E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and his co-star Henry Thomas, are returning this holiday season for a short film out now on NBC, Syfy and Comcast Xfinity’s website.
The film, titled A Holiday Reunion, only runs for a little more than four minutes (which you can watch below) but it shows E.T. returning to Earth and reconnecting with Elliott (Thomas) who now has a wife and two children – who bear quite the striking resemblance to a young Thomas and Drew Barrymore, who were of course the stars of the original film.
While allowing fans to reminisce with signature elements from the original, the short does briefly advertise Xfinity, as Elliot’s son explains to E.T., “It’s the internet.”
To which his father adds, “A lot’s changed since you were here.”
For Thomas, this short brings together all the best parts of the original without all the mess that a sequel would bring. He told Deadline, “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.”
E.T. made $359 million in the US and $304 million internationally with critical acclaim that led to nine Oscar nominations and four wins. It’s director, Steven Spielberg even pondered a sequel at one point but thankfully (and unlike so many people in Hollywood now) moved on, believing there to be too high a risk in trying to top a classic.
Spielberg responded well, however, when the idea of this short reunion themed around “connection” was pitched by Comcast’s ad agency. While the filmmaker never took creative control, he was consulted throughout the process.
Check out A Holiday Reunion below: