INDIANAPOLIS — "Scut Farkus. What a rotten name!"
There were 36 years between "Top Gun" films and 29 years between "Hocus Pocus" movies. And now, "A Christmas Story" is getting the sequel treatment — again — 39 years after the holiday classic debuted.
Zack Ward made his acting debut in the 1983 Christmas comedy as Scut Farkus, who bullied Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) and his friends.
"It's been a fantastic adventure that's lasted the last 40 years," Ward said. "So everywhere I go now, people look at me and tell me, 'Ralphie beat me up,' and then, they want to give me a hug."
For those who haven't seen "A Christmas Story" — which airs annually for 24 consecutive hours on TNT and TBS the evening of Christmas Eve to the evening of Christmas Day — 9-year-old Ralphie, who lives the fictitious Indiana town of Hohman, wants one thing for Christmas: a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle.
Ward, Billingsley, Ian Petrella, Scott Schwartz and R.D. Robb reprise their roles in "A Christmas Story Christmas," set 30 years after the events in the original. In the sequel, Ralphie brings his wife and children to his former home, where he reunites with his childhood friends.
"It's a perfect bookend to the original 'Christmas Story.' It doesn't try to remake the movie," Ward said. "It is carrying on the story of how the characters grew up. It's a really great movie."
Has Scut Farkus changed his ways after all this time? Ward isn't spilling any details.
"Maybe Scut Farkus is a wonderful, wonderful person and is just there to hand out gifts, or he's been training in MMA for the last 20 years and here's there to hand out some beating — you'll have to tune in to find out," Ward said. "I'm not giving away any secrets, buddy."
"A Christmas Story Christmas" begins streaming on HBO Max Thursday, Nov. 17.
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