On Tuesday, Steven Spielberg appeared in LA after a screening of a new digital print of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The print was created from the same new master files that will ultimately be used to create a Blu-ray release. And in a move that will likely delight fans, he expressed regret over alterations made to E.T. a few years ago, where guns were digitally replaced with walkie-talkies, and says that the Blu-ray release of that film will be the original 1982 version. His comments also suggested that the few digital tweaks made to Raiders of the Lost Ark for its 2003 DVD release might also be rolled back.

We’ll have another piece with other good trivia bits that came out of the post-screening talk, but the E.T. and Raiders blu-ray comments are below.

In his early comments after the Raiders screening, Spielberg highlighted that the audience saw the original version of Raiders as seen in first release.  He crowed,

This is the best I think it’s ever looked, because in preparation for the eventual release on blu-ray we had to correct the print again and get the original negative out of the salt mines, and then we had to do the separations, and basically the files, which are just amazing, with all the technology of today, without changing any of the movie materially, we haven’t removed anything, we haven’t added CGI, there’s no digital enhancements! It’s purely the movie you some of you may remember from 1981.

That suggests that even the few digital cleanups made for DVD, such as the erasing of a snake’s reflection in protective plexiglass, won’t be on the new blu-ray, which is great to hear.

Later, he said,

For myself, I tried [changing a film] once and lived to regret it. Not because of fan outrage, but because I was disappointed in myself. I got overly sensitive to [some of the reaction] to E.T., and I thought if technology evolved, [I might go in and change some things]…it was OK for a while, but I realized what I had done was I had robbed people who loved E.T. of their memories of E.T. [...] If I put just one cut of E.T. on Blu-ray and it was the 1982, would anyone object to that? [The crowd yells "NO!" in unison.] OK, so be it.

Quotes via AllThingsFangirl

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