It may seem strange today, but "E.T." was one of the biggest movies of all time when it was released in 1982. The movie made an enormous amount of money at the box office, and it proved that director Steven Spielberg would be a Hollywood staple for years to come.
A proper sequel to "E.T." never materialized, but for those who were eager to see more adventures from the boy Elliot and his extraterrestrial friend, you may be in luck.
On Thanksgiving, Xfinity released a video reuniting the two friends. Elliot, this time played by an adult Henry Thomas, has a family of his own now, but the two friends still make time for one another. The video has all the hallmarks of the original "E.T.," and proves to be plenty charming in its own right.
Xfinity could have made this into nothing more than a marketing ploy. While it definitely is that, it also seems like it came from the heart.
A proper sequel to "E.T." may not ever come, especially since Spielberg has rarely expressed interest in making sequels to his own movies. “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," said Thomas of being involved in this semi-sequel to the movie in a statement to Variety that was released with the ad.
Thomas's argument, that the ad is much messier than a sequel might have been, certainly has some merit. Of course, you have to weigh that against the fact that these characters only got together again to sell something, which has been true of a number of famous character reprisals in recent years.
Still, it's hard to blame celebrities for taking the paycheck when they can get one, especially if they have to do less work than they would for an entire movie.
As for the big, lovable extraterrestrial, while it was nice to see him again, his most impactful days are behind him. The original "E.T." will live on as a movie that's easy for kids and nostalgic adults alike to watch.
Steven Spielberg's specialty has always been in creating a sense of wonder and adventure around his movies. "E.T." was a perfect encapsulation of that, which is why the movie has lived on for so many years after it was first released.