Chevy Chase Is Ready to Cash Another Christmas Comedy Check

Chase continues to milk his holiday cash cow
Chevy Chase Is Ready to Cash Another Christmas Comedy Check

That jingle-jingle-jingle you hear is coming from the pockets of Christmas Vacation alums Chevy Chase and Randy Quaid. The two comic actors just signed up for another holiday paycheck… er, another heartwarming family movie set around that most wonderful time of the year. 

According to DeadlineThe Christmas Letter tells the tale of an unemployed copywriter who receives an annual holiday letter from his obnoxiously prosperous friend. Our hero is sick and tired of being outdone, so he puts it all on the line to give his family a Christmas-letter-worthy vacation while sticking it to his braggadocious pal.

Chase and Quaid sound like naturals for the lead roles, if only The Christmas Letter had been produced 30 years ago. While a preliminary cast list has been announced — the film also stars Angus Benfield and Brian Doyle-Murray — it’s unlikely the Saturday Night Live alums are playing the main characters given that Chase is now in his 80s.

But the nostalgia casting is no accident. “This film is going to be such a fun nod to classics like Christmas Vacation,” says executive producer Gato Scatena. “We’re very excited to bring it to audiences this year.” 

Just a reminder that not everyone has fond holiday memories of Chase and Christmas Vacation. Writer John Hughes initially lined up Chris Columbus to direct the film. That lasted about as long as it took Columbus to share a few meals with Chase. “I love Christmas, so to do a Christmas comedy had been a dream,” Columbus told Chicago Magazine. “I went out to dinner with Chevy Chase. To be completely honest, Chevy treated me like dirt.” 

Columbus needed the work, so he got to work on the film, shooting establishing shots that show up in Christmas Vacation. “Then I had another meeting with Chevy, and it was worse,” he remembers. “I called John (Hughes) and said, ‘There’s no way I can do this movie. I know I need to work, but I can’t do it with this guy.’” 

Rather than backing his star, Hughes gave Columbus two amazing holiday presents. First, he released the director from working with Chase, and second, he gifted Columbus another Christmas classic, Home Alone, to direct instead. The Hughes family better still be on your Christmas card list, Chris.

As for Quaid, this won’t be the first time he’s done a Christmas Vacation cash grab. In 2003, he starred in the made-for-television comedy National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure, which is every bit as excellent as its title.

As one Rotten Tomato viewer notes, “However bad you expect this movie to be, it’s worse. Don’t watch it. If you don’t heed that advice, you deserve what you get and your review can go right above this one saying, ‘I should have listened to the others.’”

Bah, humbug.


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