Steven Spielberg lost his touch

E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial - 30 YEARS, 30 FASCINATING FACTS

He was afraid. He was alone. He was 3,000,000 light years away from home. But in 1982, he came all the way from space and into the hearts of millions of people to become the most unusual star in the greatest movie the world had ever seen and go down in history as a worldwide phenomenon. Now, 30 years later, the little squat alien with the big eyes and the big heart is coming back to celebrate Universal's 100th birthday.
(Translated from English by Marcel Wagner)
  • Director Steven Spielberg says he got the idea behind E.T. as a child. "A boy who discovers an alien - I had that idea in my head when I was a child," he said in 2002.
  • The story was inspired in part by Spielberg's parents' divorce in 1960. The future director saw it as "a friend who could be my brother, whom I never had and a father with whom I felt I no longer had him."
  • Spielberg's original plan was to follow the story of The Close Encounters of the Third Kind - with a film about a vicious alien attacking a farmhouse. When the story of E.T. developed, Spielberg turned the aliens into ghosts and that became Poltergeist.
  • The script, which was originally titled E.T and Me, was written by Melissa Mathison (The Black Stallion), who was married to Harrison Ford at the time. You and Spielberg worked the story out in Tunisia while filming Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • It took Mathison eight weeks to write the script, which is as much time as the entire shoot. Filming was completed on time for Christmas 1981.
  • Mathison got the idea for E.T.'s alien abilities - such as the ability to fly and heal others through touch - by asking children which special powers they would like best.
  • 6-year-old Drew Barrymore met with Steven Spielberg for the role as the little girl in Poltergeist, but the director immediately saw her as Gertie, Elliott's little sister.
  • 11-year-old Henry Thomas, who auditioned for the role of Elliott, did the audition so spectacularly that one could only hear Spielberg say in the background, "Okay boy, you have the job."
  • As for the actors who almost appeared in E.T. - The alien had performed include Cheers actress Shelley Long (Cheers Helmut!), Who was supposed to play the role of Elliott's mother, and Juliette Lewis (Cape Fear), who auditioned for the role as Gertie.
  • The film was originally supposed to be produced by Columbia Pictures, who had already produced The Uncanny Encounters of the Third Kind and initially rejected a sequel. Columbia rejected the script on the grounds that E.T. is "a weak Walt Disney film" that would never make its money again.
  • Mars, Inc. did not allow the filmmakers to feature M & Ms in the film because they didn't brand their brand with such an ugly character as E.T. wanted to connect. Spielberg used the newly released Reese's Pieces for his film instead.
  • In order to maintain secrecy during the filming, E.T. filmed under the working title A Boy's Life.
  • Spielberg's sound designer, Ben Burtt, put E.T.'s distinctive voice together from a variety of sources - including the voice of an elderly Marin County woman named Pat Welsh.
  • Carlo Rambaldi, the E.T. designed and created maquettes as well as dolls and suits, previously designed the Aliens for Spielberg's The Uncanny Encounter of the Third Kind. The design is partly based on a figure from the painting "Women of Delta" by Rombaldi.
  • Michael Jackson's song "Someone in the Dark" was featured on the E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Story Book album which was released in 1982. Michael Jackson acted as narrator, who also produced the same year as the thriller by Quincy Jones.
  • A scene in which the Hunter of the Lost Ark star Harrison Ford appeared as Ellliot's teacher was cut out for the final version, although elements of the scene remain. Spielberg has decided not to reinstate this scene.
  • Although largely animatronic, E.T. played at some points during the shoot by two short guys - Tamara De Treaux and Pat Bilon, and 12-year-old Matthew De Meritt, who was born without legs.
  • E.T. - The alien cost only $ 10.5 million. A tenth of that was spent on the animatronic doll alone to help E.T. to bring to life.
  • Folk musician James Taylor recorded a song called "Song For You Far Away" which was intended for the film. It was ultimately used in his 1985 album That's Why I'm Here.
  • Spielberg first assumed that E.T. would be a success if the film got ratings beyond expectations on a test screening.
  • After the premiere of the Cannes Film Festival in 1982, E.T. in US theaters on June 11, 1982. The film went straight to number 1 on the charts and stayed there for six weeks.
  • Around Christmas 1982, when the film had regained number 1 on the charts, E.T. the most financially successful film of all time and therefore more successful than George Lucas' Star Wars.
  • The following year, E.T. Nominated for nine Academy Awards - including Best Film. Although that Oscar went to Gandhi, E.T. Win four more awards - the one for the best music and the best visual effects.
  • E.T. - The Alien was one of the top selling and most rented movies on VHS in the 1980s.
  • Michael Jackson, who received a Grammy for his radio play based on the film, claimed he identified with the little lost alien. "It's in a strange place and it wants to be accepted. I've found myself in this situation many times when traveling from city to city, around the world," he said. "He gives love and in contrast wants to get love back. Just like me. We are both very similar."
  • E. T. held the box office record until 1993, when it was overtaken by another Universal-produced Steven Spielberg film - Jurassic Park.
  • For the re-release for the 20th anniversary, Steven Spielberg copied from his friend George Lucas and digitally changed the classic.
  • In a survey by an American film institute, E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial named one of the 25 best films of all time. In 1994 the film was sold to the U.S. National Film Registry included, which receives classic films.
  • E.T. - The extraterrestrial has been re-released three times in the past three decades: 1985, 2002 and 2012.
  • Although Steven Spielberg and Melissa Mathison worked together on a treatment called E.T. II: Nocturnal Fears worked, Spielberg never really had the option of a sequel to E.T. considered because he feared that a sequel could damage the originality of the first part.
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