The Dark Story Behind The Canceled Sequel To 'E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial'

Steven Spielberg is Hollywood royalty. He's given us some of the greatest films of all time and has been presented with the Academy Award for Best Director more than once. While many of his creations are now ubiquitous, one of his lesser-known endeavors was the never-made sequel to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. 

There are a lot of popular '80s movies with canceled sequels, but this one is perhaps the highest -profile example of a beloved franchise getting shelved after one entry. Even though the original was a smash success, it's probably for the best that the sequel never came out.

Based on an early treatment of the film, E.T. 2 was slated to be much darker than the original, and the idea of a dark E.T. movie just doesn't sit well (even though the first film did have an admittedly bleak ending). Worse still, E.T.'s "real name" is a major reveal in the sequel. Why did anyone think that was a good idea? 

Here's the story of the E.T. sequel that could have been and why we're all better off without it.