The things we love don't always start out as great as the finished product we fell in love with. Such is the lesson (or something like it) of seeing pictures of Rick Baker's work on the unfinished Steven Spielberg project that eventually became two movies: E.T. and Poltergeist. Night Skies was going to be a movie about a family being terrorized by aliens, and Rick Baker was already pretty far along in the process of designing the movie's aliens when the project was scrapped. Thanks to the Internet, we get to see how the movie's villains provided the DNA for what would become a classic and beloved movie character.
Rick Baker posted the pictures to his Twitter back in May, but they've been making the rounds again thanks to a post on Reddit. By the way, if you're into this kind of behind-the-scenes makeup stuff, follow Rick on Twitter. He's always posting stuff like this. His commentary is included above each photo.
Rick says: "I was so excited to be working on this project,to be able to design different alien characters of the same race."
Rick says: "Unhappy days,film shut down. I wanted to change the body of the ET,the mantis like arm placement just didn't work imo"
Rick says: "Happy days sculpting the prototype arms for the Night Skies alien back in 1980"
Rick says: "Here was a quick clay sketch that I did in 1980 for one of the nicer younger NIGHT Skies aliens"
Rick says: "As requested The Night Skies alien. Not finished, no eyes. Cover the top of his head and tell me who he looks like."
Rick says: "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"