It’s been 40 years since Steven Spielberg’s family sci-fi classic was released and grossed nearly $800 million at the worldwide box office on a budget of just $10 million. ET: The Extra-Terrestrial surpassed Star Wars as the biggest movie of all time, a record it held until the director surpassed it with his own Jurassic Park in 1993. It’s no surprise then that, given the success of the blockbuster , Universal Pictures demanded a sequel.
ET 2 was called ET II: Nocturnal Fears and was written by Spielberg and screenwriter Melissa Mathison in the year of the original’s release.
The plot picks up from ET, with the Taylor kids missing their alien friend, only to be overjoyed to find an alien ship. However, the creatures on board are evil albino carnivores with enormous red eyes and fangs. Korel is the leader of this species that is actually at war with the aliens. He ends up kidnapping and torturing the kids until Elliott lets out a screen so powerful that ET (turns out his real name is Zrek) hears them in space and returns to Earth to save his friends.
In the end, Spielberg decided not to go through with the project, as Gertie actress Drew Barrymore recalls.
Barrymore previously told Watch What Happens Live: “I will say that in the early ’80s there wasn’t a lot of talk about sequels and because Steven Spielberg did Jaws and ET, there was a lot of talk within his camp about sequels, but he never wanted to do them. because he felt that what he did is ‘as it should be’. I remember staying at his house when I was seven years old because he was like a godfather to me and he said, ‘No, we’re never going to do a sequel, it’s like that.’ It was his philosophy, so who was I to question it?
Spielberg later said that he felt his ET 2 “wouldn’t do anything but rob the original of his virginity. ET is not about going back to the planet.” Despite this, ET reunited with Elliott star Henry Thomas in a sequel of sorts.
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In 2019, NBC released a four-minute ad called ET Came Home For Christmas, with Thomas reprising his role as a grown-up father with a family of his own. In the short film, ET returns to Earth for the festive season in a story that was approved by Spielberg himself.
Earlier this summer, the Elliott star confessed that he hoped a feature-length sequel would never be made. However, according to Slash Film, she added: “I guarantee you there are some guys in a very big room now salivating and using their Abacus and slide rules to come up with really big numbers.”
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