Ralphie is back home for the holidays.
Peter Billingsley is reprising his role as the youngster Ralphie from the 1983 holiday classic “A Christmas Story” in the coming soon HBO Max sequel, “A Christmas Story Christmas.” This new tale is set 33 years after the first movie.
Over at PEOPLE there is a first look at the new installment, this one set in 1973. Billingsley stars as a grown up Ralphie, now 51-years-old. The character is a father to two and a down on his luck writer who heads back to his childhood home on Cleveland Street in the fictional town of Hohman, Indiana. The unforeseen passing of his father has brought him back for the holidays.
Billingsley chatted to the publication about the sequel saying, “Ralphie’s not really where he wants to be ihis 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.”
“He’s kind of now back on a quest,” the actor continued. “Nothing’s going to stop him… He might not want to do it, but once he’s in, he’s in.”
Billingsley said he made sure the filmmakers would “get it right” as the project has been in development for nearly four years. He didn’t want them shooting for “low-hanging fruit.”
He wanted to ensure the sequel had an “association” to the original.
“The one word we used a lot was ‘tone,’” he said. “ The first has such an interesting, unique tone. It’s not the perfect family. They’re hostile at times, they’re loving and then there’s this interesting voiceover and this reverence and some pretty adult things that Ralphie’s having to go through.”
Billingsley won’t be the only original cast member appearing in the new one. Returning from the 1983 movie will be Ian Petrella (who plays Ralphie’s younger brother Randy) Scott Schwartz (Flick), R. D. Robb (Schwartz), and Zack Ward (villain Scut Farkus).
Julia Hagerty will be taking over the role of Ralphie’s mother as the original actress, Melinda Dillon retired from acting in 2007.
“A Christmas Story Christmas” will begin streaming Nov. 17 on HBO Max.
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