It may now be the most common start writing a sequel at the same time that a movie is a success, but to Steven Spielberg, after ‘ET, the extraterrestrial’, the idea sounded like fried rays. What’s more, he himself has dedicated himself to bombarding, one by one, the ideas of franchising the film that have been occurring in Hollywood, but could not stop all. This is the story of that ‘ET’ sequel that happened… in book form. And, by the way, of all the others. Because there are, there are.
fear of the night
One month after the unprecedented success of the movie that introduced us to Elliot and ET giving us iconic images of teen adventure cinema, Steven Spielberg reunited with Melissa Mathisonthe original screenwriter, to stand in front of the film industry and say, in her own way, “If you want a sequel, it will have to be under our rules”. And what rules.
What happened to ‘Nocturnal fears’, the horror movie based on ‘ET’ that was never made, is well known: in the synopsis, the aliens that returned after the children’s friend returned home this time they were evil, carnivorous, albinos and they were looking for him. Also, incidentally, it revealed ET’s real name: Zrek, who eventually returned to help a dying Elliott after the battle with the aliens. Whatever it was, Hollywood looked at the idea with some disdain and decided that a sequel would never be produced. About.
In 1990, eight years after its theatrical release, Universal Studios announced a roller coaster ride based on ‘ET’ in which Spielberg himself gave up and made an introduction explaining the story of this pseudo-sequel: Botanicus, the ET professor, has asked him to return to his home, the Green Planet, because he is dying. and only her magic touch can save him. Well, that’s what you can see now in Orlando and it’s been going on since 2002: before, Spielberg announced that the visitors had been chosen as actors to recreate scenes inspired by the original film. Come on, it was twenty years closed in band to make any kind of concession to a sequel.
Command in sight!
On the twentieth anniversary of ‘E.T’, also video games, now forgotten the fiasco of the mythical Atari game, tried to give their point of view on the best-known extraterrestrial: ‘ET: Interplanetary mission’ shows the protagonist going from planet to planet saving nature with his miraculous finger. The last mission is on Earth, where she has to collect pieces of a communicator to call home (despite the fact that his ship hasn’t been broken, which makes it quite confusing actually).
If you’re curious, there was also another mini-sequel in the form of a mobile game: in ‘ET: The green planet’, Professor Botanicus (once again) helps you bring natural life back to your planet, set up a large garden and make a few deluded people bite with the payment options. But, who is Professor Botanicus? Where does this character come from and why does he seem key in the pseudo-franchise based on Spielberg’s film?
We go back in time to 1982 and meet William Kotzwinkle, a writer in his early forties who had been in charge of the novel adaptation of ‘ET’ in his own way: from time to time he put himself in the point of view of the alien, where he dropped that he was a botanist who he had been alive ten million years and saw Elliott and his gang as the kings of the planet. It also got into the head of the family dog, Harvey, who was sorry for all the shoes he’d eaten and wondered if he could gobble up ET. Come on, a trip. Well, this was the writer of the only official sequel to the film.
Little planet, smile again
Spielberg told Kotzwinkle a couple of ideas for a possible sequel in the early 1980s, and then gave you explicit permission to continue the saga in his own way. And boy did he do it. In 1985, the writer published the sequel in question: ‘ET: The book of the green planet’, an absolute madness that, like it or not, is canon.
Did you think ET is a space traveler? Nope! He is an interdimensional traveler! In fact, to travel between dimensions he has to open gaps in time: while for him not a second has passed, on Earth four years have passed and Elliott now cares more about liking one girl in particular. Ah yes: upon reaching his planet, ET is demoted for his adventure and demoted from officer first class to farmer. And it is that there the plants are the best in the universe (literally) and, in addition, they have feelings. We have not yet entered the weirdest part of the plot, I warn you.
ET sends out little miniature clones of himself to get Elliott’s attention., but he continually fails, which only increases his absolute -and insane- relationship with the boy, whom he ends up considering practically a god. In the end, the alien disobeys the orders of his superiors, steals a ship and he heads to our planet to see Elliott again. A third adventure that, luckily, never came.
If you’ve ever asked for an ‘E.T’ sequel, it might be time to reconsider. Because this – oh, yes – existed.