‘The Waltons’: Mary Ellen Actress Judy Norton Opens Up About the 2021 Reboot Movie

by John Jamison
(Photo by Lilly Lawrence/Getty Images)

Recently, The CW announced a reimagining of the 1970s classic “The Waltons.” The upcoming special will be called “The Waltons: Homecoming,” and will be done in the same vein as the 1971 movie that launched the series.

We know that former John-Boy actor Richard Thomas is signed on to narrate. But according to Mary Ellen Walton actress Judy Norton, no one else from the original cast is involved with the project. At least, as far as she’s aware.

Judy Norton played Mary Ellen Walton on the Depression-era show for its entire run from 1972-1981. These days, she’s keeping fans informed and entertained with stories from her Mary Ellen days on YouTube. In a video she posted recently, Norton talked about the upcoming reboot.

“I heard about this through Richard [Thomas]. Richard said he’d been approached about doing the narration, and he had agreed. But he didn’t know a whole lot else,” Norton said. “But that he wanted all of the rest of his original ‘Walton’ cast to hear about it first from him. So, that’s about all I know. None of the rest of the original cast at this point is involved in it, as far as I know.”

What we do know is that Bellamy Young from “Scandal” is signed on to play Olivia Walton in “The Waltons: Homecoming.” And “This Is Us” star Logan Shroyer will take over the Richard Thomas/Robert Wightman role of John-Boy.

Is ‘The Waltons’ Reboot a Retelling, Or a Whole New Story Entirely?

The 1971 movie that brought “The Waltons” about in the first place is iconic in its own right. And the upcoming special aims to commemorate the 50th anniversary of its release.

“The Homecoming: A Christmas Story” is a classic holiday tale revolving around a 1930s Virginia mountain family. And based on the title of the new offering, it seems like the stories will match up to some degree. The original finds the Walton family anxious as they wait for John Walton Sr. to return in time for Christmas. When he doesn’t show up, John-Boy goes out after him.

Unfortunately, very few details about the 2021 story have been released. Even Judy Norton doesn’t know what kind of approach The CW will take.

“So, I guess we will all wait and see what it is that they are going to do, whether it’s a full-on redoing of ‘The Homecoming’ script, or a new sort of ‘Walton’ Christmas movie,” Judy Norton continued in her YouTube video. “I don’t know. I wonder who will be playing me.”