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:
As requested The Night Skies alien. Not finished, no eyes. Cover the top of his head and tell me who he looks like. pic.twitter.com/r3PxK1T98A— Rick Baker (@TheRickBaker) May 22, 2014
He does look like Edward G and the others.But painting out the top of the head, adding eyes,and small tweaks.ET"S dad pic.twitter.com/XOdbSNDmAd— Rick Baker (@TheRickBaker) May 23, 2014
Here was a quick clay sketch that I did in 1980 for one of the nicer younger NIGHT Skies aliens pic.twitter.com/NKHVXrGNLu— Rick Baker (@TheRickBaker) May 23, 2014
Happy days sculpting the prototype arms for the Night Skies alien back in 1980 pic.twitter.com/x2z2ftL1ll— Rick Baker (@TheRickBaker) May 24, 2014
Unhappy days,film shut down. I wanted to change the body of the ET,the mantis like arm placement just didn't work imo pic.twitter.com/mNMEAP9yem— Rick Baker (@TheRickBaker) May 26, 2014
I was so excited to be working on this project,to be able to design different alien characters of the same race. pic.twitter.com/3uxwikTHRB— Rick Baker (@TheRickBaker) May 27, 2014
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!