Night Skies was to be a Steven Spielberg movie about extraterrestrial scientists who terrorize a family of farmers. It was developed at the request of Columbia Pictures, who wanted a sequel to Close Encounters of the Third Kind. But Spielberg was unenthused by the project, and eventually managed to scrap it altogether. Pre-production got far enough along, though, to yield a first draft from screenwriter (and future filmmaker) John Sayles and designs from special-effects master Rick Baker. And some of their ideas eventually provided inspiration for E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial and Poltergeist.
Over the past few days, Baker has shared some of those alien images via Twitter, and they are a sight to behold:
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/3uxwikTHRBRick Baker (@TheRickBaker) May 27, 2014
Carlo Rambaldi, who had previously worked with Spielberg on Close Encounters, would go on to work on and receive credit for creating E.T., but that alien’s connection to Baker’s Night Skies designs is obvious. (In his second tweet, Baker refers to his design as “E.T.’s dad.”)
(Via Slash Film.)
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