May 30, 2014

Check out Rick Baker's Alien for Steven Spielberg's Scrapped 'Close Encounters' Sequel

Oscar-winning special effects makeup artist Rick Baker, who, by the way, shares tons of top notch tutorials on his YouTube channel that you should check out immediately, recently tweeted several images of his alien designs for Steven Spielberg's unrealized sequel to Close Encounters of the Third Kind, entitled Night Skies. The models, all 11 of them, were created by Baker at the direction of Spielberg, who was looking for aliens with distinctive personalities based on a script written by John Sayles (one of which looks just like E.T.). The sequel project might've been scrapped, but the models, or photos of them at least, were not. Check them out after the break.

Dark Skies was initially intended to be a dark sequel to Close Encounters (think Peckinpah's Straw Dogs but with aliens). However, as the story goes, the script with 11 less than cuddly extra terrestrials was scrapped in favor of a script with just 1 super cuddly extra terrestrial, later titled, well, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial. (In fact, if you look through Baker's designs, you might notice that one in particular bares a striking resemblance to the alien in Spielberg's E.T.) Cinematellica offers further details on the whole Dark Skies/E.T./Close Encounters thing:

In April 0f 1980, with Spielberg producing, Rob Cobb (conceptual artist, production designer of Conan the Barbarian) was set to direct a script by John Sayles know then as Close Encounters 2. Later it became Night Skies, a film that would rely on 11 unique, believable, extraterrestrial designs. John Landis suggested Spielberg talk to Rick Baker, who was then working on An American Werewolf In London. When the two met to discuss the project Spielberg described a script along the lines of Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs with creatures that needed distinct personalities. Baker was eventually given character descriptions. A few were Scar (a badass), Squirt (a cute little guy) and Buddy (a creature like the eventual E.T.).

Take a look at the alien concepts Baker tweeted below:

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A quick, slightly unrelated side note, I just learned that François Truffaut (my second favorite director) was in Close Encounters -- and now I'm losing my mind. Discuss below!


Your Comment


I remember reading about this in Fangoria way back when. I'm happy Rick Baker is finally able to share these photos! The character of Scar evolved into Stripe for Gremlins and if I recall the script was written by Bob Zemekis!

May 30, 2014 at 8:38AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


No, GREMLINS was written by new Speilberg-find Chris Columbus, whose agent submitted his GREMLINS screenplay to Speilberg as a writing sample in a pitch to write the next Indy flick. While Columbus didn't get the Indy gig, Speilberg liked his sample script so much, he decided to executive produce it.

I attended the sneak preview in NYC and, afterwards, an invitation-only Q&A for NYU Film School students with Chris Columbus, director Joe Dante, producer Michael Finnell, and I believe, Susan Arnold (Casting).

May 30, 2014 at 11:56AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


I really enjoy this site and the articles, but I'm subscribed to the rss feed and if you didn't know this, you're clogging up my feed reader with multiple versions of each post with different titles. This is making me consider unsubscribing, which means I won't be notified of new posts, and therefore won't be coming to the site. Hopefully you can find a solution. Just stick to one title and don't multi-publish to your feed.

May 30, 2014 at 8:42AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


Thanks Lou -- what feed reader are you using? I only see single entries:

May 30, 2014 at 9:06AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM

Ryan Koo

Hey Ryan,
I'm using the Caffeinated app on mac, and now that I look it seems to be unsupported now. But it's an app that catches feeds. If you publish an article, it catches it, and if you publish over and over, it'll catch it each time you publish the article. So publishing, changing the title, and publishing again with a new title, means I get it twice. This would explain why it's only showing up once in the actual feed and multiple times in my reader. I don't know if this is just how my (apparently outdated now) feed reader works of if other feed reader apps also catch posts the same way. Worth looking into. And now that I know my reader isn't supported anymore I may transition over to something else and I'll let you know if I keep getting the same problem. Thanks :)

May 30, 2014 at 9:50AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


Easily solved. Bin the Mac

May 30, 2014 at 10:50AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


why do we keep on thinking that ET's looks like an ugly representation of ourselves? i understand playing on the fear factor of the unknown but can't we be a bit more creative with all that we know now?
just my opinion.

May 30, 2014 at 1:54PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


You didn't know Truffaut was in Close Encounters?!?!? At least you know who Truffaut is. But if he's your second favorite director, and you didn't know he was in Close Encounters, it makes me question the cinephilic integrity of this site. Fun Fact: E.T.'s eyes were modelled after Truffaut's.

May 30, 2014 at 3:31PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


Get over yourself. Honestly!

May 30, 2014 at 5:05PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM



"Are you incapable of restraining yourself, or do you take pride in being an insufferable know-it-all?" -Snape

June 5, 2014 at 6:06PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM

Daniel Mimura

I may be the only one, but I didn't care for E.T.

May 30, 2014 at 9:11PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


I didn't either.

May 31, 2014 at 6:23PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


Has anyone here read the screen play for ET2? It was written by Spielberg and is so monumentally bad. Seriously. Don't just look at this post. Google that screenplay. You will be blown away at how terrible it is. It literally says at one point when describing the Aliens hunting ET "but these aliens were different, they are Evil!". Suprise surprise it never got made. By the way thanks for the article is fun to see how much better ET looks worth the top of his head intact

May 31, 2014 at 2:10AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


"A quick, slightly unrelated side note, I just learned that François Truffaut (my second favorite director) was in Close Encounters — and now I’m losing my mind. Discuss below!"

Do you actually like movies?
How on earth could you not know that?

May 31, 2014 at 7:47AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM

Fresno Bob

What I'm really interested in is reimagining of The Tourist with artwork by the late great H.R. Giger. You could pull this off today with a touch of nostalgic feel (Oblivion meets Drive if you catch my drift), but still dark and stylish (maybe not "The Hunger" overdone though). R-r-refn? P-p-please? Wanna fight?

June 1, 2014 at 8:50AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


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June 3, 2014 at 1:59PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM