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If you’re a fan of 1983’s A Christmas Story, you’ll probably be down for 8-Bit Christmas, a Ralphie Parker-type film tailor made for the Stranger Things era. The movie, whose first trailer dropped online Thursday, stars Neil Patrick Harris as Jake Doyle, a grown man recounting his epic boyhood quest to become the owner of a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) back in the late 1980s at the dawn of home gaming.
Nightbooks star Winslow Fegley plays Jake’s 10-year-old self, growing up in the snowy suburbs of Chicago. June Diane Raphael (Blockers) and Steve Zahn (The White Lotus) round out the main cast.
"The first time I read the script I cried," Raphael told People. "It was so nostalgic to me, so similar to the way I grew up. It felt so real and these people felt so specific, funny, and hilarious."
Watch the trailer now:
Written by Kevin Jakubowski (adapting his own 2013 novel of the same name), the project was helmed by Michael Dowse (Stuber).
"The script spoke to me on multiple levels as a parent, as a kid that grew up in the '80s, I thought it was a funny script with a great voice and needed to get made properly," Dowse also told People. "[It's] about putting down the screens and spending time together. Getting what you need rather than getting what you want."
Jakubowski and Whitney Brown serve as executive producers. Tim White, Trevor White, Allan Madelbaum, Nick Nantell, Jonathan Sadowski are producers.
Speaking with /FILM in 2017, Jakubowski revealed that the source material began not as a novel, but as a screenplay.
"I think it was the third script I ever wrote, and it was called Nintendo Christmas then," he said. "I wrote it when I was working at South Park. And it got optioned by a little company, which was really exciting! And it got close to getting made, and I was actually attached to direct. But it didn't happen, so I just put it on a shelf for, I don't know, seven years. And, well, even though I'd set it aside, I couldn't get the story totally out of my head so I started thinking: hey, this would really make a great book."
8-Bit Christmas will exclusively stream on HBO Max starting on Wednesday, Nov. 24 — just in time for a month of cozy bingeing ahead of the holidays.