Henry Thomas’s tearful audition for E.T. is well known, and in a new Academy Originals video Marci Liroff explains how the team behind E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial got to that moment in which Steven Spielberg could say, “Okay, kid, you got the job.” READ FULL STORY
Tag: E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1-4 of 4)
To those who know their whole history, it may seem surprising that there was never any bad blood between Steven Spielberg and the late Richard Attenborough — unless you want to count the prehistoric kind drawn from those amber-encased mosquitos in Jurassic Park, the one big project they made together.
The two filmmakers, separated in age by more than a generation, were rivals who became collaborators and eventually friends. When Attenborough died at age 90 on Sunday, he left behind a legacy as an actor, director, and philanthropist — but the story of his relationship with Spielberg is evidence of another defining trait: gentleman.
Their complicated camaraderie began after the pair crossed paths at the most critical point in each of their careers — 1982, when Attenborough finally completed his 20-year quest to make the biographical drama Gandhi, and Spielberg finished a deeply personal film that stands as one of the best movies ever made about families: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
Those two films couldn’t have been more different, but were destined for eternal comparison after becoming competitors at the 55th Academy Awards.
Working with an alien on a movie is probably a little bit easier than working with a child actor.
At least with the alien you can literally pull its puppet strings. Kids require a slightly more magical touch.
That’s what Steven Spielberg learned while working on E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, and a special documentary on the new Blu-ray release (out Oct. 9) shows just how deep his connection was with 6-year-old Drew Barrymore and 10-year-old Henry Thomas.
The E.T. Journals consist of behind-the-scenes footage from the 1982 movie, presented as-is, without narration or modern interviews. It’s like an extended set-visit to the film, and Entertainment Weekly has an exclusive clip of Spielberg talking young Thomas through the final goodbye. Good luck not tearing up a little yourself at the tender exchange.
For many, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial remains Steven Spielberg’s most indelible film, holding a special spot in moviegoers’ hearts. (I know it does for me.) But when the movie was re-released in theaters in 2002 to celebrate its 20th anniversary, Spielberg tried to fix something that was not broken and “updated” the movie’s visual effects. He gave E.T.’s face a CG makeover, added back in a couple deleted scenes, and — most controversially — switched out the rifles held by police officers chasing down Elliott and his bicycle buddies with walkie-talkies.
Fans cried foul. South Park mocked the decision. Last year, Spielberg himself even admitted he regretted making the changes, vowing that the Blu-ray release would just be the 1982 theatrical version of the film.
And by gum, it’s exactly that. As you’ll see in the trailer for the 30th-anniversary Blu-ray edition of the film, out this October, those walkie-talkies are no more: READ FULL STORY
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