Bill Condon to Helm ‘Marley’, a New Musical Take on ‘A Christmas Carol’, for Disney

     October 28, 2019

Believe it or not, there is yet another take on Charles Dickens‘ classic, A Christmas Carolin the works from Disney and director Bill Condon. This is the second A Christmas Carol-related adaptation announced in recent months. Back in September, we learned Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell were teaming up to star in a new take on the timeless holiday story for HBO Max.

Now, The Hollywood Reporter have confirmed Disney and Condon are re-teaming following the director’s successful handling of the 2017 live-action remake if Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson. This new riff on A Christmas Carol will reportedly be a “re-imagining” of the Dickens tale as 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.

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Image via Disney

THR also notes in their report about Marley that Condon, who will direct, has already written the script. This signals to me that the project is more than just greenlit — it’s darn near ready to go into production. Disney must be really psyched to get this show on the road. As for the music, Stephen Schwartz is also on the ball and has written all of the music for Marley. Schwartz is a three-time Oscar winner known for his work on Disney animated films Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame as well as the Broadway musical Wicked.

It’s not surprising that Disney would look to mine even more gold nuggets from the popular A Christmas Carol story. There have been myriad adaptations of the Dickens work dating back to the 1930s and ranging from live-action to animation to one filled with Muppets. This isn’t even the first time Disney has cashed in on A Christmas Carol. The House of Mouse teamed with director Robert Zemeckis in 2009 to create a mo-cap-based adaptation starring Jim Carrey. What is new (and thus leaves me cautiously optimistic) is the fact that this adaptation is seemingly going in a new direction and focusing on a non-Scrooge character.

For more on A Christmas Carol, check out our ranking of every adaptation (so far) of the beloved holiday tale.

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