At an event celebrating Raiders of the Lost Ark’s 30th anniversary, Steven Spielberg revealed that when it comes to his genre masterpieces, fans will be able to get the versions they fell in love with.
On the heels of the uproar over George Lucas’ ongoing mission to alter, tweak, twist and warp his Star Wars films, Spielberg took the opportunity while doing a Q&A after the L.A. Times Hero Complex screening of Raiders to set the record straight, as far as retroactively changing his films is concerned.
For a re-release of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial back in 2002, Spielberg famously went back to the movie and used CG to, most egregiously, turn guns into walkie-talkies. Now he’s more sanguine about it:
For myself, I tried this once and lived to regret it. Not because of fan outrage, but because I was disappointed in myself. I got overly sensitive to [some of the reaction] to E.T., and I thought if technology evolved, [I might go in and change some things] … it was okay for a while, but I realized what I had done was I had robbed people who loved E.T. of their memories of E.T.
Spielberg then asked the audience which version of E.T. they’d want on Blu-ray. When they voiced their desire for the original 1982 cut, Spielberg said: “Okay, so be it.”
That, at the end of the day, is all anyone wants from Lucas: He can futz with his films to his heart’s content, but he should concurrently release the original versions as well. The past doesn’t cease being the past just because we don’t want to remember it.