Spirited, the expensive musical remake of A Christmas Carol headed to Apple TV+ with Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell, might add Octavia Spencer into the mix. The Oscar-winning actress is reportedly in talks to join the film in what sounds like an update of the Bob Cratchit-inspired figure who works with Reynolds’ Scrooge-like character.
The news comes from Collider, which reports that Octavia Spencer is likely to join Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds in Spirited, a musical take on the immortal classic A Christmas Carol. Reynolds “will play the Ebenezer Scrooge-like lead who is visited by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. Ferrell is expected to play Present, while Spencer is nearing a deal to play Reynolds’ good-natured co-worker who helps Present teach the man kindness during the holiday season.” That makes Spencer sound like the Bob Cratchit figure in the Christmas Carol scenario.
Sean Anders and John Morris are directing from a script they wrote. The project was considered to be a hot property and Apple beat out Netflix, Paramount, and Warner Bros., who were all vying for it. Reynolds and Ferrell are both expected to make at least $30 million each, and then you throw in the fees for everyone else plus the production itself and you have yourself a very expensive Christmas Carol musical.
A Christmas Carol tells the tale of…okay, look, you know what A Christmas Carol is, right? I don’t have to explain to you it’s the tale of a miserable old miser who learns to change his ways on Christmas? Good. I didn’t think so. There have been multiple adaptations of Charles Dickens’ tale, and I’m not entirely sure we need this musical retelling with Ryan Reynolds, but hey, what do I know? This won’t be the first musical take on the story, either. In 1970 there was Scrooge, a genuinely bad musical telling of the tale with Albert Finney as the titular character.
Anyway, I like Octavia Spencer. We all like Octavia Spencer, right? She’s always a welcome presence, and I have no doubt she’ll bring her A-game to Spirited, no matter how the film itself turns out. There’s no release date for Spirited just yet, but it’s a safe bet that Apple will want the film ready for the holiday season. So if Spirited not ready by the holiday season of 2021, we might have to wait until the 2022 holiday season before we get to see it.
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