You probably never expected there to be a sequel to Love Actually, the 2003 ensemble holiday favorite from writer-director Richard Curtis, and technically there likely never will be one officially. However, Curtis and much of the cast are reuniting for a special follow-up short that will update us on where many of the characters have ended up. The mini sequel is happening in support of Comic Relief and Red Nose Day, the biennial British televised fundraising event to provide aid in Ethiopia. The Comic Relief charity was actually founded in 1986 by Curtis, who was then a TV writer.
Titled Red Nose Day Actually, the short will feature original cast members Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy, Rowan Atkinson, Martine McCutcheon, Andrew Lincoln, Lucia Moniz, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Olivia Olson. It makes sense we won’t be seeing Emma Thompson, since her storyline’s costar, Alan Rickman, has passed away. And poor Chiwetel Ejiofor isn’t involved, meaning his character must have been ditched by Knightley’s for Lincoln’s. We also may not get updates on the stories starring Laura Linney, Kris Marshall, and Martin Freeman and Joanna Page, as they aren’t listed in the reunion cast.
According to the BBC, Grant, Knightley and Firth are cowriting the 10-minute short with Curtis, and the thing will air on March 24. It’s reportedly still in the works, and fans have been asked to suggest ideas for where the characters are 14 years later. Some sort of tribute to Rickman is being requested so far. One thing that will be very cute to see is how the Brodie-Sangster and Olson characters, then in their early teens, are connected now in their 20s. This will be Olson’s first major on-screen role in a long time, too, as she’s primarily a voice actress these days.
With Love Actually getting a mini sequel, could other movies follow suit with updates of their own? Occasionally we see comedy sketches with unofficial follow-ups, such as Billy Crystal’s When Harry Met Sally 2 bit for Funny or Die, Macaulay Culkin’s disturbing Home Alone update a couple years ago and Marty and Doc’s Back to the Future reunion to see what 2015 truly looked like on Jimmy Kimmel Live. And we get plenty of animated shorts revisiting beloved characters from features like Frozen. But Red Nose Day Actually could inspire more serious live-action efforts.
Some ideas for movies that surprisingly never got sequels that could do a mini, especially if it’s for charity, include E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Forrest Gump, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Leon (The Professional), The Goonies, The Breakfast Club and True Lies.
What would you add to the pile?