In a pairing with the most festive promise since A Christmas Carol starred The Muppets, Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell are teaming up for a new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic.
The story is a firm holiday favourite and has been adapted for the screen countless times. For a streaming service looking to build its profile significantly and quickly, then, a star-studded take on the tale is not a bad strategy. And so it is that Apple TV+ has emerged as the home of the new seasonal movie.
The live-action musical sparked a bidding war, sources close to the deal told Variety, but the tech giant outbid rivals including Netflix and Warner Bros. for the project.
Variety reports that talent fees alone will surpass $60 million, with Reynolds said to be asking for as much as $35 million for acting and producing the movie during negotiations, while Ferrell, who will produce via his Gary Sanchez Productions banner, is thought to be earning north of $25 million.
Such inflated figures help compensate A-list stars in streaming scenarios, as there is no provision for a box office profit share due to the lack of a notable theatrical release. The exact numbers involved aren’t known, but Variety does note that the filmmakers requested a clause that would return the rights to them after 20 to 25 years, which may set a precedent for future streaming content. The filmmakers also reportedly asked to retain the rights to the original music for the film, although Apple is thought to have negotiated to keep those.
The film will be written and directed by Daddy’s Home and Instant Family duo Sean Anders and John Morris.