The Killer “E.T.” Sequel
E.T., the lovable extraterrestrial that came to earth back in the early 1980s and won over anyone who laid eyes on him, was one of the greatest commercial successes in American film history. By that time, director Steven Spielberg had certified himself as one of the best directors of any genre, and his skill had the potential to make any film a blockbuster.
With the astounding success of E.T., the studio naturally sought to bank on a sequel with the hopes that it would make them boat-loads of money on top of boat-loads of money. Needless to say, the sequel never came to fruition. The reason is actually drawn from the director’s reluctance to tarnish even an inch of his original vision, knowing full well that just because you can doesn’t necessarily mean you should.
Recently, Spielberg spoke on the potential for the sequel that was scrapped after he realized that the darker subject matter of the subsequent film would “rob the original of its virginity.”
According to the director (and a 9-page outline of the script that is floating around the Internet), E.T. II: Nocturnal Fears would have focused on a group of carnivorous aliens that came from the same planet as E.T. Apparently, E.T., while on Earth in the first film, sent a distress signal to his home planet. A group of carnivores led by an alien named Korel would land here and begin a rampage against humans. At one point in the script, Korel violently interrogates Elliot.
As Spielberg pointed out, the film simply took a turn that was too dark for most audiences who loved the first film for its uplifting story and the power of friendship, even if two friends are separated by a galaxy or two.
As a fan of both the film and well-done science fiction, I would have loved to see where the sequel went with the idea. That said, I completely respect Spielberg for his artistic integrity and refusing to make it simply to cash in for more money he probably didn’t need. He’s an A-list director who can pick and choose his projects, and his refusal to muck up his original, a true classic, is worth commending. Even with all of those accolades, if there is any director out there who is willing to take the idea (dropping the E.T. title of course) and make this film, please do.