Skip to main content

The Day Steven Spielberg Rolled A One And Encountered A Giant Snail Plus The Real Reason D&D Was Not In E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

giant worm d&d steven spielberg

Steven Spielberg's First Experience With D&D Ends Quickly

It is known that Steven Spielberg likes to get to know his cast members when directing a movie, and that was no exception when filming E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.  When the cast were in Northern California he made the extra effort to get to know the kids.

During the filming of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Steven Spielberg turned up unannounced to play Dungeons & Dragons with Robert MacNaughton and Henry Thomas while they were staying at a motel.  Steven had never played the game before so MacNaughton created a new character for the director.  

Steven Spielberg's first experience with D&D was a bad roll. Robert MacNaughton recalls:

"He rolled the dice and of course it's all random, but the very first thing that happens - he comes across a giant snail and gets killed.  He rolled a one, which is basically death.  Henry and I still laugh about that to this day because I started freaking out because I killed the director who was making an effort."

The Real Reason D&D Was Not Officially In E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

E.T. the extra-terrestrial and D&D
It's a well known fact that they couldn't get the rights to Dungeons & Dragons for the actual movie so the scene in the kitchen where they are playing a game that looks like D&D and eating pizza was never referred to as the game.  The script was top secret at the time and when they sent a snippet to the rights holders of the brand they absolutely refused.  Robert MacNaughton said:

"It was funny because the script was top secret, so [the producers] sent just a few pages to the creator of Dungeons & Dragons...And he said, 'I absolutely will not allow the name D&D to be used because they're gambling on the game.'  I guess he misunderstood.  There was a script note that we had money for pizza on the table, and he thought we were gambling on Dungeons & Dragons.  That was a costly mistake.  He could have had all that high-end E.T. marketing."

Thanks to the excellent E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial The Ultimate Visual History book which is packed with behind-the-scenes stories just like this one from cast and crew.  It has a foreword by Drew Barrymore and introduced by Kathleen Kennedy.  The book has multiple pull-outs and replicas such as Steven Spielberg's stage pass.  Caseen Gaines is the author who also wrote the excellent We Don't Need Roads: The Making of the Back to the Future Trilogy.  This is NOT a sponsored post.  This is just me highly recommending this book to all Spielberg and movie fans.

Format: Hardback
Pages: 192 (All the popular sites say 192 pages but mine has 240.)
Published: 30 August 2022 (UK)
Dimension: 279mm x 235mm (UK)

Rob Wainfur

The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, John Williams and a whole lot more.


Popular posts from this blog

Did Paul Freeman Accidentally Eat A Fly In Raiders of the Lost Ark?

The Famous Indiana Jones Fly In Belloq's Mouth Scene.  Did It Really Happen? I've always wondered if Paul Freeman unintentionally consumed a fly in this scene in  Raiders of the Lost Ark ?  It's the scene where Indiana Jones shouts down to Bellosh...I mean Belloq and threatens to blow up the ark.  Did a fly go in his mouth? I remember watching this scene back in the early eighties and my ten year old mind thought he definitely had a snack while filming.  I recall talking about 'flygate' in my school playground at the time and the general consensus with my friends was that Freeman definitely had a sneaky snack. Paul Freeman talks about the famous 'fly' scene in an interview with  and settled 'flygate:' This is a bit of a dicey question so don’t get too upset. (Laughs) A movie’s always got bloopers in it, some have a lot, and some only have three or four. And the most remarkable blooper was right before the opening of th

Star Wars VII Movie Poster - Every End Is A New Beginning

Star Wars VII Movie Poster Just saw this Star Wars VII movie poster on Kyle Newman's Facebook fee d.  The poster is by  Lyndon Berresford and Paul Bateman.  I am loving this.  Who do you think the two characters are?  Lando and Leia?  Han and Leia's children? Have you seen other Star Wars VII movie posters?  Let me know. Rob Wainfur @welshslider

Explaining That "Weird" Cut In Poltergeist. Read The Missing Scene

Why Is There A Strange Cut In The 1982 Horror Classic, Poltergeist? If you're a fan of the 1982 Horror classic, Poltergeist then you will be very familiar with that "weird" cut in the movie.  It's 32 minutes and 47 seconds in to the movie and the scene is where Diane is explaining the strange phenomenon that is happening in the kitchen.  First, she shows to Steve a chair scraping across the floor all on its own then she does the same with Carol Anne.  Steve leans up against the kitchen wall and is completely shocked at what just happened.  It's at this point Diane starts to explain the sensation of being pulled and then...A very abrupt cut.  One moment we are listening to Diane and suddenly it cuts to Diane and Steve at their next door neighbours door.  Why the sudden cut?  It's on the VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray and even the streaming versions.  Why does this awful and weird cut exist in the movie, Poltergeist?  Watch the clip below to see the cut: Well, the ans