Rick Baker Finally Reveals ‘Night Skies’ Aliens

27 May


[Editor’s Note: This story was orignally written for and appeared on ETonline]

In the 1970s, director Steven Spielberg started pre-production on a follow-up to Close Encounters Of The Third Kind called Night Skies. He hired legendary special effects artist Rick Baker to create a prototype of the film’s menacing alien, and by all accounts, it was going to be spectacular.

Then, as is often the case in Hollywood, the whole project fell apart, and the film entered that strange cinema limbo of amazing movies that never were. Many of the designs were later used in Spielberg’s alien masterpiece ET in 1982, but the menacing alien was never seen. Until now!

Starting on Thursday May 22, Baker began tweeting out images of the many different animatronic creatures he had created for the film. From terrifying visages of violent aliens to the building blocks that clearly developed into the loveable E.T., these are the first looks at the aliens that would never make it to the screen in their original form.


Check out the gallery at the bottom of this article for all the rest of Baker’s amazing designs and creations!

Rick Baker may not be a name you immediately recognize, but it is almost a certainty that you have seen his work. Baker is an iconic make-up and special effects artist, who has won seven Oscars out of an astounding 12 nominations and is responsible for some of the scariest and most amazing monsters and creatures ever seen on screen.

Steven Spielberg is a name that you are likely more familiar with. Today, he was one of the most revered directors of our generation. In the late 1970s he was one of Hollywood’s hottest young directors. He had created the first major blockbuster, Jaws, in 1975, and in 1977 released the acclaimed Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, and the producers wanted a Close Encounters sequel.

From there, the ill-fated Night Skies was conceived. Spielberg created a treatment for a film based on the supposedly-real Hopkinsville Alien Encounter, where a family living on a farm in Kentucky were terrorized by a race of evil aliens.

As Spielberg developed the project, he began to want to get away from the idea of “evil” creatures from the sky, and return to the benevolent visitors that existed in Close Encounters. Taking one element from the Night Skies script, in which a small child befriends one of the innocent and sweet aliens lurking about the farm, Spielberg went on to create E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.

ET was the highest-grossing movie of all time for over a decade until it was surpassed in 1993 – by Spielberg’s Dinosaur thriller Jurassic Park.


One Response to “Rick Baker Finally Reveals ‘Night Skies’ Aliens”

  1. unclesporkums July 26, 2016 at 11:22 am #

    Reblogged this on lairofthelostfilms and commented:
    “Night Skies”, the ill-fated unmade Spielberg produced alien film which was to feature alien effects by Rick Baker, and later went on to become elements of films like E.T., Poltergeist, and Gremlins.

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