It may be one of the best-loved childhood films of all time, but Drew Barrymore reveals that an E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial sequel is never going to happen.
Out of the movie's entire cast, a young Barrymore was clearly in the right place at the right time as she shot into Hollywood stardom after filming wrapped. Going on to feature in movies like Never Been Kissed, Scream, and Charlie's Angels, the actress has become a household name. However, in this era of reboots and remakes, E.T. 2 will never be a priority for Drew's busy schedule.
Speaking to ET - the publication, not the character - Barrymore shot down any notion that she could return to play Gertie, saying that everyone has moved on from that time in their lives:
"Nope, we're never going to make a sequel, it's just as it is. That was his [Steven Spielberg's] philosophy, so who was I to question it?"
Even with an alternate E.T. ending that would've set up a sequel, audiences know that E.T. is something that will always remain as a single movie. Expanding on leaving the E.T. story where it ended in 1982, Barrymore explained why Spielberg feels the way he does about (some of) his movies:
"I will say that in the early '80s there was not a lot of talk of sequels. But he never wanted to make them, because he felt like what he did is just what it should be."
It's far too easy to imagine a storyline for an E.T. sequel, with that wide-headed alien coming back to Earth to see Elliot, Michael, and Gertie, but much like Barrymore's feelings towards the project, what would be the point? Spielberg had been toying with the idea of a sequel as far back as 1982, which famously led to the treatment for E.T. II: Nocturnal Fears. Fearing that a sequel would've robbed the original of its "virginity," a movie cashing in on E.T. 36 years later would only prove that argument.
Up there with Spielberg's best, there was something about E.T. that was so timely to its '80s setting. Whereas the Jaws series was milked to death, and some of his movies like Jurassic Park have found new life and a reinvigorated franchise, the whole aliens on Earth trope has been done to death. Sadly, the heartwarming story of a lost extraterrestrial and his glowing finger might not have the box office appeal that it had decades ago (as a new story).
Barrymore landed her role on E.T. when she was just seven and immediately won everyone over with her adorable performance as Elliot's sister. Although she is clearly grateful for the movie opening doors for her, it doesn't sound like she is losing any sleep over missing out on a follow-up movie or another adventure for an adult Elliot and Gertie. As Spielberg and Barrymore both say, there would be nothing worse than soiling the memory of the first movie, which means there will never be an E.T. sequel as long as Spielberg has a say in the matter.