Spielberg regrets tinkered-with version of E.T.

As the altered Star Wars saga arrives on Blu-ray, Steven Spielberg has talked of his regret at the changes he made for the 20th anniversary release of E.T….

In a week where the Internet has no shortage of people bemoaning the latest collection of changes that George Lucas has introduced to the Star Wars films, we thought you might just like this story.

You may remember that, come the 20th anniversary of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, director Steven Spielberg followed the path of George and made some digital alterations to the film. This included adding in new visual effects, and the digital removal of guns, to be replaced with walkie talkies.

These certainly weren’t dramatic changes, but they were daft and pointless ones, toning down a film that was hardly causing people to go off and use guns in the first place. Furthermore, there was no marked increase in walkie talkie usage as a result of the changes, at least that we know of.

It seems, though, that Spielberg has pretty much revoked the changes, and has gone as far as to say he regrets them. Granted, earlier this year he announced that there would be no more digital tinkering with his past films in this way, and said that he does recommend people go back to the 1982 cut of the film. And, to his credit, when the DVD of E.T. was release, Spielberg put out both versions, to let people choose.

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However, at a special screening of Raiders Of The Lost Ark, held in Los Angeles earlier this week, Spielberg apparently said that E.T. was coming to Blu-ray in 2012, and he asked the audience if they cared if the new version was omitted from the release. The audience? A pat on the back to everyone one of them, who reportedly bellowed a big “No” back at the director. According to a report of the event over at The Digital Bits, Spielberg then said that “He regrets making the changes he did for the DVD”.

Furthermore, incidentally, at the same event, the Blu-ray release of the first three Indiana Jones movies was discussed, and we should seemingly expect them next year. There have been no digital effects enhancements in the new print for the Blu-ray, either.

You can read the full report of the event over at the always-excellent The Digital Bits, right here.