A Christmas Story is getting a new sequel, around 40 years after it was first released, and one of the main original stars is returning for the new film. Entertainment Tonight reports that actor Peter Billingsley is set to reprise his role as Ralphie Parker, the bespectacled boy who stole America's holiday-heart with his desperate hope for a "Red Ryder carbine-action, two hundred shot Range Model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time." In addition to starring in the film, Billingsley will also serve as an executive producer, along with his longtime friend and film-partner Vince Vaughn.
The new film is title A Christmas Story Christmas and, according to a synopsis of the film, it will follow adult Ralphie in the '70s as "he returns to his childhood home on Cleveland street to deliver his kids a magical Christmas, just like the one he had growing up." The film is being directed by Clay Kaytis (The Christmas Chronicles, The Angry Birds Movie), from script by Nick Schenk (Gran Torino, The Mule, Cry Macho). Notably, Schenk will also be an executive producer. At this time, it appears the film will be an HBO Max exclusive, and filming is scheduled to get underway in February.
There are a number of iconic holiday movies that we relive each season, and there is no denying that A Christmas Story — which celebrated its 38th anniversary last year —is undoubtedly one of the greatest. Partly based on Jean Shepherd's semi-fictional anecdotes in his 1966 book In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash, the film was released in 1983 and didn't quite catch on with audiences right away. Over the years, the film's popularity grew, and it is now widly considered to be a Christmas classic, alongside films like It's A Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street.
A Christmas Story was directed by Bob Clark, from a screenplay he and Shepherd co-wrote with Leigh Brown. Notably, Clark is known for directing another retro holiday movie: Black Christmas. That film tells the story of a group of sorority sisters being torment and murdered by a serial killer at Christmas. To this day, A Christmas Story continues to be a hit with families, and is famously shown on TBS or TNT for 24 hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas day.