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Steven Spielberg Says The Fabelmans Is A Sort-Of Sequel To His Iconic E.T.

It's common knowledge (not to mention abundantly clear just from watching the movie) that Steven Spielberg's latest film, "The Fabelmans," is based heavily on his own upbringing and the way that the combination of filmmaking and his parents' divorce changed his life forever. As such, it's bound to remind viewers of some of Spielberg's most famous cinematic accomplishments, echoing many of the themes and even the images that he's returned to again and again over the course of his career.

Still, it might come as a surprise to see Spielberg himself describe "The Fabelmans" as a sequel to the film that many would consider to be his masterpiece: "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial." But he did just that recently while speaking about "The Fabelmans." And even though "The Fabelmans" obviously doesn't share any characters or narrative continuity with the older movie, Spielberg's point about it being a thematic sequel to "E.T." in one key respect does resonate and convincingly bind both films together.

Spielberg calls The Fabelmans his 'second movie about coming home'

The remark came at the 34th Palm Springs Film Awards (via The Hollywood Reporter), where Steven Spielberg and the cast of "The Fabelmans" were presented with a Vanguard Award for the film. In his acceptance speech, Spielberg discussed how the film came with a greater degree of difficulty for him as a filmmaker thanks to its extensive autobiographical elements. "I knew that if I was going to make this movie, I'd have to work very hard just to keep it as honest as possible, and without the talent and commitment of this film family, I can never have put my real family on film," the director said. "I tell people all the time that filmmaking is a collaborative party and that's never been more true than it has been with this film. The cast and crew took the journey home with me to help me make my first movie about coming home."

Then, Spielberg corrected himself on that last point: "Well, the second movie about coming home. The first one was E.T. who got home. So, this is the sequel to E.T. where I come home and every day, because of everybody up here, I was surrounded by love and support."

The idea of "The Fabelmans" as a spiritual sequel to "E.T." seems to have occurred to Spielberg on the spur of the moment, and it's a pretty delightful one for fans of the director's work. And "E.T." lovers can only hope that when the little guy arrived home after the events of the movie, he was returning to a family as supportive as the one Spielberg had in making "The Fabelmans."