Early planning for the holidays is one thing, but the Disney Channel team now in Chicago is already gearing up for Christmas 2021.
Crews are on the city’s streets shooting “Christmas Again,” a movie scheduled to air next year on the cable outlet. It’s a youthful variation on a familiar holiday-movie trope: the disillusioned semi-Scrooge mystically forced to relive Christmas over and over.
Scarlett Estevez, who plays Gwen on Disney’s “Bunk’d,” stars as 11-year-old Ro, who’s sour on Christmas because her parents have divorced and her dad has a new love interest. An ill-phrased request to a mall Santa puts her in a “Groundhog Day”-style time loop that gives her new appreciation of her new blended family.
The project is a homecoming for at least two of the cast members: Mount Carmel grad Daniel Sunjata (“Rescue Me”), who plays Ro’s dad, and veteran Chicago stage actress Beth Lacke, cast as Dad’s girlfriend.
Also appearing is Broadway luminary Priscilla Lopez, who won a Tony Award for a role she originated in “A Chorus Line.”