The original “Poltergeist” is somewhat controversial due to confusion over producer/writer Steven Spielberg’s actual role in the production. In his book “The Films of Steven Spielberg,” author Douglas Brode wrote that Spielberg actually performed more of a directorial role than the film’s credited director Tobe Hooper (“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”). Brode says that Spielberg’s contract with Universal — the studio that released Spielberg’s “E.T.” that same year — stipulated that Spielberg could only be credited with directing one movie in 1982.
Therefore Spielberg doesn’t get a director credit, but he is said to have been perceived as the man in charge on the set of “Poltergeist.”
Spielberg’s name isn’t attached to the 2015 remake, which is produced by horror-master Sam Raimi (“Evil Dead 2”). The new “Poltergeist” is directed by Gil Kenan, who also directed the 2006 animated movie “Monster House,” which was executive produced by Steven Spielberg.
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