E.T.: Creating Movie Magic That’s Out Of This World
By | March 16, 2022
E.T. Arose In Part From Spielberg's Experiences
After Steven Spielberg found success with Jaws (1975) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), he wanted to create a more personal film. He proposed Growing Up, which was inspired by his experience after his parents divorced when he was 15 and featured the perspectives of three children. However, Columbia wanted a sequel to Close Encounters and although he didn’t want to work on the sequel, Spielberg contemplated the question of what would happen if an alien didn’t return to the mothership at the end of the film. Because he didn’t want Columbia to make the sequel without him, he commissioned John Sayles to create the script for Night Skies. In Night Skies, aliens terrorize a suburban family. He didn’t want to create a film as dark as this, so he had Columbia re-release Close Encounters with additional scenes. Spielberg then worked with screenwriter Melissa Mathison to combine the stories, which led to E.T. The terrorized family story eventually reemerged as Poltergeist.