Neil Patrick Harris has joined the cast of 8-Bit Christmas, a new comedy movie from New Line in the works at HBO Max. The cast also stars Winslow Fegley (Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made), June Diane Raphael (Grace and Frankie), and Steve Zahn (Modern Family, Diary of a Wimpy Kid). Michael Dowse (Coffee & Kareem) will direct.
8-Bit Christmas is an adaptation of the debut novel by author Kevin Jakubowski. Described as a "heartfelt and humorous look at childhood misadventures," the movie is set in suburban Chicago during the 1980s, following a 10-year-old boy named Jake Doyle and his epic quest to find the best video game system. Harris plays the adult Jake and serves as the movie's narrator, while Fegley will play young Jake with June Diane Raphael and Steven Zahn playing his parents.
Tim White, Trevor White, and Allen Mandelbaum are producing under their Star Thrower Entertainment Banner alongside Nick Nantell and Jonathan Sadowski. Author Kevin Jakubowski and Whitney Brown are executive producing.
Formerly a child star who was best known for his starring role on Doogie Howser, M.D. for many years, Neil Patrick Harris had a career resurgence as an adult. Playing an exaggerated version of himself in the Harold & Kumar movies and the iconic role of Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother, Harris has certainly proven his abilities as a comedic actor. He has also won a Tony Award for his work on the Broadway show Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Younger fans will also recognize Harris for his roles in The Smurfs movies and his more recent role as Count Olaf on the Netflix series A Series of Unfortunate Events.
There are other big projects Harris is currently attached to as well. He will have a role in The Matrix 4, which is currently slated for a release in theaters this December. Harris will also play a character in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, the satirical action-thriller with Nicolas Cage playing himself. He's also attached to play Bill Aucoin in the upcoming Neil Bogart biopic written and directed by Neil's son, Timothy Scott Bogart.
Released last year, Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made features child actor Winslow Fegley in one of his very first roles as the titular character. He has also had roles on the TV series The Good Doctor and Fast Layne. Coincidentally, he will also be playing a role in Spinning Gold, the upcoming Neil Bogart biopic that also features Harris, but they won't be playing the same character that time.
Meanwhile, Raphael might be best known for Grace and Frankie, though she has also had roles in the movies Year One and Unfinished Business. She is perhaps best known as the co-host of How Did This Get Made?, a podcast that looks at terrible movies alongside her real-life husband Paul Scheer and friend Jason Mantzoukas. Zahn has appeared in a variety of movies such as Reality Bites, Dallas Buyers Club, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and War for the Planet of the Apes. He has also had recurring roles on Modern Family and the HBO series Treme.
A release date hasn't yet been set for 8-Bit Christmas and it's not clear when filming will start. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.