Rick Baker Night Skies aliens

After Close Encounters of the Third Kind became a hit, Columbia Pictures wanted a sequel. Director Steven Spielberg did not, but the one thing he wanted less than a sequel was for Columbia to make one without him. So he set about developing a much darker, horror-tinged film that would act as a follow-up to Close Encounters. It was originally called Watch the Skies (which was also an early Close Encounters title) and eventually referred to as Night Skies. John Sayles scripted, and Rick Baker was hired to design the alien concepts.

Rick Baker has been posting images of his designs on Twitter, and they’re wonderful to see. Several will look very familiar, too. Because while Night Skies was never made, concepts from the film ended up in several other Spielberg projects. E.T. adopted several big ideas from Night Skies, and films such as Poltergeist and Gremlins took concepts and pointers. (A theater marquee seen in Gremlins also advertised Watch the Skies.) See more below. Read More »

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