You expect the Superbowl to be full of can’t-miss commercials. In fact many people tune in to the yearly event just to see them, but it hasn’t really been a thing during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. That may change though after yesterday. During the broadcast American digital cable provider Xfinity aired a four-minute long commercial that is being called a sequel to the hit 1980’s film E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.
In the commercial, E.T. returns to Earth to visit with a grown-up Elliot (who is once again played by Henry Thomas). At first the alien is confused when he sees two kids playing in the snow who look like Elliot and his sister in the original film, but they are really a middle-aged Elliot’s two kids.
“You came back,” Elliot says to E.T. before welcoming his old friend into his family’s home. During the short film Elliot tells E.T. that “A lot has changed since you were here,” as he shows him the internet and other new inventions. E.T. tries out tobogganing and watches a film on T.V., but there are also callbacks to the original film such as the alien eating Reese’s Pieces. He even takes Elliot’s kids flying on their bikes, before he goes back to his spaceship and returns home. The John Williams score also brings back memories of the original film.
In a released statement, Henry Thomas says “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. Looking at the storyboards, I could see exactly why Steven was really behind it, because the integrity of the story isn’t lost in this retelling.”
Steven Spielberg, who directed the original film, didn’t have anything to do with creating the commercial, but was consulted throughout the process.
The commercial will be shown in theatres until the new year ahead of new released, but only in the US, which makes sense since Xfinity is only an American provider. A shorter version will also air on TV during the holiday season.