ASHEVILLE – Christmas will come to Asheville twice this winter season.
Hallmark Channel has announced that one of its new, original “Countdown to Christmas” movies will begin filming at the historic Biltmore Estate in January.
“A Biltmore Christmas” will star Bethany Joy Lenz (“Good Sam,” “An Unexpected Christmas”) and Kristoffer Polaha (“We Wish You a Married Christmas,” “Jurassic World: Dominion”).
The film is slated to premiere as a part of Hallmark Channel’s 2023 “Countdown to Christmas” programming.
Since 1895, George W. Vanderbilt and his family’s classic holiday traditions, like the raising of the 35-foot Fraser fir Christmas tree in the Banquet Hall, have been upheld and continue to attract guests to the family’s home each year.
Although other productions have been filmed at the property, the Hallmark production will be the first time the National Historic Landmark will serve as the setting as Biltmore Estate.
“Each year we look for ways to create exciting, new holiday viewing experiences for our audience,” Samantha DiPippo, senior vice president, development, programming, Hallmark Media, said in a news release. “We know fans will love being transported back in time and the iconic, beautiful Biltmore Estate is the perfect setting to help fans get into the holiday spirit.”
The movie’s storyline begins with screenwriter Lucy Collins (Lenz) landing a job to write the script for a remake of “His Merry Bride!,” a beloved Christmas classic first filmed at Biltmore House in 1947. Lucy travels to the estate and joins a guided tour of the historic home. She’s drawn to an entrancing hourglass that she accidentally knocks over, subsequently being transported back in time to 1946 ― the Golden Age of Hollywood ― and on set with the cast and crew of “His Merry Bride!” at Biltmore.
As Lucy attempts to blend in and navigate the unfamiliar place and time, she catches the eye of the film’s lead, Jack Huston (Polaha). Lucy rebuffs his advances but the duo shares a connection that cannot be denied.
The chain of events that occur after Lucy’s sudden appearance also can’t be ignored and it’s putting the production in jeopardy. Lucy must make things right before she can return to the present or else threaten to alter the future forever.
Lucy is presented with one chance to go home though it will mean saying farewell to her potential soulmate. Or will Christmas magic keep the curtain from closing on their love story?
“A Biltmore Christmas” will be directed by John Putch from a script by Marcy Holland. Dustin Rikert is the executive producer and Andrew Gernhard is the producer.
The film is intended to be contained to the Biltmore Estate’s more than 8,000 acres, which included gardens designed by “the father of American landscape architecture,” Frederick Law Olmsted. Biltmore House is a 250-room French Renaissance chateau designed by Richard Morris Hunt.
For more about Biltmore, visit biltmore.com.
For more about Hallmark Channel, visit hallmarkchannel.com.
Tiana Kennell is the food and dining reporter for the Asheville Citizen Times, part of the USA Today Network. Email her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter/Instagram @PrincessOfPage. Please help support this type of journalism with a subscription to the Citizen Times.