June 15, 2012 at 9:29 AM ET
Despite E.T.’s epic journey back to outer space, there were apparently plans to have him return to Earth in a creepy sequel that never made it past the drawing board.
In a treatment dated July 17, 1982 (read the .PDF), retrieved by Geek Tyrant, filmmaker Steven Spielberg and his writing partner Melissa Mathison wrote out a nine page plan to bring back Hollywood’s most legendary alien in a film titled, “E.T. II: Nocturnal Fears.” The storyline, written just a month after the first film hit theaters, begins with Elliott, Michael and Gertie out of school for summer, and attempting to keep in touch with pal E.T. via a communicator antenna on their rooftop.
Meanwhile, a spaceship has landed nearby, steered by a group of evil, carnivorous aliens in search of a stranded comrade. Turns out they're a mutation of E.T.'s brand of aliens, and are at war with his kind. They kidnap and torment E.T.'s childhood pals, but eventually, it's E.T. to the rescue!
While there certainly would have been an audience for the proposed continuation, a Spielberg smartly recognized it was more important to preserve the original legacy of E.T. than to create a branded enterprise.
“Sequels can be very dangerous because they compromise your truth as an artist," Spielberg said, according to Geek Tyrant, "I think a sequel to E.T. would do nothing but rob the original of its virginity. People only remember the latest episode, while the pilot tarnishes.”
According to Bangstyle.com, Spielberg also vetoed the sequel because the film “took a turn that was too dark for most audiences who loved the first film for its uplifting story and the power of friendship, even if two friends are separated by a galaxy or two.”
In 2009, the filmmaker squashed rumors that a sequel was in development after the National Enquirer fueled the fire with speculation that he and star Drew Barrymore were working on a revival.
“I'm never going to make 'E.T. II' -- 'E.T.' is a closed story," Spielberg said, according to Ace Showbiz. "It had a beginning, middle, and a definite ending, and we had nowhere to take it except to go home with him. Nor did I want to bring him back to Earth for a second time."
Are you glad they left the original alone? Tell us on Facebook.