In a move that’s not so surprising, Warner Bros. has announced a sequel to A Christmas Story, the beloved holiday film starring Peter Billingsley as Ralphie. According to Deadline, the sequel will land on HBO Max, more than likely in time for the holidays. Billingsley will be reprising his role from the original film, though he will now be an adult aiming to create the same holiday magic he experienced growing up for his own children. Production is set to start late next month in Bulgaria.
Frequent Clint Eastwood collaborator Nick Schenk (Cry Macho, Gran Torino) has written the script for the film, which will take place in the 1970s. Clay Katis (The Christmas Chronicles, The Angry Birds Movie) will direct the film, further flexing his muscles in directing holiday fare. Billingsley will produce the film alongside Vince Vaughn, under their join production company Wild West Picture Show. No other cast members have been officially confirmed, though it is rumored that Julie Hagerty (Airplane, Instant Family) will portray Ralphie’s mother, a role originally performed by Melinda Dillon.
A Christmas Story is undoubtedly one of the American holiday classics, with re-runs on cable channels a staple of the holiday season. Billingsley was about 12 years old while making the first film, though it’s hard to imagine he forgets what it was like to wear the iconic pink bunny pajamas, or the awe of the ‘fragile’ lamp that adorned the window. Given the sequel’s plot description, it sounds as if very similar antics will be in store for Ralphie as a father:
“The film follows an adult Ralphie (Billingsley) in the 1970s, who returns to the house on Cleveland street to deliver his kids a magical Christmas like the one he had growing up. With the same attention to the real-life tone of the first, Ralphie reconnects with childhood friends, reconciles the passing of his Old Man and sews the seeds for the origins of the beloved Holiday classic.”
This sequel also shows HBO Max‘s further commitment to continuing properties and securing their own exclusive content. While A Christmas Story is a beloved film, a sequel for a nearly 40-year-old film could be a hard sell in theaters. HBO Max is certainly a much safer landing spot, and the streamer has already shown their eye for holiday films with this past year’s 8 Bit Christmas starring Neil Patrick Harris.
A Christmas Story‘s sequel currently has no release date, though a holiday season release would be the most appropriate.