A Christmas Story, a follow-up to the iconic 1983 film A Christmas Story that TBS airs on a loop for 24 hours during the Christmas season, made its world premiere today on HBO Max. The movie produced numerous iconic scenes, including “You’ll shoot your eye out,” “Tongue frozen to a flagpole,” and “The Leg Lamp.”
Consequently, why on earth did it take 39 years to create a sequel?
Attempts have been made over the years to reunite the original actors in a new movie, according to Zack Ward, who portrayed notorious bully Scut Farkus in the first and is back for the sequel. None, however, possessed the same soul as the original.
There have been numerous attempts to make a sequel, however, the screenplays merely attempted to repeat the events in the first. They appeared corny. Additionally, Peter Billingsley, who played Ralphie in the original, had to be involved and central to it. He passed because he was either too busy or the writing wasn’t right, according to Ward.
What made the HBO Max version of A Christmas Story different?
What made the HBO Max version different? “The story. When Nick Schenk got hold of it, his rendition retained the original’s spirit without being cliched. He wasn’t attempting to replicate every beat and moment exactly as they were in the original. It didn’t seem like a shoddy imitation of the original, according to Ward.
It’s true that there have been a few attempts over the years at new Christmas Story movies, but it’s difficult to consider them true successors.
A Summer Story, which was produced in 1994, had a different cast than 1983 original since kids grow up. The young actors were all ten years too old because the sequel took place only a few months after the first. Despite getting favourable reviews, Summer failed to draw a sizable viewership. Another movie, A Christmas Story 2, from 2012, used a new cast and wasn’t based on the same Jean Shepherd stories as the first and second movies. The ratings weren’t good.
The new HBO Max film has a strong relationship to the previous one because it stars Billingsley, Ward, and a few other original cast members. It takes place in 1973, 30 years after the first. Ralphie brings his family to the house to spend Christmas with his widowed mother.
According to Ward, “Everyone is the same as the original, but they’re older, wiser, and more experienced, just like we are in real life.” The original movie’s genius, in my opinion, lies in the fact that both children and adults can enjoy it. As you mature, you see new things as it evolves with you.
Being recognised for anything else can be challenging after your breakout role as a child. Despite the fact that Billingsley has subsequently appeared in a variety of roles, including those on Lost, Mike & Molly, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, he will always be remembered as Ralphie, while Ward will always be associated with Farkus. The recent film Patsy Lee & The Keepers Of The Five Kingdoms, starring George Takei, was written, directed, and produced by him.
He is aware that Farkus will always be his claim to fame, and he has used this to great use in his efforts to support charities close to his heart. He makes yearly appearances at the Cleveland home where the events of A Christmas Story take place, and he has raised money for the Alzheimer’s Association as well as for initiatives to reduce bullying (yes, he recognises the irony). Ward claims that the illness is terrible and that his father has it. Alzheimer’s is awful, and we should fight it and eradicate it if at all feasible.
A month after A Christmas Story’s debut, on December 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., he will appear in Cleveland.