Henry Thomas reprises his role as Elliot in a new four minute short masquerading as a TV commercial.
We don’t normally talk about commercials – we know you have to have them to help pay for your otherwise free content – but in this case it hits so squarely on target that we can’t not talk about it. This time, Henry Thomas, who played Elliot in the original Steven Spielberg 1982 movie E.T. the Extraterrestrial, is all grown up with a family of his own. E.T. comes back to Earth to find his old friend, and magic ensues.
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.
It’s all shot in classic Spielberg style, and the attention to detail is marvelous. Director Lance Acord has captured the mood, the pacing, even the color palette of sequences in the original film. There are Reese’s Pieces cupcakes at dinner, sledding, and playing in the snow. E.T. and Elliot and his wife and kids all connect with the little alien on a deeply emotional level.
Where does the Xfinity part of this whole thing come in? Extremely tastefully, as it turns out. Elliot’s kids introduce the alien to the internet, powered by Xfinity. It’s the only product placement in the entire commercial. Xfinity is counting on buzz to get people talking about their product instead of whacking us in the face with it, and between you and me, it’s working.
There’s even a flying bicycle scene. Steven Spielberg approved the creation of the ad spot, and great homage is made to him and his cinematic creation throughout.
Legacy Effects created the newly built E.T. for the commercial, and kept it as true to the original as they possibly could.
Fun fact: Legacy Effects is the very same company that made Baby Yoda for The Mandalorian!
Henry Thomas stars in the current film release Doctor Sleep (the sequel to The Shining) and as Dr. Mid-Nite / Charles McNider in upcoming TV DC Comics superhero series Stargirl.