Henry Thomas, who played Elliott in ET the alien, reveals his troubles with the film’s 20th anniversary reissue. Steven Spielberg’s film is a film classic, with Spielberg directing and the score by John Williams creating one of the most memorable films of all time, cemented by ET‘s inclusion in the National Film Registry of the United States Library of Congress in 1994. The deceptively simple film follows a young boy named Elliott as he forms a touching bond with an alien stranded on Earth, eventually helping ET to come home.
Ever since ET‘s release in 1982, it has endured in the cultural consciousness for decades. While the film was not re-edited for its 40th anniversary this year, in 2002 the film received an expanded 20th anniversary. Now out of circulation, the “Special Edition” used CGI to update some sequences, replaced the federal agents with walkie-talkies, and added a few deleted scenes, including one of ET taking a bath. The reissue received some negative attention and Thomas seems to have his own thoughts on the controversial special edition.
In an exclusive interview with screen raging, Thomas talks about his feelings around ET40th anniversary, which was celebrated with IMAX screenings of a new remaster in select theaters. When asked about his feelings around the 20th anniversary edition, he expresses some frustration at the changes made to the original. Check out what Thomas has to say below:
I’m a fan of the original, and I didn’t like the changes. I wasn’t too concerned about the guns and walkie-talkies, but I didn’t like the comical ET phrases that seemed out of place. I’m glad they went back to the original version. It was not related to the other show, they are just two different actors.
ET’s 20th Anniversary Reissue Controversies Explained
While the changes and digital improvements have been minimal, not even Spielberg himself stands behind the version, with the director saying in 2011 that he will refuse to digitally improve his films in the future and that viewers will have to stick with the original 1982 version for the entire month. to look. re-edited movie. Many groups objected to the 20th anniversary ET reissue, with some expressing frustration at the weapons being removed in a move they deemed “politically correct.” Thomas says he didn’t mind that change, though, with his frustrations centering on the special edition’s tonal shift, which used digital enhancements to make ET feel more emote.
Spielberg may have felt at the time of filming that the animatronics in 1982 weren’t at the level he wanted for the movie, but ET‘s stamina is enough to prove that the alien managed to work his way into the hearts of the viewers anyway. With the overuse of CGI in modern movies, the practical effects in ET make it all the more special, making the titular character feel a little more real in the eyes of the audience. Thomas’ point about the changes to ET is shared by many fans of the original, who felt that digital enhancements and comedic notes took away the magic that ET initially inspired. Fortunately, the original 1982 version of ET is the one that has stood the test of time, and those who want to celebrate the film’s 40th anniversary can watch it again on Peacock.
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