A Christmas Story Christmas: Release Date, Cast And Other Quick Things We Know About The HBO Max Movie

Many of us grew up with the fear that we might shoot our eye out. A Christmas Story gave us haunting images of soap poisoning, Red Ryder BB Guns, and mall Santa Clauses. In many ways, it's kind of a horror movie. In others, it’s one of our childhood favorite holiday movies. Because I hold A Christmas Story so close to my heart, I have worries, concerns, and hopes for HBO Max’s A Christmas Story Christmas. 

A Christmas Story Christmas may be one of the most anticipated upcoming movies. Fans have waited nearly 40 years to see the return of Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) and his family, and the wait will soon end. Before A Christmas Story Christmas becomes one of your favorite or least favorite holiday sequels, let’s discuss everything you need to know before its premiere.  

The Parkers seated around a cozy fire in A Christmas Story Christmas

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment)

A Christmas Story Christmas Premieres On November 17 On HBO Max 

Many interesting and family-friendly movies plan to take over your holiday season. In November and December, a lot of new Christmas and holiday movies premiere, including some long-awaited films. A Christmas Story Christmas is one of many movies you'll find on the 2022 Christmas Movie schedule

It premieres on HBO Max on November 17 -- exactly one week before Thanksgiving. Families may gather around their TV to stream the film during the holiday season. If it hits the right nostalgic notes, it could become an annually viewed movie, like the original film. 

Maybe 40 years from now, HBO will allow TBS and TNT to air both A Christmas Story and A Christmas Story Christmas for the 24 hours marathons.  

Peter Billingsley as young Ralphie in A Christmas Story

(Image credit: MGM)

Peter Billingsley Reprises His Role As Ralphie 

A proper Christmas Story sequel can’t exist without Peter Billingsley as Ralphie. The lack of involvement by the original cast may be one of the reasons why the previous Christmas Story sequels have not been well-received. Ralphie just doesn’t feel like Ralphie without Peter Billingsley playing him. His return to the role makes me optimistic about this sequel.

Billingsley has spent most of his time in the film and television industry behind the scenes. Recently, he produced Christmas with the Campbells and F Is for Family. Occasionally, he appears in front of the cameras, such as with his Elf cameo. His most recent appearances include the film A Case of You, and his sometimes-forgotten appearances in the Marvel films Iron Man and Spider-Man: Far from Home. 

Flick, Schwartz, Ralphie and his son standing outside in A Christmas Story Christmas

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment)

The Cast Includes Returning Favorites And New Characters  

Ralphie isn’t the only familiar face A Christmas Story fans can expect in A Christmas Story Christmas. Four of the other original actors are returning. Deadline revealed that Ian Petrella, Zack Ward, Scott Schwartz, and R.D. Robb will all reprise their original Christmas Story roles.

Ian Petrella plays Randy, Ralphie’s little brother in the film. Scott Schwartz plays Flick, the kid who unfortunately got his tongue frozen to a pole. R.D. Robb plays Schwartz, the kid who triple dog dared Flick to do it.  And we all remember yellow-eyed Scut Farkus, played by Zack Ward.  

Part of A Christmas Story Christmas plot involves Ralphie reconnecting with his old friends, so it’ll be interesting to see if Farkus becomes a friend or remains that feared bully. 

A Christmas Story Christmas also adds several new actors to the Parker family and the Christmas Story cast. According to Deadline Erinn Hayes plays Ralphie’s wife Sandy. River Drosche and Julianna Layne play their children Mark and Julie. Julie Hagerty takes over the role of Ralphie’s mother. Melinda Dillon originated the role, who, according to People, retired from acting in 2007.  

Erinn Hayes and Peter Billingsley in A Christmas Story Christmas

(Image credit: HBO Max)

A Christmas Story Christmas Takes Place In The ‘70s 

A Christmas Story premiered in 1983, but it is set in the 1940s. Therefore, A Christmas Story Christmas can only take place in the past to make sense. According to People, it takes place in 1973--33 years after the setting of the original film. The teaser for A Christmas Story Christmas didn’t reveal much about the setting or plot. 

However, Warner Bros. released some exclusive first images of this sequel. Adult Ralphie’s hair and clothing very much signify the ‘70s. Because the movie takes place in the ‘70s, it’s bound to be even more nostalgic for those who grew up in that era. The popular toys of that decade may make an appearance in A Christmas Story Christmas.   

Darren McGavin in A Christmas Story

(Image credit: MGM)

The Film “Is A Love Letter To The Old Man” 

Peter Billingsley revealed a lot more about the plot of A Christmas Story Christmas in his People interview. Ralphie is now a struggling writer who isn’t completely happy with his life. As with his younger self, fantasizing is still a major part of his daily routine. The unexpected death of the Old Man (played by the late Darren McGavin) brings Ralphie back to his childhood home in Indiana.

Billingsley discussed how the film honors the memory of McGavin and the Old Man character.

It very much is, in many ways, a love letter to the Old Man character and to Darren himself. Darren was the best. He was such a gifted actor and a great person and such a mentor to me in the shooting of the first film, and was kind of like having [another] dad.

Billingsley also discussed trying to make this film feel as realistic as the original and getting the tone right. Because the film is so important to many, he also mentions the pressures of living up to people’s expectations. It took four years of development before filming began on A Christmas Story Christmas in February 2022.  

HBO Max Released A Nostalgic Teaser And A Full Trailer For A Christmas Story Christmas 

HBO has been quite secretive about A Christmas Story Christmas. The film premieres in November, but as of October 2022, there was no full trailer of it. Instead, a quick teaser was released. The cable channel has slowly been revealing details and waited until the very start of November to release a full trailer

The quick teaser leans heavily into the original film. It shows images from A Christmas Story, including the famous leg lamp. It also has A Christmas Story audio playing over the images. 

Eventually, the teaser shows Peter Billingsley as Ralphie. In his People interview, Billingsley discussed recreating some of the original homes from A Christmas Story. According to him, getting those “details right was such an important aspect” for the crew. 

Variety reported that A Christmas Story Christmas was filmed in Hungary, and the original location has become a tourist attraction, so movie magic was the only way to repeat the look of the first film. 

The official trailer shows the hard work of recreating the town come to life. It looks like the Christmas Story of yesteryears but with a more HD look. We also get a full look at the kids as their adult selves. 

A Christmas Story Christmas shows a very stressed Ralphie, as he tries to have the best Christmas ever to honor his father. This trailer also leans heavily into nostalgia with a bunch of references to the original film. These fun little callbacks make me excited to see if it can blend nostalgia with a brand new chapter for Ralphie and friends. 

A Christmas Story Christmas streams on HBO Max on November 17. As you wait for the sequel, you can have your own 24-hour marathon by streaming A Christmas Story on HBO Max. (opens in new tab)

Jerrica Tisdale
Freelance Writer

Spent most of my life in various parts of Illinois, including attending college in Evanston. I have been a life long lover of pop culture, especially television, turned that passion into writing about all things entertainment related. When I'm not writing about pop culture, I can be found channeling Gordon Ramsay by kicking people out the kitchen.