‘A Christmas Story’ Bully Explains How Sequel Was Finally Made

HBO Max today debuted one of the most anticipated movies of the holiday season:A Christmas Story Christmassequel to the classic 1983 film A Christmas story that TBS airs on a 24-hour loop during the Christmas season. You’ll shoot the eye, the tongue frozen on a flagpole, the leg lamp – the film spawned so many classic moments.

So why in the world did it take 39 years to make a sequel?

Zack Ward, who played infamous bully Scut Farkus in the original and returns for the new one, says attempts have been made over the years to reunite the original cast in a new film. But none had the same spirit as the original.

“There were many attempts to make a sequel, but the scripts were just trying to mimic what happened in the first. They felt cheap. And Peter Billingsley [who starred as Ralphie in the original] it had to be attached to and in the center of it. Either he was busy or the script wasn’t right, so he passed,” Ward says.

What made the difference to the HBO Max version? “The script. Nick Schenk got hold of it, and his version had the heart of the first one without being cheesy. He wasn’t trying to mimic exactly the same beats and moments as the original. It didn’t feel like it was a weak facsimile of the original ”, says Ward.

In fact, there have been a couple of attempts again Christmas story films over the years, but it was hard to see them as true successors.

There was one made in 1994, called A summer storybut the cast was different: children grow up, after all, and the original was made in 1983. The sequel took place only a few months after the first one, so the child protagonists were all ten years of age. Summer received decent reviews but didn’t garner a large audience. another movie, A Christmas Story 2, a 2012 film, was not based on the same stories by Jean Shepherd as the original and sequel, and once again relied on a new cast. Reviews were scarce.

The new HBO Max movie features Billingsley, Ward, and a couple of other original cast members, giving it a solid connection to the former. It is set 30 years after the original, in 1973. Ralphie’s mother is a widow and he brings his family home to visit her for Christmas.

“They’re all the same people as in the original, but they’ve grown up, with more experience, just like us in real life,” Ward says. “I think that’s the genius of the original film: you can watch it as a child or as an adult and enjoy it. It grows with you and you see different things as you grow.

When you have your breakout role as a kid, it can be hard to get recognition for anything else. Billingsley will always be recognized as Ralphie, and Ward is always identified with Farkus, even though he has since done many things in his career, including roles in Lost, Mike & Molly And It’s always sunny in Philadelphia. You recently wrote, directed and produced the film Patsy Lee and the Keepers of the 5 Realms played by George Takei.

But she knows that Farkus remains her claim to fame, and she’s leveraged it a lot to raise money for causes dear to her heart. He makes annual appearances at the Cleveland home where A Christmas story takes place, and has raised money for bullying prevention efforts (yes, appreciate the irony) and, currently, the Alzheimer’s Association. His father has the disease and Ward says, “It’s brutal. Alzheimer’s sucks, and if possible, we should beat it and get rid of it.”

He will make his Cleveland appearance on December 17th 10am-3pm, one month later Historythe debut.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *