Rick Baker shares images of his alien creations for ‘Night Skies’, Spielberg’s horror that never happened

night skies


Way back in 1977, when Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind became a massive hit, there was talk of a sequel. Spielberg did not want to make a sequel, but he also did not want Columbia Pictures making a sequel without him.

Spielberg set about making a sequel himself, but it was set to be much darker than the original film, and would be much more of a horror film. Originally titled Watch the Skies, it later became referred to as Night Skies, and make-up and special effects legend Rick Baker was hired to design the aliens for the film.

Night Skies never happened, but it was due to happen sometime after Spielberg finished Indian Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, but Spielberg suddenly had second thoughts, explaining:

“I might have taken leave of my senses. Throughout [the production of] Raiders, I was in between killing Nazis and blowing up flying wings and having Harrison Ford in all this high serialized adventure, I was sitting there in the middle of Tunisia, scratching my head and saying, ‘I’ve got to get back to the tranquillity, or at least the spirituality, of Close Encounters.’”

Instead of the horror film sequel, E.T was born, and you can see the similarities between E.T and Baker’s designs for Night Skies in the images below. Baker’s designs also went on to influence Poltergeist (1982) which Spielberg wrote and produced, and even Gremlins took pointers from Baker’s concepts.

Per Wikipedia:

Spielberg based the story on the Kelly-Hopkinsville encounter, where a Kentucky family claimed that they had been terrorized by gremlin-like aliens. Spielberg had heard the story from UFOlogist J. Allen Hynek while doing research for Close Encounters.

In Spielberg’s original treatment for Watch the Skies, eleven malicious extraterrestrial scientists try to communicate with chickens, cows, and other livestock in an attempt to discover which of Earth’s animal species are sentient, before turning their unwelcome attentions on the human family and dissecting their farm animals.

Baker has Tweeted a number of images from his alien designs for Night Skies, check them out next:


About Matt Wavish 10002 Articles
A keen enthusiast and collector of all horror and extreme films. I can be picky as i like quality in my horror. This doesn't necessarily mean it has to be a classic, but as long as it has something to impress me then i'm a fan. I watch films by the rule that if it doesn't bring out some kind of emotive response then it aint worth watching.

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