God Bless Us, Everyone: Bennett Miller Planning New ‘Christmas Carol’ at Annapurna
You can tell a lot about a person by their favorite rendering of Charles Dickens’ seminal Yuletide yarn A Christmas Carol. People who swear by the original text need to loosen up a bit and have some ’nog. Fans of the Muppet Christmas Carol are a reliably good time, always down for a bit of frosty merriment. Anyone who says that the Matthew McConaughey rom-com Ghosts of Girlfriends Past puts a compelling new spin on Dickens’ themes simply cannot be trusted. And those parties citing the brilliant but little-seen 1951 film from Brian Desmond Hurst are formidable, and not to be trifled with.
A new announcement from The Hollywood Reporter marks yet another Christmas Carol by which we might harshly judge our friends and acquaintances. Late last night, THR relayed the news that Foxcatcher, Moneyball, and Capote director Bennett Miller would take the helm on a new adaptation of Ebenezer Scrooge’s leaf-turning run-in with the ghosts, sticking with his Foxcatcher studio of the Megan Ellison-run Annapurna Pictures. Working from a script from playwright/screenwriter/director Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare In Love, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead), Miller will retain the traditional setting of Victorian London for his take on the classic.
If this Christmas Carol is to be anything like Miller’s other work, then audiences should expect a sparse, bleak, self-serious take on the beloved holiday standard. Miller has plenty of experience profiling difficult men beset by regret and self-delusion, so in a way Scrooge would be a perfect fit for him, but it’s tough to imagine a world where Miller wraps up his movie with a happy ending. A Christmas Carol is a redemptive story, that’s arguably the whole point, but it’s good fun to imagine Miller making Scrooge learn nothing from his experiences with the ghosts and descend deeper into his own avarice, hardening into a blackened shell of a man instead of a goose-buying swell-about-town.