Steven Spielbergs ET set to make millions 40 years after release

ET The Extra Terrestrial (1982) Official 20th Anniversary Trailer Movie.mp4

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One of Steven Spielberg’s best-known movies of all time, ET the Extra-Terrestrial, is still proving to be extremely successful, even 40 years after its release. The family movie, which was originally released in 1982, broke boundaries in the filmmaking industry by bringing ET to life using a three-foot robot that required 12 puppeteers to control it. Now, that animatronic is set to make major cash in a new auction.

Beneath ET’s flesh-like pallor, the groundbreaking robot was built with 85 moving parts that were precisely engineered to be used while cameras were rolling.

The new images of the robot have been provided for a new auction event that is taking place on December 18, 2022, in Los Angeles, California.

The event – Julien’s Auctions and TCM Present: Icons & Idols: Hollywood – will auction off the robot where it is expected to sell for an unbelievable £2.6 million.

This sum is just a drop in the bucket for the franchise, however, considering the final box office for the Oscar-winning film was a whopping $794.9 million. And that was on a meagre $10 million budget.

The ET robot was designed by special effects creative Carlo Rambaldi, who is also known for creating the Xenomorph from the Alien franchise.

Rambaldi’s daughter, Daniela, reportedly inherited his blueprints after his death in 2012.

ET the Extra-Terrestrial was produced by Spielberg’s filmmaking company, Amblin Entertainment, and distributed by Universal Pictures, so it would seem they did not retain the rights to the iconic, bike-flying creature’s blueprints.

The movie also marked the second time Spielberg worked on a science-fiction film, following his 1977 Oscar-winning Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

However, he later learned a valuable lesson about movie fans years later with ET’s rerelease.

In 2002 Spielberg rereleased ET with a 20-year anniversary special. But, behind the scenes, he decided to make major changes to some of the franchise’s biggest scenes.

Namely, the FBI officers’ guns were changed in the moment when Elliott flies off to safety with ET in his bicycle’s basket,

Speaking to ScreenRant, he recalled: “When ET was re-released, I actually digitised five shots where ET went from being a puppet to a digital puppet and I also replaced the gun when the FBI runs up on the van. Now they’re walkie-talkies. So there’s a really bad version of ET where I took my cue from Star Wars and all of the digital enhancements of A New Hope that [Star Wars creator] George [Lucas] put in.”

Spielberg added: “I went ahead because the marketing at Universal thought we need something to get an audience back and see the movie so I did a few touch-ups in the film. And, in those days, social media wasn’t as profound as it is today, but what was just beginning, you know, erupted a loud, negative voice about ‘how could you ruin our favourite childhood film by taking the guns away and putting walkie-talkies in their hands?’ Among other things.”

The iconic Indiana Jones director said he had “learned a big lesson” about making changes to his classic films.

“That’s the last time I decided to ever mess with the past,” he said. “What’s done is done, and um, I’ll never go back and do another movie I’ve made and I have control over to enhance or changes.”


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