While all 'ya filthy animals' are enjoying your annual Macaulay Culkin Home Alone re-watch, a new version, Home Sweet Home Alone, is on Disney+ (Nov. 12, Disney+ day), written by Saturday Night Live legends and starring comedy icons like Ellie Kemper, Rob Delaney, Kenan Thompson, Ally Maki, Timothy Simons and Pete Holmes.
“I was absolutely one of those original fans, I grew up on the movies,...so when I first got the script, I was definitely one of those fans that’s like, ‘OK, what is this going to be?” Maki told Yahoo Canada. “Seriously, three pages in, I was just sold, I got immediately what they were doing, the perspective of it.”
“It had elements of the old that I think people are going to really love and then so much new stuff that I think people are really going to latch on to as well. It really does feel like its own thing but steeped in this iconic franchise.”
The gloves were off in terms of getting some of the funniest people we know in front of and behind the camera for this movie.
Dan Mazer, who worked on the Sacha Baron Cohen hit Da Ali G Show and the Borat movies, directed Home Sweet Home Alone. The screenplay was written by Mikey Day and Streeter Seidell, who created popular SNL sketches like “Close Encounters” with Ryan Gosling and Kate McKinnon, and “Haunted Elevator” with Tom Hanks and Kate McKinnon. It’s also executive produced by Jeremiah Samuels (Stuber).
What is 'Home Sweet Home Alone' about?
The plot for Home Sweet Home Alone, filmed in snow-filled Montreal, takes you to Winnetka, Illinois, but we don’t start by meeting the kid who’s left “home alone,” we actually meet the robbers, Pam and Jeff McKenzie (Kemper and Delaney).
After Jeff loses his job, they have to sell their house to make ends meet on a single income. That plan starts to change when the couple discover that an antique doll Jeff has saved from his mother is worth $200,000, which would allow the family to stay in their home.
But, of course, things don’t go as planned.
During an open house setup by their realtor (Kenan Thompson) the doll disappears, with Jeff remembering that the last time he saw it was when he was speaking to 10-year-old Max, played by Archie Yates (Jojo Rabbit), who went to the open house with his mom (Aisling Bea), and in his smart-aleck way, was making fun of Jeff and his dolls.
Max’s whole extended family is heading to Japan and, just like in Home Alone, with so many people to round up Max gets left behind, just like Kevin.
His moment of seemingly childhood bliss, having the house to himself, is interrupted when Pam and Jeff try to break into his home to retrieve the doll, all while these unhinged parents are also trying to entertain Rob’s financially stable brother Hunter (Timothy Simons) and his wife Mei (Ally Maki).
“I would say of all of the projects that I've ever done, this was the one that I got the most license with, and that really was from Dan Mazer and how he runs a set, and how he directs,” Maki explained. “I learned so much, I think it was almost life changing for me in terms of how I approached a movie, because he really did let us go on and on and on.”
“He would throw us...scenarios like, ‘hey, why don't you guys try this’... Everyday felt just like a playground, in a sense, almost like live theatre as opposed to just doing takes. So I had so much fun in that world.”
Do we get to see Macaulay Culkin, Kevin from 'Home Alone'?
For every Home Alone fan, there are probably two questions you have: is Culkin going to be in this new movie and how could any other kid fill Kevin’s shoes?
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Culkin is not in Home Sweet Home Alone however, you will get to see an adult version of another member of the McCallister family, Buzz (Devin Ratray), who gives us a glimpse into where Kevin ended up as an adult.
In terms of other Easter eggs from the original, there are certainly a lot to see, including a Little Nero’s callback and some scenes that look almost like complete replicas of the original.
You may be pleasantly surprised to discover that Archie Yates, who plays Max, has this almost adult-like wit to his mischievous ways, which can be reminiscent of Culkin playing Kevin in Home Alone.
“To fill Macaulay’s shoes is something I think we're all like, ‘who's going to do that?’ But if any kid is going to do this, it's really Archie Yates,” Maki said. “He's so charming, he's so smart but has that very imaginative mindset that I think this character kind of calls for.”
“Even in real life, in between takes,...he’d be like ‘so Ally, how do you feel about this? It’s like talking to a little gentleman… This kid is a genius.”