Just when you thought the concept of direct-to-DVD sequels had been all but replaced by remakes and reboots, along comes Warner Home Video to remind us that DTV flicks are still alive and well… and equally as frustrating. Apparently someone out there thought it was a good idea to create a sequel to the timeless holiday classic A Christmas Story without any of the original cast or creative team (admittedly, director Bob Clark and writer Jean Shepherd are no longer with us). Thirty years have passed since the original film was released but somehow Ralphie is only a teenager in this sequel, which certainly makes for some chronological confusion (I assume it is set in the 1940s?). Either way, Ralphie now has his sights set on a new toy for Christmas: a 1938 Hupmobile Skyline Convertible, which sounds slightly safer than a Red Ryder BB Gun.
Braeden Lemasters (Men of a Certain Age) will play Ralphie, while Daniel Stern plays his Old Man and Stacey Travis his mother. The movie is being directed by Brian Levant (Snow Dogs, The Spy Next Door), who may seem like a questionable choice until you realize that he also directed a Christmas classic of his own with Jingle All the Way. The screenplay comes courtesy of Nat Mauldin (Open Season, Doctor Doolittle).
I wasn’t aware that the characters from A Christmas Story had already appeared in a couple of pseudo-sequels including Ollie Hopnoodle’s Haven of Bliss and It Runs in the Family aka My Summer Story, both of which were narrated by Jean Shepherd. The former starred Jerry O’Connell as Ralphie, while the latter had Kieran Culkin instead. Either way, I’m just disappointed that the original Ralphie, Peter Billingsley, could not be involved. After all, he’s a director himself now, having helmed the Jon Favreau / Vince Vaughn comedy Couples Retreat. A Christmas Story 2 hits DVD and Blu-ray on October 30th; will you take a chance on this travesty?