UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., Jan. 31 Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment will unveil the 20th anniversary version of Steven Spielberg's masterpiece "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" at a once-in-a-lifetime premiere event on Saturday, March 16, 2002 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles with five-time Academy Award(R)-winning composer John Williams conducting a 100-piece orchestra in a live score-to-film performance of his Grammy and Oscar(R)-winning score. The occasion will mark the first time in history a non-silent film has been presented in its entirety with live full orchestral accompaniment.
A benefit for Special Olympics, the special premiere screening will be immediately followed by a gala reception at the Shrine Exhibition Hall.
Universal Studios and Special Olympics partnered for the original release of "E.T." in 1982. The renewal of this partnership 20 years later represents a new chapter in the tradition of honoring the fundamental values of the film acceptance, tolerance and diversity which are embodied by the Special Olympics organization. Joining Universal in hosting this unique benefit premiere are presenting sponsor Eastman Kodak Company and associate sponsor Toyota Motor Sales USA.
"E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" will be re-released in theaters on Friday, March 22 and features never-before-seen footage, state-of-the-art computer-generated enhancements and a digitally-remixed soundtrack.
With the power of a fable and the soul of a fairy tale, "E.T." is the thrilling and deeply moving story of the special friendship that develops between a lonely young boy and a wise, benevolent visitor from another planet who becomes lost on Earth. As the boy attempts to help his extra-terrestrial companion contact his home planet so that he might be rescued, they must elude scientists and government agents determined to apprehend the alien for their own purposes...which results in an adventure greater than anything either of them could have imagined.
From its wordless, poetic and suspenseful introductory sequence to an exhilarating, poignant finale, "E.T." has become an indelible part of American film history. Directed by Spielberg from a screenplay by Melissa Mathison and produced by Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, "E.T." co-stars Dee Wallace Stone, Peter Coyote, Drew Barrymore, Henry Thomas and Robert MacNaughton.
"E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" was originally released on June 11, 1982, and holds the record as Universal Pictures' highest-grossing domestic film ever. To date, "E.T." has earned more than $702 million in worldwide box office, making it the studio's third-highest grossing film overseas (behind "Jurassic Park" and "Jurassic Park: The Lost World," both also directed by Steven Spielberg). The film received nine Academy Award(R) nominations, winning four Oscars(R) for Best Original Score, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Effects Editing and Best Sound Mixing. "E.T." also won Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture - Drama and Best Original Score; a Grammy Award for John Williams' score; the Los Angeles Film Critics Awards for Best Picture and Best Director; the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Director; a German Academy Award for Best Director; a Japanese Academy Award for Best Foreign Picture; a British Academy Award for Best Original Score; and the Peoples Choice Award for "Favorite All-Time Movie." "E.T." was one of the films named for preservation by the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress and is on the American Film Institute's list of the Top 100 films of all Time.
Special Olympics ( http://www.specialolympics.org ) is an international year-round organization of sports training and competition for individuals with mental retardation. More than one million athletes in 150 countries train and compete in 26 Olympic-type summer and winter sports. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Special Olympics provides people with mental retardation continuing opportunities to develop fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy as they participate in the sharing of gifts and friendship with other athletes, their families and the community. There is no cost to participate in Special Olympics.
Universal Pictures is a unit of Universal Studios ( http://www.universalstudios.com ), a part of CANAL+, the TV and Film division of Vivendi Universal, a new global leader in media and communications.
For further information, please contact Terry Curtin of Universal Pictures, +1-818-777-1842.