E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial featured a brief cameo by Harrison Ford, but it was later cut during post-production. The beloved film directed by Steven Spielberg held the record as the highest-grossing film of all time for nearly a decade. The sci-fi movie is considered one of the greatest films in history, focusing on a young Elliot (Henry Thomas) who had a telepathic connection to his extraterrestrial friend (that he later named E.T.).
Elliot started to show signs of intoxication since the alien was drinking beer while roaming the house alone. Elliot then set all of the frogs free in his biology class before giving a girl in his class a big kiss. Due to his behavior, Elliot was sent to the principal's office, but what viewers didn't get to see was Harrison Ford portraying the role of the school's stern leader. After the frog incident, Ford's character reprimanded Elliot while teaching him the dangers of underage drinking. Meanwhile, Elliot's chair started to levitate to the ceiling due to E.T.'s extraterrestrial powers. Before the principal turned around from looking out the window, the chair was back on the ground as if nothing happened.
Harrison Ford's face was never shown but his voice was distinct enough to be recognized. The actor was currently dating E.T.'s screenwriter, Melissa Mathison, a woman he later married. Mathison had asked Ford if he would make a brief cameo in Spielberg's new movie. He had no issue with the request considering Ford starred in Spielberg's previous hit, Raiders of the Lost Ark, the year before. They loved the idea that Ford played an uptight character which was against his typecast.
Why Harrison Ford's E.T. Cameo Was Cut
In the end, Spielberg felt like Ford's cameo might reshape the film and take away from the primary focus, so it was cut. There was also the worry that Ford's role would be a distraction in the movie. Up to that point, the actor's popularity was soaring since he starred in Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Each of those titles was a monumental hit at the box office but Spielberg didn't feel like Ford's presence was necessary for boosting E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. The scene itself felt forced and didn't match the vibe of the rest of the movie, so Spielberg made the cut before it reached audiences.
A blurry version of Ford's cut scene was later found circulating the internet but the deleted sequence was never officially released. There was speculation that it would be added to the Special Edition DVD celebrating the 20th anniversary of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. But Spielberg stuck with his initial feelings regarding the scene so Ford remains absent from the fan-favorite film.