How Satyajit Ray Influenced Hollywood Movie E.T
Remembering The Legend On His Centenary Birth Anniversary
May 2021 marks the 100th birth anniversary of legendary Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray. Though centenary celebrations are stalled amidst pandemic, filmmakers across the globe paid respects and remembered one of the world’s finest directors, who still remains the only Indian filmmaker to have received the renowned Academy Awards.
His amazing film making skills have no match and his legacy is still reckoned with awe by world class filmmakers. Ray directed 36 films including feature films, documentaries and shorts that earned international acclaim. In his lifetime, he was bestowed with many accolades – 32 national awards that includes National Award for the Best Director six times, which is the most by any filmmaker so far.
But did you know there is an inconspicuous mystery that surrounds his illustrious career including deceit and honorary academy announcement? which he deserved much earlier in his career. Though Ray had laid his footprint in Hollywood in the 1960s and even grabbed an opportunity with Columbia Pictures for making a movie, he was unfortunately deceived and later got disillusioned with the project.
In the 1980s, Steven Spielberg’s came up with the much acclaimed Hollywood movie E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. But the movie faced plagiarism charges for having replicated an Indian Filmmaker’s script, who was none other than Satyajit Ray.
Unknown to many, Ray had penned down the first ever script on aliens in 1967 named ‘The Alien’. The screenplay was based on his Bengali science fiction story, Bankubabur Bandhu, published in Ray’s family magazine, Sandesh. He had envisioned a movie on aliens, discussed its pursuance with Hollywood producers and even had talks for a US-India co-production with renowned actor Peter Sellers and Marlon Brando as leads.
The striking similarity between Hollywood movie E.T and Ray’s alien indeed became a talk of discussion. It is believed that this was one of the main reasons for E.T underperformance at Oscars as it scored only for the technical awards. Rumours also claim that it is the guilt that made Spielberg recommend Ray’s name for Academy Awards.
Tell-A-Story unveils this obscure mystery through this video story detailing the facts that uncovers the resemblance between E.T and Ray’s Alien. It unearths the story behind Ray’s journey to Hollywood, the talks he had and the bare truth that he revealed in his own words. A remarkable writer cum director, an exceptional illustrator,storyteller and music composer, Satyajit Ray’s astounding creations continue to marvel filmmakers across the globe and no wonder he is still commemorated as one of the World’s greatest filmmakers.
About the author: Tell-A-Story is a venture into video storytelling, founded by Suchithra Pillai, who comes with over 15 years of experience in the field of journalism, exploring and writing about people, issues, and community stories for many leading media publications in India and the United States. Video narratives along with thought-provoking content in less than 5 minutes, to engage and entertain the audience, is its preeminent vision.
Suchithra is a writing professional with 12 years of experience in content creation that spans around a wide range of business verticals, right from newspapers, magazines to websites, social media, and now Artificial intelligence. Nothing excites her more than having new acquaintances and writing stories about the wonderful journeys and unexplored talent out there.
In her spare time, you would either find her sketching, scribbling down some thoughts in paper trying to find a rhyme or story out of small things or expressing her love for dance on stage. : )