Spielberg Regrets Changing “E.T.”; Vows It Will Arrive On BluRay Unaltered

AllThingsFangirl has an excellent recap of the Q&A that followed a 30th Anniversary screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark. I highly recommend reading all of it, there’s some great nuggets in there, particularly if you’re an Indiana Jones fan.

The highlight for me, of course, is this. When asked about films being changed years after they’ve been shot, ala Lucas and the Star Wars films, Spielberg said:

I tried [that] 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 ET 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 ET that I always felt, if technology ever evolves to the point where I can do some facial enhancement for ET, I’d like to. So I did an ET pass for like the third release of the movie and it was okay for a while, but then I realized that what I had done was I had robbed the people who loved ET of their memories of ET. And I regretted that. (massive applause) And the only contrition that I could possibly do because I felt bad about that was, the only contrition that I really performed was when ET came out on DVD for the first time, I asked Universal, I didn’t ask Universal, I said you’re gonna do this, 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 ET, if I just came out with one ET on blu-ray, 1982, would anyone object to that? (loud NO from the audience). Okay then, so be it. (huge applause)

That’s excellent news for fans of Spielberg’s masterpiece, isn’t it?

We’ll let you know when the E.T. Blu Ray becomes available.


John Shannon

John Shannon studied Creative Writing at the University of Maine where he also served as a film critic for the Maine Campus Newspaper. He currently resides in the greater Portland area of Southern Maine where he works by day and watches film by night. He can be reached via email at and followed on Twitter @JohnWShannon
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