Steven Spielberg Says He Will Never Digitally Enhance or Change His Old Movies Again
Remember that time when Steven Spielberg digitally altered E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial for the re-release of the film? And while you were watching it you noticed that he had digitally removed the guns from the FBI a replaced them with walkie-talkies? Yeah... he'll never do that again!
During the Ready Player One press event, someone asked Spielberg if he would ever consider going back to one of his old movies and digitally alter it again. As you know, this is something George Lucas loved to do with his original Star Wars films. You don't have to worry about Spielberg ever doing it again, though. He learned his lesson. This is what he had to say thanks to /Film:
"When E.T. was re-released, I actually digitized five shots where E.T. went from being a puppet to a digital puppet. And I also replaced the gun when the FBI runs up on the van – now they have walkie-talkies. So there’s a really bad version of E.T. where I took my cue from Star Wars and all the digital enhancements of A New Hope that George put in. I went ahead, because the marketing at Universal thought we needed something to get the audience in to see the movie, so I did a few touch-ups in the film.
"In those days, social media wasn’t as profound as it is today. But what was just beginning erupted in a loud negative voice about, 'How could you ruin our favorite childhood film by taking the guns away and putting walkie-talkies in their hands?', among other things. So I learned a big lesson. That’s the last time I ever decided to mess with the past. What’s done is done, and I’ll never go back into another movie I made, or have control over, to enhance or change it."
This isn't the first time he talked about his regret over what he did with E.T. During a Q&A at a special screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark he told those in attendance:
"For myself, I tried [changing a film] once and lived to regret it. Not because of fan outrage, but because I was disappointed in myself. I got overly sensitive to [some of the reaction] to E.T., and I thought if technology evolved, [I might go in and change some things]…it was OK for a while, but I realized what I had done was I had robbed people who loved E.T. of their memories of E.T. […] If I put just one cut of E.T. on Blu-ray and it was the 1982, would anyone object to that? [The crowd yells “NO!” in unison.] OK, so be it."
Hey, everyone makes mistakes and Steven Spielberg learned from his.