Steven Spielberg opened up about a mistake he made with his 1982 hit movie E.T.
In a conversation at the Time 100 Summit, the Academy Award-winning director criticized the revision of old films and censorship in a bid to make them more appealing or less offensive to modern audiences.
The legendary director admitted that he regrets editing a scene from E.T. that showed federal agents armed with guns.
The scene was edited in the 20th anniversary 2002 re-release of the film. In the updated version, the guns were replaced with walkie-talkies.
“That was a mistake. That was a mistake,” he said at the film summit, continuing, “I should never have done that because E.T. was a product of its era.”
“No film should be revised based on the lenses we now are, either voluntarily or being forced to peer through.”
Spielberg explained his decision to change the scene, stating that he was sensitive to the portrayal of government agents chasing down children with guns but changed his view over the years.
“I should never have [messed] with the archive of my own work, and I don’t recommend anybody really do that,” he said.
Steven Spielberg slams Roald Dahl’s Charlie & The Chocolate Factory revisions
Spielberg was asked if his opinion extends to other forms of artistic media, which led to Edward Felsenthal asking about the recent controversy surrounding the revision of Roald Dahl’s Charlie & The Chocolate Factory.
Publisher Puffin made over eighty changes to the classic children’s book, which sparked backlash.
Spielberg said, “Nobody should ever attempt to take the chocolate out of Willy Wonka! Ever! And they shouldn’t take the chocolate or the vanilla or any other flavor out of anything that has been written.”
He added that Dahl’s work is extremely valuable and that he (Spielberg) doesn’t “believe in censorship in that way.”
In 2016, Spielberg directed the movie The BFG, based on a Dahl novel of the same name.
Steven Spielberg praises Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is the upcoming fifth installment to the franchise and is notably the first not directed by Spielberg.
The Ford v Ferrari director James Mangold took over, and at the Time 100 Summit, the 76-year-old gushed about the movie.
Spielberg said he is “really proud” of Mangold and told the viewers at the screening, “Damn! I thought I was the only one who knew how to make one of these.”
Harrison Ford stars in the movie in what is his final portrayal of archaeologist Indiana Jones. It is set to hit the theaters on June 30.
Another notable change is that George Lucas, who wrote the previous films, was not a writer but an executive producer along with Spielberg.