HBO Max recently released first look images for “A Christmas Story Christmas,” an upcoming sequel to “A Christmas Story.” The original film came out in 1983 and is based on Jean Shepherd’s 1966 novel, “In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash.” It was directed by Bob Clark, who 9 years prior directed another extremely popular Christmas movie, the horror staple “Black Christmas.”
But “A Christmas Story” is a family film that takes place in the 1940s. It tells the story of Ralph Parker (Peter Billingsley) who REALLY wants a Red Ryder Range 200 Shot BB gun for Christmas. He attempts to convince his parents, teacher, and Santa Claus that he should have the firearm but is only met with “You’ll shoot your eye out!” The movie is so popular, in 1997 TNT began doing a 24-hour marathon where it plays 12 times in a row. From 8pm on Christmas Eve to 8pm on Christmas Day.
“A Christmas Story Christmas” is set in 1973 and will focus on Ralph returning 33 years later to the family home on Cleveland street. Now that he has kids of his own he wants them to have magical Christmas like the one he had as a child. And thinks this house is the key to doing so. Along the way, he reconnects with childhood friends and reconciles the passing of his father.
“Ralphie’s not really where he wants to be in his life but he’s still a dreamer, so he still has these fantasies of what his life could be, where it could go. And then he’s called home with some real responsibilities and burdens,” Billingsley said.
This project has been in development for 4 years and for good reason. “You really want to try to create something that could stand on its own, that’s original,” Billingsley explains. “It feels very real, so we really wanted this to feel very much real, as well.” “And I think that idea of going home felt like there was a lot there to return home [to],” he says.
In addition to Billingsley, the returning cast/characters include Ralphie’s younger brother Randy Parker (Ian Petrella), Flick (Scott Schwartz), Scut Farkus (Zack Ward), and Schwartz (R. D. Robb). Clay Kaytis (“The Christmas Chronicles”) is both directing and writing alongside co-writer Nick Schenk.