Steven Spielberg regrets altering 'E.T.'
September 15th, 2011
06:06 PM ET

Steven Spielberg regrets altering 'E.T.'

George Lucas may keep tweaking “Star Wars,” but another big director regrets messing with his masterpiece. Steven Spielberg said at a recent event that he wishes he hadn’t altered “E.T.” when he re-released the movie in 2002, reports New York Magazine.

"Speaking for myself, you know, I tried this once and I lived to regret it,” Spielberg said when asked about Lucas’ upcoming “Star Wars” DVD release at an anniversary screening of “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

He explained his regret was “Not because of fan outrage, but simply because I was disappointed in myself.” (For more in-depth discussion, check out Geek Out's coverage.)

Spielberg says he caved to parents’ groups about movie details “like Eliot saying ‘Penis Breath’ or the guns.” He also mentioned doing “some facial enhancement for E.T.”

After he released an altered version of “E.T.” theatrically, Spielberg says, "I realized that what I had done was I had robbed the people who loved ‘E.T.’ of their memories of ‘E.T.’ And I regretted that."

The director says the upcoming Blu-ray release will feature the original, untouched version of "E.T."

As for Lucas? “He can do whatever he wants with his movies because those are his movies.”

soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. saw see

    -Second hand, WWI horse worship and moral alibis galore.

    MEANWHILE, as those Siberian winds whip down across Tibet,
    Manchuria and North Korea and all the prison camps
    --Hollywood AGAIN balks and runs from all treatment,
    ALLLLL mention of the awesomely relevant,
    Globalist–RED China and EUGENICS 'unfriendly'

    ---------KOREAN WAR-----------–

    December 15, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jospey

    This is such a great resource that you are offering also you offer it for free. I enjoy reading websites that absorb the significance of giving a leading resource totally free. I truly enjoyed reading your publish. Thanks for inserting a huge amount of time into this!

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    November 2, 2011 at 6:06 am | Report abuse |
  3. ib42

    The movie would not have suffered one iota if that stupid line had been omitted in the first place. It added nothing to the movie...maybe made it tad less great. Vulgarity is just that, vulgarity. Of course, with the standards of today residing permanently in the gutter, this is of no importance to the generally crass public in this country. But some of us remember and miss a time when having 'class' meant something, and I don't mean it in the 'warfare' sense.

    October 12, 2011 at 4:05 am | Report abuse |
  4. John

    So will he publicaly apologize for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?

    October 11, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Marc

    Parents are doing more harm to kids, with their politically correct everything. Why don't they go make their own films, or keep their kids from some movies. Saw nothing inappropriate with the original version, and would have my kids view it.

    October 10, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Josh

    Spielberg should change "penis breath" to "dick breath", and claim it was due to complains from right-wing parents groups.

    October 7, 2011 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  7. Robert

    Honestly, I didn't think "penis breath" was appropriate even when I was 12 back in 1983, but, what I heard him say was "peanuts breath" (mental picture of an elephant; it didn't occur to me to accuse someone of smelling like a genital).

    October 6, 2011 at 2:50 am | Report abuse |
    • zrxgrim

      Exactly! It went over your head just like it should, just a good Warners Brothers cartoon. No harm no foul

      October 11, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jason

    If only his partner George Lucas would let this sink in and follow suit. I can only hope that if there is another Indy movie Spielberg keeps it true to the original trilogy.

    September 28, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Apostate

    VERY wise decision,Spielberg. Bravo!

    September 28, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Elinelson lisboa, Brasil,

    é inclivel, principalmente nas palavra de Steven Spielberg, será que eles são de outro sistema solar!

    September 25, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • gibberish

      Nico te gned Speilberg loaxarizos zaxat vaxakick staxackos te birm axabtol loroaxaso waxas pit vichaxako!!!

      October 10, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. G Boucher Fan

    I get that this is someone else's work repacked for CNN but the least you could do is cite the organization and interviewer who put together the screening (which was not New York Magazine)! Serious movie fans in LA will know that it was another LA Time event hosted by Geoff Boucher.

    September 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. FIX IN TX

    @FANBOY & maykat18 ~ The article did say that the upcoming Blu-ray release would be the original unedited and Christmas is coming up!

    September 16, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  13. dwight schrute

    I enjoy film. I've seen over two hundred of them.

    September 16, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  14. brian1952

    What's next? Is someone going to pressure the vatican to paint a loincloth on adam in the cistine chapel because they find it offensive?

    September 16, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  15. maykat18

    I love this movie. I remember watching it with my uncle when I was very young. It is a classic. Now that he has children I found it all to appropriate to purchase it for them for christmas a few years ago. I was very sad to see that it had changed. I am also saddened by the fact that they will not be able to enjoy the true original ET as I did. I thank my uncle for watching this movie with me when I was little.

    September 16, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  16. random

    @Steven Spielberg.. THANK YOU!!!1

    September 16, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  17. FANBOY

    Im a fan of Star Wars... im no so sure im gonna buy that bluray set with all the redos...

    September 16, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  18. xdougx

    I think the South Park episode where they make fun of him and Lucas for altering their films finally got to him!

    September 16, 2011 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  19. Jeremy

    This is SO WEIRD! JUST TODAY I used two clips from the movie E.T. in a class that I teach on writing compelling endings to your screenplays... As I watched the end of the film, I asked myself, "I wonder if Spielberg regrets altering E.T." And then mere hours later, I read this article... CUE TWILIGHT ZONE MUSIC! Way to go Spielberg!!!

    September 16, 2011 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Margaret

      Ask yourself what some likely winning lottery numbers would be. Don't be shy.

      September 16, 2011 at 6:34 am | Report abuse |
  20. Richard Fore

    @jhnz – I got your "secret code" right here in my pants.

    September 15, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Happy Cow

    MOOOOO. We usually dont watch Entertainment Tonight. The lil barnyard friends are still watching cartoons then. moooo : ) We hope you are doing super good. : )

    September 15, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  22. @Richard Fore

    We need to break the cycle of ignorant ba$tards that make stupid comments and cannot spell correctly! I f@rt in your general direction!!

    September 15, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  23. common sense

    E.T? People still watch that disaster? No wonder the world is in the mess it's in.

    September 15, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Harv Weinstein

    Mazeltov!!! and tip no more than 8%

    September 15, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Richard Fore

    Its the rotton christian rightious groups that he did it for, we need to break their grasp and infilteration of America!!!

    September 15, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Rotton? Infilteration? REALLY????

      September 16, 2011 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      HE did it, not them. Let this be a WARNING to people who think streaming movies are the be-all, end-all. If you don't own a physical copy (Blu-ray, DVD) you are at the mercy of whatever whacko morality holds sway at the time.

      September 16, 2011 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
    • josh rogen

      hey penis breath, it wasn't religious parents groups it was parents groups

      September 16, 2011 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Terri Pinkston

      rotten, infiltration

      September 18, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Superhiro

    Good to know he realizes that was a mistake, and screw these parents groups for trying to instigate those changes in the first place. Parents aren't film editors. Their complaints are NOT valid.

    September 15, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |

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