(DailyDig.com) – A contentious edit that Steven Spielberg made regarding one of his cherished movies is one the director says he deeply regrets. He admits that he made an error when he digitally replaced firearms with handheld radios in an anniversary version of his film “ET: The Extra Terrestrial” from 1982.
What he’s saying is that he caved in to commercial and societal pressures in the past without thinking about how it would affect his or anybody else’s creativity in the long run.
That was a terrible error on his part. ‘E.T.‘ reflects the cultural mores of the 1980s. No movie should be reevaluated in light of the lenses we must now use to view the world.
Spielberg continued by saying he was upset with himself. Never again will he offer to meddle with his personal work archives. Any film released into the world serves as a kind of marker for the messages being sent, the state of affairs, and the world of its creators. Critics at the time scoffed at his view that the government’s choice would be to equip its agents with radios rather than firearms.
Spielberg’s remarks are timely since classic literature like Roald Dahl’s is being controversially modified to remove terminology and descriptions that current readers would find offensive, such as the adjectives ugly and fat.
He began to consider modifying his other films as a result. What would he alter about “Close Encounters of the Third Kind“, the film he directed in 1977? And what if E.T. never returned to the ship? What other adjustments would he make? Would the basic premise of E.T. change to include the idea that the alien in question was a participant in a student program of foreign exchange?
To illustrate his stance against selective editing in an effort to alter the truth, Spielberg said that no one should ever try to change “Willy Wonka” by removing chocolate from the film. He explained that this is now an absolute for him. It represents the nation’s past and cultural traditions. In this sense, he is opposed to censorship.
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