Thirty-seven years after Steven Spielberg's E.T>: The Extra-Terrestrial hit movie theater screens around the world, becoming an enormous critical and popular success, a "sequel" came to television screens … via a commercial for Comcast-owned Xfinity.
The commercial, which you can see at left, features E.T. returning to earth to visit Elliott, the boy with whom he bonded all those years ago - once again played by Henry Thomas - but who has grown into a forty-something man with his own family. Elliott proceeds to show E.T. all the things that have changed since the original film, including broadband marketed by … you guess it … Xfinity. The theme: "holidays are for reuniting with family."
In a quote released by the company, Henry Thomas says that "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."
Spielberg reportedly was consulted about the ad and approved of its production.
- KC's View:
This is one of those that I suspect will play differently for different folks. I was impressed by the production values but completely put off by the concept - E.T>: The Extra-Terrestrial was one of those films that had not been exploited in sequels, and I hated the idea that the little fellow now is being used as a salesman.
But I'm a purist. I hate it when my cultural touchstones are violated.