One of the most treasured films in Hollywood history turned 40 this summer.
“ET the Extra-Terrestrial,” the innocent sci-fi fable about a lonely California boy and his alien friend in love with Reece’s Pieces, is still affecting children and adults alike after 40 years.
To commemorate this heartwarming feature that continues to evoke tears, smiles and laughter, Insight Editions has just released a prestige format edition titled “AND the Extra-T (opens in a new tab)e (opens in a new tab)rrestrial: the ultimate visual story” (opens in a new tab) for fans and movie buffs who can’t get enough of the emotional tale starring Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Dee Wallace, C. Thomas Howell, Robert MacNaughton, KC Martel and Peter Coyote.
Written by author Caseen Gaines (“Inside Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” “A Christmas Story: Behind the Scenes of a Holiday Classic”), this impressive 257-page hardcover book is the ultimate guide and companion volume to the director Steven Spielberg’s iconic film that captivated audiences when it was first released by Universal Pictures on June 11, 1982.
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This captivating retrospective explores Spielberg’s initial inspirations for the story and screenplay, the challenges of filming itself, the film’s smash success and endearing longevity, and the invasion of pop culture merchandise it brought to life. spawned.
“ET the Extra-Terrestrial: The Ultimate Visual History” features exclusive interviews with key cast and crew members that offer eye-opening insights into the intricate production. Filled with a wealth of illuminating imagery, this collectible book also contains rare and never-before-seen gems from the official Amblin Entertainment archives, including rare on-set photography, concept art, pre-production sketches , special effects secrets and storyboards. .
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And like the enchanting interiors of ET’s strange mothership seen in the early forest scenes of the $10 million movie, this new book contains a wide array of surprises, including removable insert materials like annotated script, intriguing studio notes, personal letters, preliminary sketches and much more.
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“‘ET the Extra-Terrestrial’ is such an important film, not only among Steven Spielberg’s oeuvre, but also in cinematic history,” Gaines told Space.com. “I’ve written about a number of significant moments in popular culture history, and it’s hard to think of a more significant moment than ‘ET’. I think the movie still resonates because of how emotional it is. It still feels incredibly personal and intimate, like we’ve been told Elliott’s secret and have the chance to be an observer of that special relationship he has with a visitor from outer space. like watching a movie, but an extraordinary, yet believable slice of life.”
Gaines’ research process for the book was exhaustive and he interviewed over thirty people, each providing fascinating insights.
“I don’t want to spoil too much, but I think people will be surprised by the genesis of the film and the interesting path the filmmakers took before settling on the final design of the titular alien,” he notes. “It was a small film, but there were so many talented people working behind the scenes on this project. Some of them were uncredited in 1982, but I really made an effort to put in highlight as many people as possible and share as many never-before-told stories as I could.”
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Among the many indelible images seen in “ET”, there is a particular shot that exemplifies the magic of Spielberg’s sci-fi classic for Gaines.
“My instinct was to try and pick something beyond the iconic image of Elliott and ET flying across the face of the moon, but let’s face it, that’s the only acceptable answer!” Gaines adds. “There are a lot of amazing shots in the film, but it’s one of the most memorable moments in cinematic history. When you see it, it brings you back to the emotional heart of the film and reminds you that no one ever can create magic like Steven Spielberg and his collaborators.”
“ET the Extra-Terrestrial: The Ultimate Visual History” from Insight Editions (opens in a new tab)” is available now.
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