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OMFG: Rick Baker Reveals ‘Night Skies’ (Original ‘E.T.’) Aliens!!!

One of the coolest stories out of the Hollywood history books is that of Steven Spielberg’s Night Skies, his horror-themed alien movie that was set to follow his 1977 Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

The movie never came into fruition, and eventually was worked into both Poltergeist and E.T.

But before the movie was placed in the shredder, effects legend Rick Baker had been working diligently on the film’s three main aliens. More on that in a second…

Explains Wikipedia:

Spielberg based the story on the Kelly-Hopkinsville encounter, where a Kentucky family claimed that they had been terrorized by gremlin-like aliens. Spielberg had heard the story from UFOlogist J. Allen Hynek while doing research for Close Encounters.

In Spielberg’s original treatment for Watch the Skies, eleven malicious extraterrestrial scientists try to communicate with chickens, cows, and other livestock in an attempt to discover which of Earth’s animal species are sentient, before turning their unwelcome attentions on the human family and dissecting their farm animals.

The most interesting story behind Spielberg’s decision to not direct the film was Melissa Mathison’s reaction to the screenplay, which actually gave birth to E.T.

While Baker worked on the aliens, Spielberg was having second thoughts about Night Skies. “I might have taken leave of my senses. Throughout [the production of] Raiders, I was in between killing Nazis and blowing up flying wings and having Harrison Ford in all this high serialized adventure, I was sitting there in the middle of Tunisia, scratching my head and saying, ‘I’ve got to get back to the tranquillity, or at least the spirituality, of Close Encounters.'” While on the set of Raiders, Spielberg read the Night Skies script to Melissa Mathison (who was there to see her then-boyfriend and future husband Harrison Ford) and she cried after hearing it because “the idea of an alien creature who was benevolent, tender, emotional and sweet… and the idea of the creature’s striking up a relationship with a child who came from a broken home was very affecting”.

Anyways, there’s a whole lot about Night Skies over at Wikipedia, and I think many of you would highly enjoy the “what could have been” story.

But what promoted this entire news post is that Rick Baker decided to share a series of shocking behind-the-scenes shots of the in-progress aliens! From 1980, it’s incredible to see what was in the works, and how terrifying these aliens were. But what’s most interesting are the shots of the more caring E.T.-esque alien, also shown below.

This is historic stuff guys, really take a moment to relish this!



  • Paul M

    Damn I wish they’d made this movie. I was obsessed with the Hopkinsville Goblin story when I was a kid. Maybe this explains why as a 9 year old ET scared the shit out me.

  • vivekroy1245

    Impress your adorable brother with your delivered love along with thread of Rakhi on this special day. Send Rakhi to UK at right price through various online shopping stores and express your best love and affection.

  • Krug09

    Never actually saw close encounters but these friendly aliens look neat.

  • Carmen

    I think it would be awesone if this movie got made today. The plot sounds solid to me.


    As far as I’m concerned this news is incredible. Aren’t these designs supposed to be legally restricted due to Carlo Rambauldi Close Encounters and the eventual desgn of E.T.?

    These images people, are legendary and the long lost holy grail of movie monsters, I’m amazed this article isn’t 10,000 plus comments long, because It should be. I have the script for Night Skies and that is pretty special, all kinds of features arose from it, Gremlins and the like, but most especially… CRITTERS. A personal favourite of mine.


    Rick Baker keeps adding more images. Man, this production could have been the evil E.T.


    Just tweeted Rick Baker to see if he got to the camera test phase, and if he could share more on the project. To be honest, I’m shocked and amazed this has been publicly shared. The Dark Skies production was kept under great secrecy for many years. Especially those designs, eye-popping to see them just turn up on Twitter like that. WTF!

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