Rick Baker’s Alien Designs From a Scrapped Spielberg Project Are Stunning

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Slate's Culture Blog
May 27 2014 3:34 PM

Rick Baker’s Alien Designs From a Scrapped Spielberg Project Are Stunning

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:

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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.)

Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.

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