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A Persistent Hollywood Rumor About Steven Spielberg May Have Finally Been Confirmed

Where to Stream

Poltergeist

A longstanding rumor about a beloved 1982 film has just been confirmed: E.T. was an actual alien.

Kidding. But what a story that would be.

If you pop by the IMDB page for the fantasy-thriller Poltergeist, you’ll notice that Tobe Hooper is credited as the director, while Steven Spielberg is listed as both a writer and producer. The long-standing Tinseltown scuttlebutt is that Poltergeist — a film that both looks and feels like a Spielberg film — was not directed by Hooper, but by Mr.Spielberg himself. During a recent episode of the Blumhouse podcast Shock Waves, Wish Upon director John Leonetti, who worked on Poltergeist as a first assistant cameraman, is claiming what many have suspected all along: Steven Spielberg was the actual director behind Poltergeist.

“It was a very intense, very fun, very technical movie to work on. There’s a lot going on. And candidly… Steven Spielberg directed that movie,” Leonetti said. “There’s no question. However, Tobe Hooper — I adore. I love that man so much.”

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So why exactly would Spielberg be listed as a producer when he was actually calling the shots? It turns out the Hollywood legend had a very good reason for the deception.

“Steven developed the movie, and it was his to direct, except there was anticipation of a director’s strike, so he was the producer,’ but really he directed it in case there was going to be a strike,” Leonetti continued. “Tobe was cool with that. It wasn’t anything against Tobe. Every once in a while, he would actually leave the set and let Tobe do a few things just because. But really, Steven directed it.”

You can stream Poltergeist on Amazon Video.

Where to stream Poltergeist 

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