the original trilogy is being released on Blu-ray. You may not have heard (if you’ve been in hiding at the rebel outpost on Rori), but there’s been a little controversy surrounding the Blu-ray release. We at GeekDad have our opinions on the subject, but instead of descending into the fray we’ve decided to take the high road and talk about something else that has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the sacrilege that continues to affront us with each release of the Star Wars movies.

Nope, instead of Star Wars, we are going to talk about Steven Spielberg. It’s no secret that Spielberg has a love of aliens. Beginning with Close Encounters of the Third Kind, aliens have found their way into many Spielberg films including a wobbly, long-necked, peanut-butter-candy-eating other-world being who took center stage in 1982′s smash hit, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. But Eeeee-Teeeee and Elll-eeee-ott became embroiled in a bit of hullaballoo when, for the 20th anniversary edition DVD, Spielberg made some changes to the movie prior to its release. Some scenes of E.T. got the CGI treatment to enhance his expression, a certain description of Michael’s breath was removed and, most famously, the police had their weapons replaced with walkie talkies.

This week, Spielberg screened Raiders of the Lost Ark to celebrate that movie’s 30th anniversary. At that event, Spielberg was interviewed in front of a crowd and asked if he felt the need to go back and change things in his movies. The director responded, “I tried this once and I lived to regret it. Not because of fan outrage, but simply because I was disappointed in myself. I was overly sensitive to some of the criticism E.T. got from parent groups when it was first released in ’82 having to do with Eliot saying “Penis Breath” or the guns…and then there were certain brilliant, but rough around the edges close ups of E.T. that I always felt, if technology ever evolves to the point where I can do some facial enhancement for E.T., I’d like to.”

But he didn’t stop there. Spielberg continued “… it was okay for a while, but then I realized that what I had done was I had robbed the people who loved E.T. of their memories of E.T. and I regretted that.” (massive applause) “... the only contrition that I really performed was when E.T. came out on DVD for the first time, I asked Universal … when you release this on DVD you have to come out for the same price of one DVD, you have to put two movies in the box and one movie will be the 1982 version and the other will be the digitally enhanced version. I’d like to ask you this, let’s do a little poll here, cause I know we’re coming out with the Blu-ray of E.T., if I just came out with one E.T. on Blu-ray, 1982, would anyone object to that?” (loud NO from the audience.) “Okay then, so be it.” (huge applause)

That’s a refreshing opinion, wouldn’t you say, George?

via AllThingsFanGirl

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