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Apple TV Plus nabs A Christmas Carol musical, proving it’s no Scrooge

Apple has reportedly won a ‘bidding war’ to acquire the rights to a forthcoming ‘musical reimagining’ of A Christmas Carol for the Apple TV Plus platform.

The Hollywood Reporter says the project will star A-Listers Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds, with Apple entering the final stage of negotiations with the picture’s producers.

John Morris and Sean Anders, known for the Daddy’s Home movies, will be writing and directing according to the report. It’s not clear yet, but one would have to imagine ageing funnyman Ferrell will take on the role of iconic miser Ebenezer Scrooge, rather than Deadpool’s Reynolds.

There’s no news yet on an expected streaming date for the retelling of the 1843 Charles Dickens novel, but there’s certainly not enough time to get it made in time for a Christmas 2019 release.

However, the deal bodes well for the future, with reported scale of the bidding war reflecting Apple’s determination to pay the going rate for projects it deems worthy of the TV Plus streaming service.

Dickens’ classic tale, which has enjoyed many film adaptations down the years, also likely aligns with Apple’s focus on family-friendly programming, rather than the more gritty action we’ve come to expect from the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime.

However, the choice to make a musical might not go over too well with some viewers, considering the affection still held for The Muppet Christmas Carol, starring Michael Caine and, erm, The Muppets. Other noted versions include the Bill Murray vehicle Scrooged (1988), which is a loosely adapted take, and the 1984 George C. Scott version, still noted as the definitive cinematic version.

Disney also offered an animated version in 2009, starring Jim Carey as the humbugging son-of-a-gun. It’s pretty likely that version in particular will be available on the Disney Plus streaming service, along with The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) and Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983).

What Apple’s take will being to the lore remains to be seen. That’ll be decided by the streams of Christmas yet to come.

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