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Here's The First Trailer For HBO Max Holiday Comedy 8-Bit Christmas

With a never-ending stream of schmaltzy and endlessly watchable Hallmark-style holiday films becoming a staple in many a household in recent years, streamers and studios alike are responding with a fresh run of holiday movies of their own. Many of these releases have more or less followed the Hallmark template of fronting tales of holiday romance. Take, for example, the popular Netflix features "Holidate" and "The Princess Switch." Other entries have sought to put a fresh spin on the holiday film formula, like the "A Very Murray Christmas" special, Hulu's "Happiest Season," and "The Christmas Chronicles" duology starring Kurt Russell.

Somewhere in the middle of this spectrum fall a new movie that will soon drop on the HBO Max platform. The film in question is "8-Bit Christmas," a co-production between major Hollywood player Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema. Released in early November, the "8-Bit Christmas" trailer previews the serious talent in front of (and behind) the camera. The trailer also reveals the movie is slated to make its exclusive HBO Max streaming debut just in time for Thanksgiving. Judging by the first footage, the upcoming movie will be a hilarious, heartfelt, and shamelessly nostalgic treat for the whole family.

8-Bit Christmas promises loads of nostalgic holiday laughs

Regarding the talent behind HBO Max's "8-Bit Christmas," the film is helmed by the underrated Michael Dowse ("Stuber") and penned by "Assassination of a High School President" and "Play By Play" scribe Kevin Jakubowski. To wit, the movie is also adapted from Jakubowski's book of the same name (via Goodreads). And that duo is indeed working with an impressive cast, including Neil Patrick Harris, Steve Zahn, June Diane Raphael, Cyrus Arnold, and current "Nightbooks" star Winslow Fegley.

As for what that beyond talented group is doing in the film, the "8-Bit Christmas" trailer is pushing its distinctive "A Christmas Story" vibes to the forefront. The footage introduces us to the largely '80s-set tale that follows precocious pre-teen Jake (Fegley), who teams with his motley crew of school chums to score the season's most coveted Christmas present, a Nintendo Entertainment System. From the looks of things, that endeavor gets every bit as crazy as you might expect, with Jake and the gang leaving no path unexplored in getting an 8-bit fix for the holidays.

The trailer opens with their tale being recounted in vivid detail by the older version of Jake (Harris), with much of the action viewed via lovingly snow-glazed flashbacks. And yes, the trailer is rife with nostalgic winks to the simpler days of the 1980s when latch-key kids ran free, bike helmets were basically non-existent, and video game systems were just beginning to claim the hearts and minds of kids across the globe.

Will that tale help "8-Bit Christmas" become a modern Christmas movie classic? Find out for yourself when it hits HBO Max on November 25.