Love Actually will finally get a sequel 14 years after the original film was released, according to the Telegraph. The sequel to the Richard Curtis-directed film will reunite Liam Neeson, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, and other stars. But there’s one unexpected twist.
While many fans of the 2003 romantic comedy probably imagined a full-length Love Actually sequel, here’s the slightly disappointing part (but no less applause-worthy) – the sequel will be a 10-minute skit for Comic Relief for charity.
The Love Actually sequel, which began filming last Wednesday, will be reuniting characters from the original 2003 film, while director Curtis is helming the Comic Relief special titled Red Nose Day Actually.
— newsAnglr Entertain (@entertainanglr) February 25, 2017
Since cable networks and media outlets keep reminding both U.K. and U.S. viewers about the lives of characters from Love Actually every single Christmas season, Curtis decided to revisit the characters to see what they’re up to in 2017, 14 years after the events described in the original film.
First look photos from the set unveiled last Thursday by Emma Freud, the director of Red Nose Day, show the reunion between Neeson and Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who in Love Actually play father Daniel and son Sam respectively.
— emma freud (@emmafreud) February 16, 2017
While Love Actually sequel filming has already begun on London’s South Bank, Knightley, Grant, Colin Firth, Andrew Lincoln and other stars of the original 2003 film are all set to appear in the new special, which will be broadcast as part of BBC One’s Red Nose Day on Friday, March 24.
U.S. viewers, meanwhile, will get to see the Love Actually sequel the following day, according to Vanity Fair. There’s no word yet on whether Emma Thompson, who delivered a breath-taking performance in the original 2003 film, will be reuniting with her co-stars.
Alan Rickman, who played Thompson’s husband in the original film, will be missed in the sequel as he died in January last year. Other Love Actually characters who didn’t make it in the sequel’s line-up are Chiwetel Ejiofor, Martin Freeman, Kris Marshall, and Laura Linney.
— Time Out SF (@TimeOut_SF) February 15, 2017
A source close to the Comic Relief special revealed that some original Love Actually cast members won’t be seen in the sequel due to scheduling conflicts. Teasing the upcoming special, Curtis explained that his decision to revisit the characters from 2003’s Love Actually stems from years of making Red Nose Day specials of his past TV projects such as Mr. Bean and Blackadder.
“It seemed like a fun idea this year to do a special sketch based one of my films, since Red Nose Day is now in both the UK and America.”
While Curtis admits that he would “never have dreamt of writing” a full-length sequel to Love Actually, he thought it would be a good idea to do a 10-minute special and see what the characters are up to in 2017.
Teasing Love Actually 2, Curtis revealed the biggest question of the sequel, “Who has aged best?”
“…or is it so obviously Liam?”
— 9GAG (@9GAG) February 17, 2017
Despite the fact that some of the original Love Actually cast members won’t be able to shoot for the new project, Curtis admits that he is still “delighted and grateful” that so many actors, including Neeson, Grant, and Knightley, agreed to take part.
Curtis also revealed that the Love Actually sequel would be “fun” and “very much in the spirit” of the original 2003 film.
While many fans of the 2003 film are saying it would make more sense and profits to release the 10-minute special during the Christmas season since the original film was a Christmas-themed movie, Curtis is confident that the sequel will bring “lots of viewers and cash” to the Red Nose Day projects.
[Featured Image by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images]