Steven Spielberg Confirms JAWS Blu-ray, Addresses Digital Corrections to His Past Films

by     Posted 3 years, 90 days ago


As one of the most powerful directors of all-time, Steven Spielberg can pretty much do whatever he wants. While his films have been slow to come to the Blu-ray format, much to fans’ dismay, The Beard recently confirmed that a Blu-ray of Jaws is currently in the works. Stating that they’re working on the disc now, Spielberg responded thusly:

“Yes, there is. I’ve already seen some of it. I don’t have a date yet, but there’s a Blu-Ray absolutely in the works.”

This is fantastic news to cinephiles. Jaws is a masterwork, and to see the film in the highest-quality transfer available is definitely something to look forward. However, while talking about the Jaws Blu-ray, Spielberg also addressed a grave concern many fans have had over the years: digital corrections to his past films. Surprisingly, it appears that he’s changed his mind on the topic, and vows that there will be no more digital enhancements or additions to anything that he’s ever directed again. Hit the jump for more.

e-t-movie-posterIn 2002, for the 20th Anniversary of Spielberg’s E.T., an extended version of the film was released. Much to everyone’s surprise, the director had gone back and altered some things in the film that had bothered him for quite a while. He beefed up some of the special effects, and then decided to replace all the guns in the movie with walkie-talkies. You know, because policemen having guns is scary.

Needless to say, fans were not happy about the changes. Now, in an interview with AICN, Spielberg appears to have changed his mind on digitally altering past films just because we have the technology now:

“[In the future] there’s going to be no more digital enhancements or digital additions to anything based on any film I direct. I’m not going to do any corrections digitally to even wires that show…At this point right now I think letting movies exist in the era, with all the flaws and all of the flourishes, is a wonderful way to mark time and mark history.”

Anticipating contention over his manipulation to E.T., Spielberg addressed the film directly:

“When people ask me which E.T. they should look at, I always tell them to look at the original 1982 E.T. If you notice, when we did put out E.T. we put out two E.T.s. We put out the digitally enhanced version with the additional scenes and for no extra money, in the same package, we put out the original ‘82 version. I always tell people to go back to the ’82 version.”

This is certainly refreshing to hear. It’s rare that a person so powerful admits mistakes, but Spielberg has gone so far as to completely change his mind. It’s nice to see that George Lucas wasn’t able to keep him convinced that because the technology exists, you MUST re-edit your films every five years. At least we now know that the Indiana Jones franchise is safe, save for that whole Kingdom of the Crystal Skull thing.

Head over to AICN to check out the rest of the interview, where Spielberg talks specifically about Lucas and digitally manipulating films.


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  • tarek

    quote: “I think letting movies exist in the era, with all the flaws and all of the flourishes, is a wonderful way to mark time and mark history.”

    Which is not the case of the senile George Luca$…

    • Michael

      Now if only we could get Papa Lucas to say and believe the same thing. Although I wish that Spielberg had cleaned up the original E.T. version, to remove visual artifacts, grain and such.

  • Beaky Smoochies

    Kudos to Senor Spielbergo for acknowledging there’s immense value in letting the movies stand as they are, and if you absolutely MUST alter something in the movie after the fact- and sometimes it is a good thing, like completing a visual effect shot(s) that wasn’t as good first time out, or releasing an extended/alternate version that was the originally-intended cut (‘The Abyss’ for example), etc.- then release BOTH versions on disc so the fans have their choice.

    As far as the ‘Star Wars’ special editions go, I defended them in 1997, and I still do (the Han/Greedo alteration was unforgivable however), but that’s where Luca$ should have finished those movies, and LEFT THEM ALONE after that. The 2004 versions were just outright vandalism- although removing the Magnum handgun sound effects from ‘…Hope’ and Luke’s ridiculous scream in ‘…Empire…’ were totally necessary, however- but he really screwed them up, including the simply appalling new restoration which actually WORSENED the overall picture quality, which Luca$ did quite deliberately to bring them in line with the digital pictures of the prequels!!! I mean, words fail me, but kudos to Spielbergo, way to go (almost makes up for that horrendous ‘Munich’ propaganda fiasco, I said almost)…

  • jackyboy

    i think hanging out so much more with Scorsese these past few years(for those lifetime achievement thing) convinced Spielberg that “once a film has been completed, it should not be further altered in any way.” his good friend Scorsese, and his admiration for Kubrick might have finally made up his mind on this issue. and i agree with him.


  • Alex–

    It’s pretty simple.

    You just improve the film color, less graininess and things like that. It would be a better idea to hire someone else to do it, so a director isn’t tempted to change more.

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  • JLC

    But when they bring Raiders to Blu will they go back to the pre-DVD versions? I always loved seeing the reflection of the cobra in the Well of Souls and I was disappointed they digitally erased it for the DVD. That’s exactly the kind of thing Spielberg is talking about.

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  • Amy Irving

    Funny that you mention Indiana Jones…
    It has already been manipulated. The damage is done. You’ll never see the original theatrical versions again. I guess this just means whatever gets a blurred release will not be altered any further. *cough*

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