THE CREATOR’s Gareth Edwards Shares Profound Impact Spielberg’s E.T. Has On Him

'The Creator' director, Gareth Edwards, delves into the importance of emotional resonance in cinema, revealing the profound impact of Spielberg's 'ET' on his filmmaking philosophy
The Creator

In the realm of cinematic storytelling, few directors have consistently prioritized the emotional core of their films like Gareth Edwards. At a recent press conference for his latest masterpiece, The Creator, Edwards delved deep into his philosophy of filmmaking, revealing why he believes that a heartfelt element is paramount.

A Childhood Memory Shapes a Director’s Vision

The Creator
Madeline Voyles as Alphie in 20th Century Studios’ THE CREATOR. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2023 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Edwards’ journey into the emotional depths of cinema began with a transformative experience during his childhood. He recounted being deeply moved by Steven Spielberg’s ET. While the allure of aliens and BMX bikes initially drew him in, it was the profound emotional connection between the characters that left an indelible mark on him. This encounter with ET illuminated for Edwards the true essence of cinema: its unparalleled power to evoke potent emotions.

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“I don’t know. I think essentially, like, the film that probably had one of the biggest impacts on me as a kid was Steven Spielberg’s ET. And as a kid, I went in, all I was interested in is I wanted to see an alien and a spaceship, you know, and BMX’es. And then I got absolutely moved to tears on this, like, emotional journey with the two of them.”

-Gareth Edwards, Director of ‘The Creator’-

Harnessing the Power of Emotion in Film

The Creator
Gemma Chan as Maya in 20th Century Studios’ THE CREATOR. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2023 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

For Edwards, the spectacle of cinema, while essential, is secondary to its emotional resonance. He asserts that films should not merely captivate with visuals and action but should deeply connect with audiences on an emotional level. In The Creator, the suspense and visual grandeur are anchored by a core emotional narrative, elevating it from mere spectacle to a deeply moving experience.

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“And I feel like that’s the goal, every movie you make, you know, you don’t say this out loud because you set yourself up for failure. But, like, if you don’t make, you know, some people well up or cry, then you’re not really abusing, like, the power of cinema. And so, like, it’s always the secret goal when you write a film, is to do something that affects people emotionally. But yeah, I mean, it’s up for other people to say if you are successful or not, I guess.”

-Gareth Edwards, Director of ‘The Creator’-

The Emotional Resonance: A Director’s True Measure of Success

The Creator
(L-R): Gemma Chan as Maya and John David Washington as Joshua in 20th Century Studios’ THE CREATOR. Photo by Glen Milner. © 2023 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

In the ever-evolving world of cinema, Gareth Edwards stands out with his unwavering commitment to emotional storytelling. His belief in the transformative power of cinema, coupled with his dedication to creating emotionally resonant films, sets him apart. As Edwards himself puts it, the true measure of a film’s success lies in its ability to connect with its audience, a sentiment that resonates deeply with movie enthusiasts worldwide.

Experience the emotional influence E.T. has on Edwards when The Creator releases in theaters on September 29, 2023.

About The Creator

The Creator poster

Release Date: September 29, 2023
Director: Gareth Edwards
Cinematography: Greig Fraser and Oren Soffer
Producers: Kiri Hart, Arnon Milchan, and Jim Spencer
Screenplay: Gareth Edwards and Chris Weitz
Executive producers: Zev Foreman, Natalie Lehmann, Nick Meyer, and Yariv Milchan
Cast: John David Washington, Madeleine Yuna Voyles, Gemma Chan, Ken Watanabe, Allison Janey, Amar Chadha-Patel, Ralph Ineson, and Sturgill Simpson

Amidst a future war between the human race and the forces of artificial intelligence, Joshua, a hardened ex-special forces agent grieving the disappearance of his wife, is recruited to hunt down and kill the Creator, the elusive architect of advanced AI who has developed a mysterious weapon with the power to end the war… and mankind itself.

Are you a fan of Gareth Edwards’ emotional storytelling approach? How do you think emotion enhances the cinematic experience? Which of Edwards’ films moved you the most? Share your thoughts and favorite sci-fi films with us on social media!

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Kevin Fenix

Professional Nerd | Amateur Human | Creative/Content Director The best way to describe Kevin Fenix is the kid you never tell what the buttons do in video games so you have a chance to win. Being 6’ 4” and Asian, he never really fit in, so he got comfortable standing out. Not only is it easy to find him in crowds, he dabbles in the culinary arts, does a little stand up and improv, and can honestly say Spider-Man is the Jesus-like influence of his life. Kevin Fenix loves dogs, movies, television, comics, comedy, and to shoot people… with video.