It’s fair to say Steven Spielberg very, very rarely makes the wrong decision when it comes to filmmaking. He’s one of the best directors of all time, responsible for some of the best movies of all time, but he does have one regret.
Could it be a project he once passed on? Or working with an actor who caused all sorts of problems on set? Nope, nothing quite as severe. Instead, the Steven Spielberg movie that left the director with so much regret is E.T., the cute alien movie from 1982.
You may be wondering how that adorable little fella could have been an issue, but it turns out Spielberg regretted changing one aspect of the ‘80s movie upon its re-release in 2002.
He told Time: “[Removing the guns] was a mistake. I never should have done that. E.T. is 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. E.T. was a film that I was sensitive to the fact that the federal agents were approaching a bunch of kids with their firearms exposed, and I thought I would change the guns into walkie-talkies.”
“Years have gone by and I changed my own views. I should have never messed with the archives of my own work, and I don’t recommend anybody really do that. All our movies are a kind of a signpost of where we were when we made them, what the world was like, and what the world was receiving when we got those stories out there. So I really regret having that out there,” Spielberg added.
We have seen many films and stories tweaked over time to better reflect the changing culture of our world. Some older Disney movies, for example, now carry a warning relating to potentially offensive material that was deemed appropriate at the time of release. Spielberg clearly doesn’t believe cinema should be messed with – once it’s out there, it’s final.
For more from Steven Spielberg, here’s how to watch the Indiana Jones movies in order, or our guide on the Indiana Jones 5 release date, the new movie in that franchise. Alternatively, check out this feature on how Steven Spielberg is in his style over substance era for a hot take.