Steven Spielberg Explodes Revising Old Movies For Modern Audiences


April 26, 2023 | 7:18

Steven Spielberg has criticized the overhaul of old films in an effort to make them more appealing to modern audiences.

The legendary director admitted he regretted editing scenes, especially one from his hit 1982 film ‘ET’ which showed government agents armed with guns.

The scene ultimately did not make it into the 2002 re-release of the film and replaced the weapons with walkie-talkies.

“It was a mistake. It was a mistake,” he said at the Time 100 summit on Tuesday, adding, “I never should have done that because ‘ET’ was a product of its time. “

“No film should be edited for the goals we are now in, either voluntarily or by being forced to look through it.”

“’ET’ was a movie that I was sensitive to about federal agents approaching kids with exposed guns and I thought I’d change the guns to walkie-talkies. Years passed and I changed my own opinions,” the Oscar-winning director added.

Spielberg echoed a similar sentiment in 2011, and this week doubled down and urged others not to repeat their mistakes.

The Legendary Director Revealed His Biggest Regret From His 1982 Hit Film ‘ET’
Corbis via Getty Images

“I should never have messed with the archives of my own work, and I really don’t recommend anyone to do that,” he said.

“All of our films are some kind of measurement – ​​a signpost of where we were when we made them, what the world looked like, and what the world was getting when we aired those stories. So I really regret having that there.

One particular scene in “ET” showed the officers chasing children while carrying guns.
Universal images
Spielberg changed the scene to show agents wearing walkie-talkies for the 2002 re-release of the film.
Universal images
Spielberg said he “should never have touched the archives of my own work”.

The actor was then asked if he thought the same thought should be applied to other art forms, particularly films adapted from books such as Roald Dahl’s ‘Charlie & The Chocolate Factory’ which contained offensive words for the script of the film.

“Nobody should ever try to take chocolate out of Willy Wonka!” Never! And they shouldn’t take the chocolate or the vanilla or any other flavor out of anything that was written,” he said in response.

“To me, it’s sacrosanct. It is our history, it is our cultural heritage. I don’t believe in censorship that way.

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