Predecessors of Steven Spielberg's ET Revealed

Tuesday, 27 May 2014 - 9:37AM
Sci-Fi Art
Tuesday, 27 May 2014 - 9:37AM
Predecessors of Steven Spielberg's ET Revealed

The infamous alien of Steven Spielberg's 1982 classic wasn't always so adorable. Special effects artist Rick Baker tweeted pictures of the aliens from the aborted project "Night Skies," an artistic follow-up to "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and the project that inspired Spielberg to make "ET."

 

 

"Night Skies" began production in the 1970s, but entered development hell and was never released. The film was based on the supposedly true Hopkinsville Goblins Case, or a series of close encounters in which a family in a Kentucky farmhouse was menaced by malevolent aliens. According to the family, the aliens besieged their house, purposefully frightened them, and were immune to shotgun blasts. The family described the aliens themselves as looking like gremlins, having long, thin, atrophic limbs, pointed ears, and talons. UFOlogists regard this case as one of the most significant alien incidents on record. Although the police couldn't find any evidence of the aliens when they arrived at the scene, the witnesses' stories matched and remained the same over time. The incident has not been disproven to this day.

 

Unfortunately, the film will most likely never see a theater, but now fans can see for themselves what might have been. After all these years, Oscar winner Rick Baker ("An American Werewolf in London," "The Exorcist," "Men in Black") has released photos of the proposed aliens for this movie.

 

The aliens were meant to be terrifying; at one point in the creative process, the aliens looked a bit like an old man's head attached to a praying mantis's body. 

 

 

Credit: Rick Baker

 

But there were also supposed to be a few nicer aliens in the film, who looked a little more like the ET we know and love.

 

One of the baby aliens from "Night Skies":

 

 

Credit: Rick Baker

 

An alien that Rick Baker described as "ET's dad":

 

 

Credit: Rick Baker

 

While writing this film, Spielberg wanted to diverge from the "evil aliens" plot, and wrote a subplot in which one of the children befriends one of the benevolent aliens. This plotline directly inspired the script that became "ET." 

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