Though it hasn’t been formally announced by Hallmark Channel, there’s plenty of evidence that a sequel is on the way for the network’s Christmas 2022 comedy “Haul Out the Holly,” which featured an all-star cast including Lacey Chabert, Wes Brown, Melissa Peterman, and Ellen Travolta.
After months of social media buzz that a secret sequel was in the works, “Haul Out the Holly 2” wrapped filming in early May 2023 in the same Utah neighborhood where the original movie took place. In the first movie, Chabert played a newly-single woman who visits her parents for the holidays, only to be repeatedly called out by their neighborhood’s HOA for not decorating or celebrating correctly. Here’s what you need to know:
Insiders Reveal ‘Haul Out the Holly 2’ Filming
Hallmark did not respond to Heavy’s request for confirmation of the new movie, but rumors have swirled for months about there being a sequel on tap for “Haul Out the Holly,” which premiered in November 2022 as part of Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas programming.
On February 23, the Ho! Ho! Holiday Viewing Twitter account, which tracks behind-the-scenes developments in the holiday movie genre, pointed out that IMDb featured a since-deleted listing for “Haul Out the Holly 2,” naming Maclain Nelson as the director again, and Christopher Sey as the screenwriter this time rather than original writer Andy Sandberg.
By mid-April, the Utah Background Acting Troupe was posting on Facebook about the need for extras to appear in the “Haul Out the Holly 2” shoot from April 17 to May 5. The background roles they needed local actors to fill included shop customers, attendees of a Christmas carnival dressed in “festive Christmas winter casual clothing,” and people willing to participate in a snowball fight scene.
On May 11, according to Salt Lake City new station Fox13, the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity Board in Utah announced it had awarded funding incentives to several TV and film production companies that have or will spend money producing content in the state this year. One of the recipients is Hallmark for returning to film “Haul Out the Holly 2.” According to Utah Business, Hallmark planned to spend $2,662,969 in the state on the movie.
In a statement, Utah-based producer David Wulf said, “Utah continues to be a wonderful place for Hallmark content. Its small towns coupled with its city charms and excellent scenic backdrops really enhance the storytelling of this film.”
‘Haul Out the Holly’ Sequel Likely to Feature Another Star-Studded Cast
It’s not clear if the entire original cast will return for “Haul Out the Holly 2,” but on May 6 — the day after the movie was scheduled to finish filming — Brown posted in his Instagram Stories that he was back to building his outdoor kitchen, a project he’s been working on for months, after filming.
Along with a photo of a cart loaded up with bricks, he wrote, “Movie wrapped. Back to building.”
In November 2022, during a Facebook Live session with Chabert and Peterman to promote the original movie, Brown said, “I don’t think I’ve ever done (a Hallmark movie) with this many layers and this many wonderful characters, just from top to bottom. It just felt big. It felt like a true comedy with so many great comedic actors.”
Also on May 6, Hearts of Stars TV released an interview with comedian Peterman, who’s had a storied TV career in shows like “Reba” and “Young Sheldon,” and played Chabert’s competitive neighbor Pamela in “Haul Out the Holly.”
It’s not clear when the interview was recorded, but in it, Peterman said she’d love to do a sequel.
“I hope we make more of this one,” she said. “Wouldn’t you like to see the cul-de-sac again?”
Meanwhile, Ho! Ho! Holiday Viewing tweeted on April 21 that frequent Hallmark actress and producer Jennifer Aspen had just wrapped filming one Christmas movie in Canada and had just arrived on the set of “Haul Out the Holly 2.”
The account shared a selfie that Aspen shared on Instagram two days before, captioning it, “First day new gig happiness.”
Aspen was not part of the original “Haul Out the Holly,” so it’s not yet clear if she’s involved in the cast or working behind the scenes.
Meanwhile, Hallmark’s most popular movie of 2022 — the holiday hit “Three Wise Men and a Baby” starring Paul Campbell, Tyler Hynes, and Andrew Walker — will not get a sequel, but the trio could be returning for a different type of story.
Campbell, who co-wrote the movie with Kimberley Sustad, told Wide Open Country, “The consensus was that a sequel would probably be a mistake only because it’s so difficult to rekindle that magic and tell a different story, but the same.”
“We want to take the three of us — the three boys — and keep making different movies with the three boys,” he continued. “Reinvent ourselves every time. And so I think we can have a lot of fun. We have one idea that’s already percolating, and we’re going to have to float that by Hallmark Channel and see what they think.”