Love actually … is all around, again. The stars of the 2003 holiday cult classic Love Actually are reuniting 14 years later for a 10-minute short titled Red Nose Day Actually, it was announced on Wednesday, February 15, and Us Weekly has a behind-the-scenes look at the cast on set.
One of the most memorable story lines of the film, about a widowed father (Liam Neeson) and his young son, Sam (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), will be revisited in the sequel. In the original film, Sam was a baby-faced preteen harboring an earnest crush on his classmate Joanna (Olivia Olson). At the end of the film, Sam catches Joanna just as she and her family are leaving for a flight at the airport to confess his love to her. In images obtained by Us, it looks as though the young lovebirds are still in touch!
According to a press release obtained by Us, the sequel will be written by Richard Curtis, one of the original cowriters of the film, and will revisit the cast of characters and their relationships in 2017. It will be broadcast on BBC One in the U.K. on March 24 as part of this year’s Red Nose Day campaign, an annual charity telethon aimed at raising money and awareness for children living in poverty.
“I would never have dreamt of writing a sequel to Love Actually, but I thought it might be fun to do 10 minutes to see what everyone is now up to,” Curtis said in the statement. “We hope to make something that’ll be fun — very much in the spirit of the original film and of Red Nose Day.”
Much of the original star-studded cast will return for the sequel, including Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy, Andrew Lincoln, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Rowan Atkinson. Notably absent from the list are Emma Thompson, Martin Freeman, Laura Linney, Rodrigo Santoro, Chiwetel Ejiofor and the late Alan Rickman, who died in January 2016.
“Who has aged best? — I guess that’s the big question … or is it so obviously Liam?” Curtis mused in the statement. “We’ve been delighted and grateful that so many of the cast are around and able to take part — and it’ll certainly be a nostalgic moment getting back together and re-creating their characters 14 years later.”
The original 2003 film followed the story of several romantic and love-challenged individuals trying to tussle with cupid on Christmas Eve, and it quickly became a holiday classic upon its release. In December 2015, script editor Emma Freud (Curtis’ wife) dropped a few hints as to how she imagined the characters wound up after the end of the flick, temporarily satiating fans’ curiosity.
“Can u please explain outcome for Emma and Alan’s characters or must I remain eternally confused?” one fan tweeted at Freud, about a storyline that involved a married couple shaken by the husband (Rickman)’s affair. “I never did work that one out!”
“They stay together, but home isn’t as happy as it once was,” Freud replied. Find out the fate of Love Actually’s other characters via Red Nose Day Actually on March 24 on BBC One. The short will be broadcast in the U.S. on May 25 on NBC.