Steven Spielberg Promises Not to Alter E.T. or Raiders of the Lost Ark for Blu-Ray Release
09.15.11 by Ryan
Take note, George Lucas, friend and collaborator Steven Spielberg has promised he won't alter his 1981 classic Raiders of the Lost Ark or 1982's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial for their eventual Blu-Ray release.
Speaking at a screening of Raiders in downtown Los Angeles for its 30th Anniversary, All Things Fangirl reports (via Slashfilm) that Spielberg was asked about the recent reports that Lucas had made even more changes to his Star Wars movies for their upcoming Blu-ray release. While Spielberg acknowledged the changes he made to E.T. for the extended, 20th Anniversary version released in 2002 (changes that included replacing the police's guns with walkie-talkies), he also admitted that he "regretted that."
Let me put it this way. George does what he does cause there is only one George Lucas and thank god for that. He's the greatest person I've ever worked with as a filmmaker and collaborator, he is a conceptual genius, he puts together these amazing stories and he is great at what he does. And my feeling is he can do whatever he wants with his movies because those are his movies. We wouldn't have been raised with Star Wars or Indiana Jones had it not been for George, so what he does with his films is great.
Speaking for myself, you know, I tried this once and I lived to regret it. Not because of fan outrage, but simply because I was disappointed in myself. I was overly sensitive to some of the criticism E.T. got from parent groups when it was first released in '82 having to do with Eliot saying "Penis Breath" or the guns...and then there were certain brilliant, but rough around the edges close ups of ET that I always felt, if technology ever evolves to the point where I can do some facial enhancement for E.T., I'd like to. So I did an E.T. pass for like the third release of the movie and it was okay for a while, but then 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. (massive applause) And the only contrition that I could possibly do because I felt bad about that was, the only contrition that I really performed was when E.T. came out on DVD for the first time, I asked Universal, I didn't ask Universal, I said you're gonna do this, when you release this on DVD you have to come out for the same price of one DVD, you have to put two movies in the box and one movie will be the 1982 version and the other will be the digitally enhanced version. I'd like to ask you this, let's do a little poll here, cause I know we're coming out with the Blu-Ray of E.T., if I just came out with one E.T. on Blu-Ray, [the] 1982 [version], would anyone object to that? (loud NO from the audience). Okay then, so be it. (huge applause)
The eventual Blu-Ray version of Raiders would also mirror the one shown at the screening, a version Spielberg was quick to note was only enhanced digitally, but not altered in any way.
This is the best it's ever looked because in preparation for the eventual release on Blu-Ray, we had to go and correct the print again and get the original negative out of the salt mines and then we had to do the separations and basically, the files which were just amazing with all the technology today, without changing any of the movie materially, like we haven't removed anything we haven't added CGI...This is the movie that some of you may remember from 1981, looking at the age of the audience, most of you don't remember it from 1981. But it is THE movie, it just looks so much better.
Another comforting detail for Indiana Jones fans was Spielberg admitting that Raiders is the "only movie" that he can watch "like an audience," adding that there's "nothing" he would want to change about it.
...all the movies I've ever made, this is maybe the only movie that I can actually bear watching from beginning to end and watch it like an audience, not like someone who knows what's coming next. I can get lost watching Raiders of the Lost Ark. And I also get lost watching Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, those are my two favorite of the four movies. I can't say that about every movie I've made, but this movie was very special to me in that way.
There is no release date yet for either E.T. or Raiders on Blu-Ray, but, at least for Raiders, Spielberg said it could be as early as "about six months."