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On Wednesday morning, writer and director Richard Curtis cast a bizarre, Christmas-tree shaped beacon of light into our dark, crumbling world: Love Actually is coming back for a sequel. According to Curtis, the film's follow-up comes not as a feature-length movie, but as a short film for this year's Red Nose Day telethon, which raises money for the charity Comic Relief. Beginning in 1988, Red Nose Day achieves mainstream success annually in the U.K.; more recently, NBC has broadcast the telethon to U.S. viewers.

The Love Actually follow-up will star Kiera Knightly, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Andrew Lincoln, Bill Nighy and Rowan Atkinson, among others. It will air in the United Kingdom on May 24th, 2017 and on May 25th in the United States. 

Our questions: Can Joni Mitchell carry Emma Thompson's character through the mourning process for Harry, aka the late Alan Rickman? Chiwetel Ejiofor doesn't seem to be returning; has Kiera Knightly ended up with Andrew Lincoln instead? Does that make her more cool? Or less cool? With there be enough children in octopus costumes to ease the sexual tension between Hugh Grant and everyone he's ever spoken to? Both Olivia Olson and Thomas Sangster are reprising their roles as childhood sweethearts; has adulthood brought them the same romantic disillusionment as their elder counterparts? Is Sangster too bro to chase ladies through airports now? Is he in a frat? 

For both lovers and haters of Love Actually–and there are many of both–Curtis' short promises a brief respite from our nostalgia for simpler times.

Top photo: "Love Actually"

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