Per Collider, Octavia Spencer is in talks to join Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds in Spirited, Apple’s updated take on A Christmas Carol.
The film is a musical, in which 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’ co-worker who helps Present teach the man kindness during the holiday season. She’s also expected to do her own singing for the film.
Daddy’s Home directors Sean Anders and John Morris will direct from their own screenplay. The project has been deemed high priority by Apple and is being fast-tracked.
Apple beat out Netflix, Paramount and Warner Bros. for the film, which Collider reports calls for Reynolds and Ferrell to each make at least $30 million, which includes their producing fees as well as their backend compensation. Anders and Morris’ payday will be between $10 million and $15 million for creating the movie and overseeing its production.
Spencer’s pay is currently unknown, but the film is already costing north of $75 million before production has even started. No wonder Apple sees it as a high priority that they need to make money from as soon as possible.
Spencer’s involvement in Spirited will mark another collaboration with Apple, as she also stars in the streamer’s mystery series, Truth Be Told, which was recently renewed for a second season. Spencer has become somewhat of a streaming queen, as she also recently appeared in The Witches (HBO Max), the Madam C.J. Walker series Self Made (Netflix), and has an upcoming sci-fi movie Invasion (Amazon).
On top of that, she also stars alongside Melissa McCarthy in superhero movie Thunder Force, which is also at Netflix, plus technically Soul was a streaming release late last year on Disney+, in which Spencer voiced Corey the Manticore.
Don’t fret though, Spencer is getting the chance to star in a theatrical release. She will reunite with Jessica Chastain for a currently untitled holiday comedy set to be directed by Michael Showalter (The Big Sick). Universal outbid multiple studios for that film, so fingers crossed that they won’t get cold feet and sell it to a streaming platform.