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Shepherd And Clark Plan Sequel To MGM/UA's 'Christmas Story'
Airdate: Wednesday - December 5, 1984

Last Update: 01-12-2009

Show Description
As MGM/UA's "A Christmas Story," a surprise hit in the weeks following Thanksgiving last year, hits 600 theaters in its re-release, writer Jean Shepherd and director Bob Clark have plans for a sequel, perhaps filming as early as next summer. Adapted from the first chapter of his novel about family life and growing up in the 1940s, "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash," Shepherd said that he and Clark plan to team up again to film the next chapter in the book, tentatively titled "The Revenge Of The Mole People." According to Shepherd, the original cast, which included Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin and Peter Billingsley, are all ready to appear in the sequel. Shepherd added that he has already completed several drafts of the script and that he plans to take on the additional responsibilities of producer, with Clark again directing. Shepherd noted that "A Christmas Story" had been a pet project for he and Clark for some 10 years and that when MGM/UA decided to go with it at Clark's assurance, they also acquired the option to any sequels that might develop. While Shepherd has received no word from MGM/UA yet, he indicated that other studios have already expressed an interest in the project, presumably among them 20th Century Fox, where Clark has a longterm production arrangement. "There is no question we will do the film," Shepherd said, "the question is with whom." Sequel will focus on Ralphie's (Billingsley) first summer away from home when he realizes "that he lives in a pretty rotten place" and culminates on July 4. Shepherd hopes to film this summer in Maine or Canada with a projected late fall release. Best known as a humorist and storyteller as well as a writer, Shepherd has previously produced three of his stories for PBS. Proposed sequel will be a joint venture between Snowpond Prod., Shepherd's company, and Clark's Brandy Wine Prods. As for the rerelease of "A Christmas Story," Shepherd said he had always been hopeful that it would be accepted as a perennial. MGM/UA has partially restructured the campaign for the film and is offering some television support. Still Richard Graff, MGM/UA's president of domestic distribution, downplayed the rerelease of the picture, claiming that "it would be difficult to duplicate the conditions that made it successful last year," referring to the timing of its release and the scarcity of product then in the marketplace. Asked about the possibility of the film becoming a Christmas staple, Graff said, "I'll let you know next week." Further clouding the theatrical prospects for the film's reissue is the fact that it arrived on shelves this month as an offering for MGM/UA Home Video. Film is one of the few to have a simultaneous presence on theater as well as home screens. "A Christmas Story" grossed $16,839,092 in 63 days of release last year.
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December 1984

Courtesy: Pete Delaney

Airdate History ' - Original' date is earliest known broadcast)
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