The Original Ending To Steven Spielberg's E.T. Involved a Game of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS
Did you know that the ending we saw in Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra Terrestrial wasn't the original ending of the movie? There was another ending that was shot that ended up on the cutting room floor.
I remember hearing something about this years ago, but thanks to an interview with Robert MacNaughton, who played Elliot's brother Michael, we have some new details on this scene. E.T. is turning 35 freakin' years old this year! Seeing this film is the earliest memory I have of going to the movies and it so cool and fun to learn new things about it all these years later.
While talking to Yahoo Movies about the film, MacNaughton explained that the original ending involved a game of Dungeons & Dragons:
"The last scene in the movie wasn't supposed to be the scene that ends up in the movie. The last scene was going to be all of us playing Dungeons and Dragons again, except this time, Elliott's the dungeon master. Because he was the one that found ET, he sort of got in with the group. And so that was supposed to be the final scene, it was in the script and everything, and then they would pan up to the roof and you'd see the communicator and it's still working --- in other words, Elliott is still in touch with E.T.. But after they did the score, the music, and they saw what they had with the spaceship taking off and everything [laughs] --- how can you follow that? I mean, it was a wise choice."
I actually found the deleted ending on YouTube which you can watch below. After watching it, it makes complete sense as to why the scene was cut. The ending they used was just so epic and so emotional that cutting to a scene like this wouldn't really work. It would just take away from that emotional high.
In case you didn't know, Dungeons & Dragons was actually an integral part of the audition process. MacNaughton says that he played D&D at Harrison Ford's house while auditioning for the film. I'd love to play D&D at Harrison Ford's house!
Here's a clip of the original ending. I dare you not to cry while watching it!