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  •  Harrison Ford Had His Cameo Cut From The Final Film on Random Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'E.T. Extra-Terrestrial'

    (#4) Harrison Ford Had His Cameo Cut From The Final Film

    E.T.’s screenwriter, Melissa Mathison, asked her boyfriend at the time (and future ex-husband), Harrison Ford, if he’d be up for a brief cameo in the movie. The scene took place in the principal's office after Elliott, under E.T.’s influence, releases all of the frogs in his biology class (and kisses the girl he likes).

    The principal in this scene was played by Ford, and though he is never seen, Ford’s unmistakable voice can be heard reprimanding Elliott.

    Ultimately, Spielberg cut this scene due to Ford’s rising popularity at the time. He thought the star of Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark would distract audiences and take away from the immersion factor. 

  • The Full Moon Shot Was Filmed Practically With Puppets on Random Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'E.T. Extra-Terrestrial'

    (#7) The Full Moon Shot Was Filmed Practically With Puppets

    The famous image of Elliott and E.T. flying across the full moon was created using practical effects and puppets that were superimposed on the moon in post-production. According to the Industrial Light & Magic archive:

    ILM created the now iconic image of E.T. and [Elliott] flying over the face of a full moon using the studio’s Go-Motion technology combined with exquisitely crafted miniatures and puppet characters shot on a blue screen and then seamlessly inserted into live action plates.

  • The Movie Was Partially Inspired By How Lonely Spielberg Felt Making 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark' on Random Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'E.T. Extra-Terrestrial'

    (#3) The Movie Was Partially Inspired By How Lonely Spielberg Felt Making 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark'

    According to Steven Spielberg, the director always wanted to tell a story about a disenfranchised and lonely young boy. This desire stemmed from Spielberg’s relationship with his siblings and the divorce of his parents when he was a child. E.T. features this story, and Elliott’s loneliness is ultimately diminished by his friendship with the titular character. 

    While filming Raiders of the Lost Ark, Spielberg knew the spirit of the tale he wanted to tell, but he didn’t have much of a plot. In between set pieces, Spielberg walked out into the desert, picking up prehistoric seashells (the Tunisian desert used to be an ocean). In his solitude, the director felt “separate from himself," and pondered the question, “How do I tell this story of a lonely boy?”

    Over the next two to three days, Spielberg came up with the bare bones of what would become E.T. He then asked Melissa Mathison - Harrison Ford’s girlfriend at the time, and the screenwriter of The Black Stallion (which Spielberg enjoyed) - to write the film’s first draft. 

  • Three Actors Wore E.T.'s Costume, One Of Which Was A 12-Year-Old Walking On His Hands on Random Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'E.T. Extra-Terrestrial'

    (#1) Three Actors Wore E.T.'s Costume, One Of Which Was A 12-Year-Old Walking On His Hands

    Scenes that featured E.T. moving around called for a full-sized costume (made with hidden slits in the alien’s chest so the wearer could see), which was worn by three different actors over the course of production.

    The first person to embody the character was Matthew DeMeritt, a 12-year-old born without legs whom Spielberg found through the UCLA Medical Center. DeMeritt's suit was rigged so that he could place his hands into E.T.'s feet and use them to walk. He's the one operating the suit for E.T.'s intoxicated scenes in the kitchen (when he falls on his face). 

    Eventually, the costume proved too taxing for DeMeritt, and production brought in Tamara de Treaux and Pat Bilon, two little people hired to complete additional scenes. The actors were often cooled off with blow dyers between scenes. 

  • Initially, Spielberg Himself Was The Voice of E.T. on Random Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'E.T. Extra-Terrestrial'

    (#10) Initially, Spielberg Himself Was The Voice of E.T.

    Spielberg acted out most of E.T.'s dialogue by positioning himself beside the camera for the child actors to see (and better connect them with the character). In post, a raspy-voiced smoker by the name of Pat Welsh was hired (whose voice was mixed with the voices of 18 other people and various animal noises) to complete E.T.’s dialogue.

    Welsh was reportedly only paid $380 for her role. She also went on to be hired by George Lucas to be the voice of Boushh in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.  

  • Young Drew Barrymore Thought E.T. Was A Real Alien  on Random Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'E.T. Extra-Terrestrial'

    (#5) Young Drew Barrymore Thought E.T. Was A Real Alien

    Spielberg put everyone to work creating the illusion of E.T. In addition to raising sets and building a mechanical version of the character, Spielberg had the special effects designers meticulously test out all of the puppet movements before production so the extraterrestrial seemed real. The director even went as far as convincing a young Drew Barrymore that the puppet was a living, breathing alien.

    Thus, while filming the scene in which E.T. perishes, Barrymore’s reaction was genuine - she actually believed that E.T. had passed. "It had to be a great experience for her while it was happening," says Robert MacNaughton. "But then it must have also been terrible when it ended, because we really were like a family, and she really thought E.T. was real. So when it ended it had to be horrible for her."

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E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is a sci-fi family movie directed by Steven Spielberg. There is no doubt that this is the most famous early alien movie, which has inspired countless people's curiosity about the universe and the passion to explore the world. The film tells the story of the innocent friendship between the little boy Elliott and an alien. The film was released in 1982 and was a remake in 2002.

This page includes 14 items that are behind the scenes stories from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. Every cast made great contributions and some details that people don't know. Welcome to search for other interesting things.

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