It takes a very special movie to have such a devoted audience that a television channel can run it on a loop for 24 hours straight every single year. But such is the devotion of fans of A Christmas Story, which was a moderate hit at best when it first opened in theaters in 1983, but eventually evolved into an annual holiday staple, with annual marathons on cable television, with TNT and TBS airing 12 consecutive viewings each Christmas.
Fans treasure the adventures of little Ralphie, played by Peter Billingsley, who only wants a Red Ryder air rifle for Christmas. If you ever wondered what happened to Ralphie when he grew up, you’re going to find out, as Billingsley is now set to return for a sequel that’s being called A Christmas Story Christmas. The film will premiere on HBO Max.
Here is the plot synopsis, via Deadline:
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 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.
A Christmas Story has gotten sequels before. In 1994, director Bob Clark (who also directed the original A Christmas Story) made My Summer Story featuring a young Kieran Culkin as Ralphie. In 2012, A Christmas Story 2 went straight to DVD. (It was directed by Brian Levant, the filmmaker behind another nostalgic Christmas favorite, Jingle All the Way.) Still, A Christmas Story Christmas is the first follow-up to feature Billingsley back in the role that made him famous. We’ll know it’s a hit when it gets its own 24 hour Christmas marathon in a few years