Chicago is setting for new HBO Ma-Xmas film

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(8-Bit Christmas is currently filming)

Production is currently underway on 8-Bit Christmas, a Max Original film from New Line directed by Michael Dowse.

Set in suburban Chicago in the late 1980s, the film is a humorous and heartfelt look back at the adventures of childhood. The story centers on ten-year-old Jake Doyle’s (Winslow Fegley) herculean quest to get the latest and greatest video game system for Christmas. 

The film stars Neil Patrick Harris, Fegley (Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made, Nightbooks, Come Play), June Diane Raphael (Long Shot, Grace and Frankie) and Steve Zahn (HBO’s The White Lotus, Cowboys, Uncle Frank).

Emmy and Tony Award winning actor and New York Times bestselling author Harris recently starred in HBO Max series It’s a Sin and next stars in The Matrix 4 which will release 12/22/21 and The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent for Lionsgate.

Harris plays Adult Jake Doyle (and also narrates) while Raphael and Zahn play Young Jake’s parents, Kathy and John.


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The film sounds fairly reminiscent of 1983’s A Christmas Story where Ralphie  youngster Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley), who spends most of his time dodging a bully (Zack Ward) and dreaming of his ideal Christmas gift, a “Red Ryder air rifle.”  That of course went on to become a perennial classic and was also set in the midwest – Cleveland.

Maybe, we’re looking at a future Xmas classic in the making now.

CREDITS: 8-Bit Christmas is produced by Tim White, Trevor White and Allan Mandelbaum for Star Thrower Entertainment (Warner Bros.’ “King Richard”), as well as Nick Nantell, and Jonathan Sadowski. Executive producers are Kevin Jakubowski, Whitney Brown. Screenplay is by Kevin Jakubowski, adapted from his debut novel.

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