Dan Stevens Cast as Charles Dickens in ‘The Man Who Invented Christmas’
Ahh, Christmas. Hollywood has made more movies about the Christmas spirit than about any other holiday, but it has yet to go back to the roots of the season to see why we celebrate it the way we do. No, I'm not talking Passion of the Christ here, I'm talking Charles Dickens. During the Industrial Revolution, Christmas as an institution had kind of fallen out of favor, due to growing modernism and mid-1800s Puritans, to whom any whiff of happiness is suspect. Enter Dickens, who rocked the world with A Christmas Carol, his tale of joy, family, and forgiveness that breathed new life into a deteriorating holiday. Now, Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens will take on the role of Dickens for The Man Who Invented Christmas, a film based around the six-week period during which he wrote the book.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Stevens will portray the author as he was in 1843, debt-ridden and dispirited, in need of money but unable to come up with a concept that would suit his publisher. The film will be based on the book of the same name, written by Les Standiford, detailing his writing of the novel and subsequent self-publishing after his publisher nixed the idea. Christopher Plummer has also signed on to the film, as a kind of Scrooge character, a.k.a. the role Christopher Plummer was born to play. Jonathan Pryce will play Dickens’ father. Susan Coyne of Mozart in the Jungle has adapted the novel for the screen.
No word yet on when filming is set to begin, but it might be a good idea to grab our copies of A Christmas Carol to refresh our memory. Or watch The Muppet Christmas Carol for the hundredth time instead.