Revisiting Spielberg’s ET after 30 Years
Thirty years after Steven Spielberg ‘s 1982 science fiction-drama E.T. first enthralled moviegoers and VHS aficionados, the film – which, by all rights, is now considered a classic – continues to weave its magic today. In commemoration of E.T.’s 30th year, the Los Angeles Film Festival showed the beloved classic last week, Friday, at the FIGat7th Plaza. The Blu-Ray release of the film has already been slated for October this year.
Essentially an adventure story for children, it was Spielberg’s imagination that breathed the story arc of E.T. to life. The movie’s boy hero, 10-year-old Elliot who was courageous enough to befriend an alien and help him through his Earth-ly adventure, resembles Spielberg as a child in many ways. Growing up in a household challenged by a bitter divorce and having found comfort in an imaginary friend, Spielberg was just like the boy hero, Elliot, at the core – lost and alienated. The original working title of E.T. had been “A Boy’s Life.” The movie starred child-actor Henry Thomas as “Elliot”, Robert McNaughton as “Michael” and Drew Barrymore as “Gertie”.
Having enjoyed commercial success and with its own share of critical acclaim, E.T. has also significantly influenced a few of the newer breed of directors, including Joe Cornish and J.J. Abrams.
The E.T. Sequel
For 10 years, E.T. held the lofty recognition as the highest grossing film of all time. Fans had anticipated a sequel for the longest time; and very recently it was discovered that Spielberg and writing partner Melissa Mathison did write a 9-page draft on the sequel, titled ET II: Nocturnal Fears. However Steven Spielberg is not convinced on the necessity of a sequel to E.T. At the American Film Institute where he spoke recently, Spielberg spoke about the “danger” of releasing sequels. “Sequels can be very dangerous because they compromise your truth as an artist. I think a sequel to E.T. would do nothing but rob the original of its virginity. People only remember the latest episode, while the pilot tarnishes.”