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Rick Baker Releases Early E.T. Designs, and Dear God They’re Unsettling

Oh, I'm sorry, did you not want your childhood ruined?


I’ve always been a little scared of E.T. Sure, the Reese’s loving little guy is just homesick, but for some reason the movie still scared the very ’90s pants off me when I watched it as a kid. Now special effects genius Rick Baker has released some early designs for the  beloved extraterrestrial Twitter, and wow: my trauma was 100% justified.

Cinematellica reports that the design concepts were initially made for a Close Encounters sequel which evolved into plans for Night Skies, a movie about a family being terrorized by a band of 11 aliens. Legend says that while filming Raiders of the Lost Ark Spielberg had second thoughts about the brutality of his newest alien feature, and the creature designs for Night Skies morphed into the iconic wrinkly guy many of us grew up with.


A clay model design for a friendly, young alien from Night Skies. This one could hide in my shed any old day. Not so much this next one:


Aggh no thanks! If there’s anything Michael Bay’s snoutless Ninja Turtles have taught the world, it’s that small tweaks in anatomy can make a beloved childhood character look a million times more threatening. Case in point: early E.T.’s ginormous head.


Bigger eyes, smaller forehead: Baker says he thinks of this model as “E.T.’s dad”.


Here’s Baker sculpting an alien for Night Skies back in 1980. I definitely recommend following Baker on Twitter for vintage behind-the-scenes shots from his insanely large body of work, as well as pictures like this:


(Cinematallica via io9, imagea via E.T. and TheRickBaker on Twitter)

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