E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial has finally gotten a sequel of sorts, as the new short film A Holiday Reunion reunites the titular alien with a grown-up Elliott. In the classic 1982 movie from director Steven Spielberg, Elliott was played by child actor Henry Thomas who reprises the role for the reunion short. Premiering on Thursday on NBC, Syfy, and the Comcast Xfinity website, A Holiday Reunion is now on YouTube as well, and you can watch the four-minute short film in its entirety below!

In the short, E.T. returns to Earth to reconnect with Elliott (Henry Thomas) after going 37 years without seeing his human friend. These days, Elliott is all grown up with a wife and two children, and perhaps not so coincidentally, the kids look very similar to how Thomas and co-star Drew Barrymore appeared as child actors in the original movie. After Elliott finds E.T. hiding behind a snowman in the yard, he brings the little guy inside to show him just how much technology has changed since the otherworldly visitor had departed Earth. It's not quite Steven Spielberg toyed with the idea of making an E.T. sequel to continue the story. Ultimately, however, the filmmaker dropped the concept for fear of tarnishing the legacy of the original. As for A Holiday Reunion, Spielberg was said to be much more open to the concept of a short film reunion centered on connectivity and was reportedly consulted during its production. "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," Thomas is also quoted as saying, which coincides with Spielberg's thought process on the project.

A two-minute version of A Holiday Reunion aired on NBC during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and will also be shown in movie theater pre-shows during the holiday weekend. The full four-minute version will air on Syfy during Thursday evening airings of the original E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial on the network. Additionally, a 30-second cut will air during commercial breaks during NBC's NFL telecast along with other NFL games on CBS and Fox. It will then reportedly make its way "across the dial" continuing through the holiday season and is set to air through Jan. 5. Thanks to Xfinity already debuting the special on YouTube, however, any of us can watch it at any time.

Lance Acord (Lost in Translation) directs A Holiday Reunion, which is in part a plug for Xfinity as well. According to Peter Intermaggio of Comcast Cable, the goal of the special is to "show how Xfinity and Sky technology connects family, friends and loved ones, which is so important during the holidays." Marketing ploy or not, the short is certainly awesome to watch and is likely the closest we're ever going to get to getting a real {E.T. 2 sequel. This news comes to us from Xfinity.

Jeremy Dick at Movieweb
Jeremy Dick