On Tuesday, HBO Max unveiled the trailer for A Christmas Story Christmas – a new original film sequel to the holiday classic A Christmas Story. The movie will be streaming on Thursday, Nov. 17 on HBO Max. It features several returning cast members including Peter Billingsley as an adult version of Ralphie Parker.
Just as A Christmas Story is set in the 1950s, A Christmas Story Christmas is set in the 1970s, when Ralphie would be an adult. It seems to find the Parker family mourning for "The Old Man" – Ralphie's father in the original movie. Actress Melinda Dillon has retired, so the role of Ralphie's mother will be played instead by Julie Hagerty. However, Ian Petrella will reprise his role as Ralphie's younger brother Randy, while Scott Schwartz and R.D. Robb will return as his friends Flick and Schwartz, respectively. Zack Ward will also return as Scut Farkus.
Beyond that, there are plenty of new characters to introduce. Erinn Hayes will play Ralphie's wife Sandy, Julianna Layne will play their daughter Julie and River Drosche will play their son Mark. The movie seems to be a role reversal, with Ralphie learning firsthand how difficult it can be to pull together a family Christmas celebration like his father once did. The trailer shows his mother asking Ralphie to help "make a wonderful Christmas" in his father's honor, and Ralphie wondering in voice-over what he has gotten himself into.
The trailer hints at some of the slapstick hijinks in store this time around – an overly tall Christmas tree puts ominous gouges in the ceiling, for example, while young Mark unsheaths a sword that may prove as dangerous as any Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. It also highlights some of the '70s nostalgia that can hopefully take the place of the '50s nostalgia that fueled the original film.
A Christmas Story was based on Jean Shepherd's book In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash, while A Christmas Story Christmas is only based on its characters and concepts. The sequel was written by Nick Schenk and Clay Kaytis, with Billingsley contributing to the story as well. Kaytis is the director. This is technically the eighth film in the "Parker Family Franchise," which includes other movies based on Shepherd's writings as well as spinoffs, such as the 2012 sequel A Christmas Story 2.
A Christmas Story Christmas premieres on Thursday, Nov. 17 on HBO Max. The original film is streaming there now and is also available on Hulu at the time of this writing.