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Christmas has come early for Bill Condon.
The filmmaker is reuniting with Disney, for whom he directed the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, for a unique musical take on A Christmas Carol.
Titled Marley, the feature aims to reinvent the well-known story by conveying it through the eyes of Jacob Marley, the deceased business partner of Ebenezer Scrooge. Scrooge, of course, is the cold-hearted miser who, in the bulk of Charles Dickens’ classic, is visited by the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future, who give him a chance to change his ways. Marley’s apparition, weighed down by chains and endless torment, visits Scrooge and foretells the man of his impending ghostly visits.
Though the project hasn’t been greenlit, Condon has already written the script, denoting the project’s advanced development stage, and will direct.
Three-time Oscar winner Stephen Schwartz has penned the music for Marley. The lyricist-composer has penned lyrics for tunes in Disney’s Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and is known for his work on Broadway’s Wicked.
Dan Jinks and Greg Yolen are producing.
Condon, who won an Academy Award for writing Gods and Monsters and was Oscar-nominated for writing the adaptation of Chicago, has shown an affinity for a range of genres, ranging from dramas, musicals (he directed Dreamgirls and co-wrote The Greatest Showman) to YA vampire love stories. His Beauty and the Beast remake surprised observers by taking in $1.2 billion at the worldwide box office. Condon’s latest effort, the thriller The Good Liar, which stars Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen, is set to open Nov. 15.
A Christmas Carol and its myriad permutations remain Hollywood staples. Disney previously tackled the material with Robert Zemeckis’ motion-capture version that starred Jim Carrey, while in recent weeks, Apple picked up a musical take from Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell.
Condon is repped by WME and Anonymous Content.
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