There are few properties on the planet that have been re-imagined more aggressively than Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Puppets, Muppets, cartoon mice, and the Bobcat Goldthwait-Bill Murray double-team have all tried their hand at the immortal ode to altruism, big-ass turkey dinners, and a conveniently Jesus-free take on the merits of the holiday season, to a truly wide degree of success. We haven’t had a full-on theatrical version of the story in a couple of years, though—since back when Jim Carrey climbed inside Robert Zemeckis’ creaky old CGI machine for 2009's A Christmas Carol, in fact—which means we were probably due.
Hence news from The Hollywood Reporter today, confirming that Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell—verily, the George C. Scott and Mickey Mouse of their era—are teaming up on a musical take on the holiday classic, with Ferrell’s Daddy’s Home collaborators Sean Anders and John Morris set to write and direct. Almost everything about the project is being kept under wraps—including, critically, how Ferrell and Reynolds will divvy up the parts. (Current guess: Reynolds as Scrooge, with Ferrell taking on the role of the various ghosts, although it’s not hard to see Ferrell doing the Scrooge thing, too.)
That’s to say nothing of the whole musical element; it’s been done, obviously— perhaps most notably with The Muppets Christmas Carol in 1992—but it’s going to add an extra degree of difficulty to a production that already exists in the shadow of Ferrell’s last big attempt to recreate the beats of classic English literature. It doesn’t help that it’ll be Anders and Morris’ first big-screen musical—unless, of course, you count the lyrical, almost symphonic dialogue in Anders’ 2012 Adam Sandler feature That’s My Boy.