Will The Christmas Express Movie Release In 2023? Polar Express Prequel Rumors Explained

By Sam Hargrave Posted:
Tom Hanks as conductor in The Polar Express movie

A new rumor claimed The Polar Express will receive a new prequel movie in 2023 called The Christmas Express, but will it?

Tom Hanks' The Christmas Express Max Prequel Rumors Explained

Tom Hanks Conductor in The Polar Express
The Polar Express

Talk of a new prequel movie to The Polar Express circled the internet after a poster went viral showing off a live-action Tom Hanks in a train conductor costume. 

The poster promised Warner Bros.' The Christmas Express is coming exclusively to the Max streaming service in December 2023, but is it?

Spotted News also published an article that only added to the bogus rumor as it offered a fake synopsis for the non-existent prequel, The Christmas Express.

The outlet claimed Hanks will play the lead Woodford Newton in the prequel to The Polar Express. It stated that the hoax prequel's plot "unfolds during a fateful accident" on a Christmas train ride that will see him become the seasonal spirit and the conductor of the Polar Express.

The original 2004 Warner Bros. hit starred Hanks in several leading roles in the tale of a young boy who finds himself on a magical train to the North Pole to visit Santa Claus on Christmas Eve in the 1950s.

Unfortunately, at least as far as public knowledge is concerned, Warner Bros. is not in development on any new Polar Express project. The poster currently circulating the internet, by all accounts, appears to be an AI-generated creation that has been able to fool many, leading to the viral rumor.

Falling for the hoax, one fan on X, formerly known as Twitter, exclaimed "A POLAR EXPRESS PREQUEL?! IM SO EXCITED."

@usedwifi also questioned the fake poster, wondering "why would the [Warner Bros.] logo be front and center" and displayed so prominently on the artwork.

According to @dialnfornick, "Facebook [was] going nuts over this very fake poster for the very fake Polar Express prequel, The Christmas Express."

Will a New Polar Express Movie Ever Happen?

The Polar Express has come to be one of the most iconic and rewatched Christmas movies of the modern generation. And yet, two decades after release, there have been no signs of a sequel, prequel, or remake from Warner Bros.

As the movie was released almost 20 years ago in 2004, a sequel is probably off-the-table, but what about a live-action remake? After all, Hollywood studios have gone big on reimagining animated classics in live-action over recent years.

Funnily enough, the director behind The Polar Express, Robert Zemeckis, recently reimagined Pinocchio for live-action at Disney, so clearly he isn't opposed to the notion of remaking animated classics in fresh ways.

Perhaps Tom Hanks could even stick around as the iconic train conductor as he headlines a young cast of children on their way to the North Pole.

The Polar Express is streaming now on Max.

- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.