Thirty-seven years after E.T. first came to Earth, he returns in a nostalgia-drenched short film for the holidays—created by Xfinity and Goodby Silverstein & Partners.
The four-minute film, directed by Lance Acord of Park Pictures and produced with the blessing and cooperation of Steven Spielberg, features a family at the holidays. As the house lights dim, the kids go outside to investigate. They find the diminutive extraterrestrial hiding behind a snowman.
E.T. wonders if the boy is Elliott. But of course, Elliott is grown up now—and he turns out to be the father. Henry Thomas, who played Elliott in the film, appears for an emotional reunion with his old friend.
The film—which broke in a two-minute version during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade—goes on to show the family teaching E.T. how much has changed since his last visit. They show him a VR helmet and play the movie White Christmas on TV with the X1 voice remote.
The film ends with the tagline "Reconnect for the Holidays," then shows the logos of Xfinity, Comcast and NBCUniversal.
"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. It's really a win-win," Thomas says in a statement. "Looking at the storyboards, I could see exactly why Steven [Spielberg] was really behind it, because the integrity of the story isn't lost in this retelling."
UPDATE: There are more than 30 Easter eggs in the short film that reference the original movie. Check out some of them in the video below.
NBCUniversal is showing the original 1982 film today on Syfy. It will also be available on demand for Xfinity TV subscribers. A landing page at xfinity.com/ET digs deeper into the concept.