E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial 2 Was Actually Going To Be A Horror Movie And It Sounds Terrifying
Steven Spielberg's E.T. sequel, Nocturnal Fear, is a terrifying alien-abduction horror movie that barely features ET.
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is considered by Steven Speilberg to be a perfect movie, and part of the film’s timeless appeal is that it was one and done. Even though an ET sequel never happened, a Reddit user shared the official screen treatment for the second film, subtitled Nocturnal Fears. While it’s a better sequel title than “Rise” or “Requiem,” it also makes it clear that the original plan for the sequel was to make it a horror film featuring evil aliens stalking Elliot, Michael, and Gertie.
Henry Thomas, Robert MacNaughton, and Drew Barrymore were envisioned as reprising their roles, which you need to remember while reading how dark and twisted this film was compared to the family-friendly original. The E.T. sequel was going to follow an albino off-shoot of ET’s species, complete with red eyes, that had been at war for decades. The communicator left behind for Elliot is how the evil aliens get in touch with him, tricking him and his friends into an ominous clearing while thinking ET is back.
ET’s name, Zerk, is telepathically sent to the children by Korel, the evil alien leader, who then orders them onto the ship. In the screen treatment written by Speilberg, this next sequence is hard to read and even harder to envision on the big screen. No one wants to see kids tortured with “increasing intensity” as they “cry out for help.”
According to the initial draft, most of the movie would take place onboard the evil alien ship, complete with captured species from across the galaxy. The albino red-eyed aliens look similar to ET, only adding to the discomfort of watching them torture children. Unsurprisingly, if this is Spielberg’s initial concept for a sequel, it’s a good thing that it never happened.
ET does appear, towards the very end of the movie, to rescue the children and single-handedly defeat all of the evil aliens. After re-programming the alien ship, so it gets lost in the furthest reaches of space, the now traumatized and freshly tortured children look in awe, their eyes filled with hope, as ET ascends to the skies in his spaceship.
Nocturnal Fears reads like a horror movie that would have been better served as a standalone alien abduction movie and not an E.T. sequel. As it turns out, that was done for a very specific reason; allegedly, Spielberg was contractually obligated to work on a sequel, so he submitted one so horrible no one would greenlight it. The director says that a sequel would “rob the original of its virginity” and retroactively tarnish one of his greatest films.
Speilberg would go on to work on other sequels, most notably the Indiana Jones films with George Lucas and The Lost World: Jurassic Park, which was based on the second book by Michael Crichton. Out of his original movies, the award-winning director has never worked on a sequel, walking away from Jaws after he invented the summer blockbuster.
Given the terrifying screen treatment for an ET sequel, the theory that it was an act of sabotage holds a lot of water. In the last few years, the closest we’ve come to a sequel is a commercial starring Henry Thomas as a grown-up Elliot with his children that the diminutive alien visits one night to promote XFinitiy.