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Drew Barrymore reveals why Spielberg said no to a planned E.T. sequel

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Mar 30, 2018, 11:51 AM EDT (Updated)

For those of you who were holding your breath for a sequel to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Drew Barrymore has some not-so-great news for you. Speaking to Andy Cohen on a recent episode of Watch What Happens Live, the Santa Clarita Diet star ruled out the possibility, noting that Spielberg himself put the damper on it back in the 1980s.

“I will say that in the early '80s there was not a lot of talk of sequels,” Barrymore explained, after she was asked by a viewer if there would ever be a follow-up that would see Elliot and Gertie as grown-ups and their own families meeting E.T.’s family.

Barrymore confirms that it was at one stage a possibility, revealing that members of Spielberg’s team were the ones floating the idea — not a far-fetched thought by any means, considering that E.T. was the highest-grossing movie in history up until that time (it has now grossed $792.9 million, made on a budget of just $10.5 million.)

"There was a lot of talk within his camp about sequels, but he never wanted to make them because he felt like what he did is just what it should be,” she explained. Barrymore added that Spielberg — also her godfather — told her directly when she was 7 years old that it wasn’t to be: “He said, ‘Nope, we're never going to make a sequel, it's just as it is.’ That was his philosophy, so who was I to question it?”

It’s probably for the good of all of us that a sequel was never made. It has previously been revealed that the pitch for a second movie veered much darker than the first, feel-good hit of 1982. A leaked treatment for the project even imagined that the aliens on board E.T.'s ship were evil carnivores, not someone a grown-up Gertie would want to spend any length of time with.

If we were talking about Barrymore’s most recent character, however, the flesh-guzzling undead realtor Sheila Hammond from Santa Clarita Diet, then we'd be all for it. Seriously, who better to jump on board that ship for an alien cannibalism party, saving us all in the process?

What do you think of the idea of an E.T. sequel? Phone (home) your thoughts into the comments section below.