An E.T. the Extra Terrestrial sequel has arrived in the form of a 4-minute short film; one that’s also an advertisement. And… it’s actually very good.
Delivered by Xfinity, a subsidiary of the US telecommunications conglomerate Comcast Corporation, the short film brings back the beloved little alien we met in Steven Spielberg’s 1982 classic. Titled A Holiday Reunion, the plot finds ET returning to visit his friend Elliot, who is now grown up with a family of his own. Golden Globe-nominated actor Henry Thomas (The Haunting of Hill House) reprises the role that he took on as a child.
“The audience is going to get everything they want out of a sequel without the messy bits that could destroy the beauty of the original and the special place it has in people’s minds and hearts,” Thomas told Deadline.
There’s plenty of nods to Spielberg’s original, with some moderately smooth Xfinity marketing scattered throughout; E.T., you see, is introduced to some of the technology that’s arisen since he was on Earth all those years ago.
We expected it to be easy to throw eye rolls at this as nothing more than obnoxious nostalgia-driven marketing, but it’s very nicely crafted stuff. That John Williams score has always worked a treat, and the original’s sense of wonder and heart is impressively injected into the short runtime. Hey, they’ve got our attention and the net’s talking about it a lot, so they’ve won. And if more ads are like this, instead of cringy, dull product spotlights, they’ll have better chances of grabbing more of our eyes.
After 37 years, E.T. comes back to visit his friend, Elliott, for the holidays. During his stay, E.T. learns that Elliott now has a family of his own and that technology has completely changed on Earth since his last visit. Learn more at xfinity.com/ET