A new Waltons movie with Richard Thomas is coming to television
The original John-Boy actor will narrate a rebooted version of “The Homecoming.”
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Richard Thomas is coming back to Walton's Mountain, in a manner of speaking. He'll be narrating, presumably in the "older John-Boy" role that Early Hamner Jr. played in the original series, a TV holiday special titled The Waltons' Homecoming. Set to air later this year on the CW network, it's a new version of the small-screen movie that first introduced audiences to the Walton family.
The Homecoming: A Christmas Story first aired in December 1971. Based on writer Earl Hamner's real-life upbringing, it followed a large family coping with the hardships of the Great Depression while eagerly awaiting the return of their father on Christmas Eve. It was a much more faithful adaptation of Hamner's life than the 1963 Henry Fonda movie Spencer's Mountain, which was set in the present day and relocated to Wyoming instead of the mountains of Virginia.
The Homecoming was a hit but it wasn't exactly a pilot for The Waltons. It featured the same seven children, including Richard Thomas as John-Boy, but most of the adult roles were given to different actors for the series. Ellen Corby was the only adult actor to be in both The Homecoming and The Waltons.
The new movie is intended to be a standalone special but, like the original Homecoming, could inspire more if the network sees a good enough opportunity. The plot and time period remain similar to the original. John-Boy Walton, who secretly harbors dreams of becoming a writer, must decide between following in his father’s footsteps and striking out on his own. Things are complicated by the fact that his father’s journey home on Christmas Eve is delayed by a terrible storm and John-Boy must venture out to find him.
Besides Richard Thomas returning to narrate, two lead casting announcements have been made. Bellamy Young, who was born in Asheville, North Carolina, and played Mellie Grant in Scandal, will be the new Olivia Walton and Logan Shroyer, who played the younger version of Kevin in This Is Us, will star as John-Boy.
The Waltons' Homecoming will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first time the famous Virginian family appeared on television. Whether it will inspire a new series next year to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the original show remains to be seen. Leave a comment letting us know what you think of this Waltons reboot.