Iconic filmmaker Steven Spielberg has revealed he will never digitally enhance the special effects in his old movies ever again.
Digital enhancements of visual effects in old films have proven a mixed bag. Some, such as the “Star Wars” special editions, have been met with a backlash. Only a few done tastefully, such as the director’s cut of “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” have received acclaim.
Spielberg found himself on the backlash end with the anniversary re-release of “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” boasting a few CG effects shots including the key scene where cops saw their shotguns replaced by walkie-talkies.
Doing press rounds for “Ready Player One,” Spielberg revealed to Screenrant that the criticism he scored from that means he won’t ever be digitally changing up elements of his old films again:
“I got in trouble for doing that. When E.T. was re-released, I actually digitized 5 shots where E.T. went from being a puppet to a digital puppet and I also replaced the gun when the F.B.I. runs up on the van, now they have walkie-talkies.
So there’s a really bad version of E.T. where I took my cue from Star Wars and all of the digital enhancements of A New Hope that George put in, and I went ahead, because the marketing at Universal thought we need something to get an audience back and see the movie so I did a few touch ups in the film, and in those days, social media wasn’t as profound as it is today but what was just beginning, you know, erupted a loud, negative voice about how could you ruin our favorite childhood film by taking the guns away and putting walkie-talkies in their hands among other things.
So I learned a big lesson and that’s the last time I decided to ever mess with the past. What’s done is done, and um, I’ll never go back and do another movie I’ve made and I have control over to enhance or changes.”
Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” opens in cinemas everywhere on March 29th.