A pair of family comedies have kicked off production in that East Coast Hollywood known as Atlanta, Georgia. STXfilms has cameras rolling on A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS, the sequel to the company’s most successful release, while TWC-Dimension has started shooting THE WAR WITH GRANDPA, which stars a quartet of Quentin Tarantino veterans.
Let’s start with The War With Grandpa, which stars Robert De Niro as Grandpa Jack, who moves back in with his family and forces his grandson Peter out of his own bedroom.
Peter is played by Pete’s Dragon star Oakes Fegley (just stick with characters named Pete, kid!), who will stop at nothing to get his room back, scheming with friends to devise a series of pranks to drive Grandpa Jack out. But the old man doesn’t give up easily, and before long, it’s an all-out war!
When casting a coming-of-age family comedy like this, it’s best to populate the film with some of Tarantino’s favorite actors, which is why De Niro (Jackie Brown) is joined by Uma Thurman (Kill Bill), Christopher Walken (Pulp Fiction) and Cheech Marin (From Dusk Till Dawn). Complimenting them are Rob Riggle, Faizon Love and Jane Seymour.
Tim Hill (Hop) is directing from a script by Tom J. Astle & Matt Ember and Dave Johnson, who adapted the bestselling book by Robert Kimmel Smith. The movie is being produced by Marvin Peart, Rosa Peart and Phillip Glasser of Marro Films, whose Tre Peart is executive producing. Mandy Spencer-Phillips and Alan Steinman will serve as co-producers for Marro Films, while Matthew Signer, Keith Levine and James Allen will oversee the project for TWC-Weinstein, which holds U.S. distribution rights.
Meanwhile, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore are back as the writers and directors of A Bad Moms Christmas, which has added significant firepower to its supporting cast. Susan Sarandon will play Kathryn Hahn’s mom (I dig it), Cheryl Hines will play Kristen Bell’s mom (perfect!) and Christine Baranski will play Mila Kunis’ mom, although I’m not sure I see the resemblance there. Still, that’s three really talented veteran actresses — a coup for any sequel.
Peter Gallagher and Justin Hartley have also joined the cast, which sees Jay Hernandez, David Walton and Wanda Sykes back for more mommy mayhem.
This time around, the bad moms receive a holiday visit from their own mothers eager to celebrate Christmas, the so-called “Super Bowl for moms.” Comedic chaos ensues, and by the end of the journey, I’m sure everyone will learn a valuable lesson about family.
Suzanne Todd returns to produce, while Bill Block and Mark Kamine are back as executive producers.
STXfilms will release A Bad Moms Christmas in U.S. theaters on Nov. 3, while The War With Grandpa is slated for release on Oct. 20. Who knows, they could be the feel-good films of the fall, especially given the glut of prestige dramas that pile up in theaters during awards season.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief