HBO Max announced just a few weeks ago that they were developing a new take on the timeless holiday classic, A Christmas Carol, with Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell on board. Now Disney have joined the fray and announced their own new musical version of the classic tale, with Bill Condon directing. Haven’t we seen enough versions of Charles Dickens‘ magnum opus? Hollywood doesn’t seem to agree.
Disney and Condon are re-teaming after the director’s successful 2017 version of Beauty And The Beast. This new riff on A Christmas Carol will reportedly be a re-imagining of the Dickens tale, seen through the eyes of the character Jacob Marley, the former business partner of protagonist Ebenezer Scrooge who we meet as a ghost early in the story.
The project is currently titled Marley. The script is reportedly already written, and Stephen Schwartz – a three-time Oscar winner known for his work on Disney films Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame as well as the Broadway musical Wicked – has already written all the music. This all signals that this project is very much ready to go.
The good news about this version of A Christmas Carol is that at least it’s being attacked from a new perspective. We’ve seen enough Ebenezer Scrooge to last a lifetime, but seeing the same tale from the eyes of a different character could be something fresh.
Considering all the prior adaptations, this unsurprisingly isn’t the first time Disney has commissioned an adaptation of A Christmas Carol. They were behind the 2009 animated Jim Carrey version, which was directed by Robert Zemeckis. It’s unclear whether Marley will be a theatrical release or crafted for Disney+.
Considering that there’s no mention of Disney’s new streaming platform, one assumes a cinematic release is planned. However the studio now has Disney+ to fall back on should they have any qualms about the film’s quality or marketability.