Steven Spielberg Regrets Replacing Guns With Walkie-Talkies In ‘E.T.,’ Vows Not To ‘Digitally Enhance’ Any Other Classics

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Steven Spielberg has been making the rounds to promote Ready Player One, including making an appearance at a well-reviewed SXSW screening and talking about Star Wars. Speaking of Star Wars, do you remember how much people lambasted the “digital enhancements” George Lucas added years later? Spielberg also went back and changed one of his classic movies using CGI. He removed guns from F.B.I. agents’ hands and replaced them with walkie-talkies. He now expresses regret for doing that, when asked by Screen Rant if he’s considered adding newer special effects to his older movies:

Well, I got in trouble for doing that. When E.T. was re-released, I actually digitized 5 shots where E.T. went from being a puppet to a digital puppet and I also replaced the gun when the F.B.I. 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 of the digital enhancements of A New Hope that George put in, and I went ahead, because the marketing at Universal thought we need something to get an audience back and see the movie so I did a few touch up in the film, and in those days, social media wasn’t as profound as it is today but what was just beginning, you know, erupted 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 and that’s the last time I decided to ever mess with the past. What’s done is done, and um, I’ll never go back and do another movie I’ve made and I have control over to enhance or change.

So it sounds like Spielberg isn’t likely to make a “really bad version” of any of his movies from now on. We probably don’t have to worry about George Lucas making “digital enhancements” to Star Wars, either, since he doesn’t own it and said he’d just get criticized anyway. But we can nonetheless imagine what Lucas might want to do with the new movies…

(Via Screen Rant)