E.T.: Henry Thomas was not happy with the 20th anniversary release of the 80s classic for one reason

JoBlo shares an EXCLUSIVE behind-the-scenes clip from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial ahead of the film's 40th anniversary home video release

Steven Spielberg’s all-time classic, E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial, was out in an IMAX re-release to celebrate its 40th anniversary. In addition, the original mechanical puppet used for the movie will be auctioned off this winter. Audiences all over can either revisit or experience this 80s phenomenon for the first time in several ways. There was even a much-maligned “special edition” version of the film released on the 20th anniversary taking its cue from the 20th anniversary Star Wars special editions with updated special effects, deleted scenes, and changes made by Spielberg.

The updated effects included using CGI to make E.T. more expressive and fluid, as well as replacing guns in the hands of the FBI with walkie-talkies as Spielberg felt it was inappropriate for them to pull weapons for a case involving children. Henry Thomas, who played the lead, Elliot, in the film, shared his thoughts via ScreenRant. Thomas explains,

I’m a fan of the original, and I didn’t like the changes. I wasn’t as concerned about the guns and walkie-talkies, but I didn’t like the comedic E.T. expressions that seemed out of place. I’m glad that they went back to the original version. It didn’t marry up with the other performance, it’s like two different actors.”

The 20th anniversary release proved to be unpopular with fans. However, the changes were more subtle than the changes Spielberg’s friend, George Lucas, had made for his Star Wars trilogy for its 20th anniversary re-release. Similarly, Lucas re-added deleted scenes and punched up a lot of the special effects in a big way, sometimes changing the narrative and character motivations. For the E.T. 20th release, the deleted scenes showcased extended scenes, including E.T. taking a bath. However, the new additions and CGI mostly preserved the film’s integrity.

The 40th anniversary version is the original theatrical unaltered version and hit IMAX theaters earlier this summer and saw a 4K UHD release last month.

Source: ScreenRant

About the Author

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E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.