‘The Waltons Homecoming’ Producer Wants Every Original Cast Member to Cameo — Here’s What He Wants Them to Play in Future Movies
The Waltons’ Homecoming will reunite The CW viewers with the classic TV family, if not the original cast. Only Richard Thomas returns and he doesn’t get to play John Boy anymore. He’s playing himself, introducing and narrating the holiday film. However, executive producer Sam Haskell has plans for the rest of The Waltons cast should they produce more movies or a new series.
Haskell was on a Zoom panel with The Waltons’ Homecoming stars Thomas, Bellamy Young, Ben Lawson, Logan Shroyer, and Marcelle LeBlanc. The Waltons’ Homecoming premieres Nov. 28 at 8 p.m. on The CW and we’ll have more with the stars of the TV film on Showbiz Cheat Sheet. But first, here are Haskell’s plans for the remaining cast members.
There are more cameo roles waiting for the original cast after ‘The Waltons’ Homecoming’
Many of Thomas’s co-stars on The Waltons are still around and participate in cast reunions. Michael Learned, Eric Scott, Kami Cotler and Judy Norton recently participated in a Stars in the House reunion. Haskell wants to have them appear in future Waltons movies or shows, and he has just the roles for them.
“I want to bring every original cast member in as a guest star to play a teacher or a nurse or a doctor,” Haskell said. “Or, I want to integrate the original cast into the series and future movies. Yes, yes, yes.”
Richard Thomas was the first Walton to sign on
Thomas was not a sure thing for The Waltons’ Homecoming either. Haskell reached out to Thomas’s representatives hoping he would support the new incarnation. At least Thomas sets the precedent for future cast members appearing in new material.
“I called Richard’s agent and I said, ‘Is there any chance Richard Thomas would like to come play?’” Haskell said. “And he and I got on the phone and after about an hour conversation, he agreed to come play. Then we cast the rest of the movie and we had a great director and a wonderful writer, Jim Strain, who wrote this, has done three other movies for me. And I knew he would have the heart for it.”
‘The Waltons’ Homecoming’ also had to include the original creator
The Waltons was based on Earl Hamner Jr.’s book Spencer’s Mountain, based on his own childhood. When Haskell put together The Waltons’ Homecoming, the Hamner estate still had to sign off on it.
“The doors were open quite easily, but there were a lot of conversations that had to take place to assure the family on the estate of Earl Hamner that we were going to honor his work and do this in a way that would, that would please the family,” Haskell said. “And, in my mind, please the original Waltons family, which is why I wanted Richard involved with this because he’s so integral in keeping up with all the original cast members. I just believe that it made it easy for me to get started. But, we did have a little bit of a journey to get there. And the journey has ended beautifully and they’re all so happy, and that makes me happy.”
The Waltons recreated the 1930s in 1971. The Waltons’ Homecoming had to do it another 50 years later.
“Well, I think period is always difficult, but I’ve done four previous period pictures, and we have such an incredible crew and group of production designers and, and costumers down in the Atlanta area that we’ve used,” Haskell said. “And so, while it is always difficult, especially when you go into a town and you have to remove all the modern day looks and cars and store windows and turn them around into something that happened 80 years earlier, it is difficult. But it’s something I love and I’ve always been drawn to period, and I’ll go the extra mile to be able to deliver it accurately.”