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This Could Have Been E.T.

Recognize the alien in this picture? Of course you don’t, because it was just a prototype that never appeared in the film. Good thing, too, because it would be hard to build a relationship with such a creature. Imagine if this was really E.T.’s race.

Fresh off a hit in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Steven Spielberg found himself beset with requests to make a sequel, because Hollywood's problems are not new. After Close Encounters of the Third Kind 2: Closer Encounters of the Fourth Kind was shot down, Spielberg pitched a dark and gritty follow-up in Night Skies, about a group of alien scientists terrorizing a farmer's family and violently mutilating their livestock like so many kidnapped hitchhikers.

Everyone was enthusiastic except Spielberg himself, who couldn't get in the cattle mutilation mood and wanted to make something more optimistic. Luckily, Harrison Ford's girlfriend, screenwriter Melissa Mathison, was around to tell Spielberg that she thought the best part of Night Skies was the subplot where the family's young son befriends one of the younger, less mutilation inclined aliens. Spielberg, liking Mathison's vision, asked her to write the first draft of a little film that you now know as... Schindler's List.

Okay, not really. It was E.T.

The earlier version of the aliens in E.T.: The Extraterrestrial are just one of 8 Iconic Characters That Were Originally Insane, meaning very different from the product we know, at Cracked.


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