Every year, Hallmark debuts a new selection of Christmas movies featuring stars like Lacey Chabert, Jodie Sweetin, and Alison Sweeney. Many of these actresses are blasts from the past for Hallmark viewers, with Chabert playing an iconic "Mean Girls" character in 2004 and Sweetin starring in "Full House" throughout the '90s.
A new holiday film from the network may similarly have fans reminiscing about the past, as "Mystic Christmas" has connections to the iconic '80s film "Mystic Pizza." If you're unfamiliar, "Mystic Pizza" is a coming-of-age rom-com starring Julia Roberts, Annabeth Gish, and Lili Taylor. The film follows the three actresses as waitresses working at the titular pizza parlor, which was inspired by a real-life restaurant located in Mystic, Connecticut.
While Hallmark has released little information about "Mystic Christmas" so far, word is that the movie will similarly be set in the idyllic New England town and feature several real-life businesses. Beyond this, audiences can reportedly expect to see an actor from "Mystic Pizza" in this upcoming holiday movie.
While the cast list for "Mystic Christmas" has not been released by Hallmark, Chris Regan shared some details about the movie's production with WTNH News 8. Regan's family owns Olde Mistick Village, the 18th-century style shopping mall in Mystic, Connecticut, where the holiday movie is being filmed.
"I know there's somebody who is in this movie that was in the 'Mystic Pizza' movie," Regan told the news outlet. This won't be the first time that a "Mystic Pizza" actor returned to the location, though. Conchata Ferrell, who played the owner of the pizza parlor in the original film, did return to Mystic to appear in the Lifetime movie "A Very Nutty Christmas." However, Ferrell passed away in 2020.
While Regan didn't elaborate on the cast connection any further, he did mention that actual Mystic businesses and attractions would be featured in the Hallmark flick. For example, both Mango's Wood-Fired Pizza Co. and Mystic Aquarium will appear in the film, with the aquarium said to be an integral part of the plot.
The inclusion of local businesses in the upcoming Hallmark film is similar to the 1988 film "Mystic Pizza." Though the restaurant featured in the movie was actually a converted home in Stonington, the fictional establishment was inspired by the real-life business of the same name. "The set was built for the indoor scenes, as the actual Mystic Pizza restaurant was too small and could not close for months of filming," the establishment said on an old page of its website.
Accordingly, screenwriter Amy Holden Jones was vacationing in Mystic, Connecticut when she was inspired to set the story of three Portuguese waitresses in the town, choosing Mystic Pizza as the restaurant they worked at. The actual pizza parlor became extremely popular after the film's debut and was eventually renovated to resemble the restaurant in the movie.