Guy Pierce as Scrooge

Do We Need a Sexy Scrooge? A Christmas Carol Releases First Teaser Trailer

Now a sexy Bob Cratchit on the other hand ...
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Yesterday the BBC shared the first teaser trailer for its latest interpretation of Charles Dickens’ ultimate holiday story A Christmas Carol. It appears to be a much darker take on the story than previous versions (like A Muppet Christmas Carol for instance), and by that I mean it is literally just very darkly lit! And the black, grey, and more grey color pallet really drives home the point that this ain’t your grandparents Christmas Carol! Or maybe they just grabbed the lighting designers from the last season of Game of Thrones.

In case anyone is unfamiliar with the plot of the 1843 novella, it tells the tale of bitter old capitalist Ebenezer Scrooge. A man who cares little for his employees, the holiday season, or basically anything other than money, he is visited on Christmas Eve by three spirits who show him his past, present, and future in an attempt to save his soul.

This miniseries adaptation was written and developed by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders) and stars Guy Pierce as Ebenezer Scrooge, Andy Serkis as the Ghost of Christmas Past, Stephen Graham as Jacob Marley, and Joe Alwyn and Vinette Robinson as the Cratchits. Tom Hardy is the executive producer and is also attached in a mystery role. Quite possibly as the Ghost of Christmas Present. Ridley Scott is also attached as a producer.

But what I would really like to discuss is the casting of Guy Pierce as Scrooge. Now, granted, having not watched the full series only the trailer, I can only speculate about what effect this will have on the story as a whole. But there is something strange about casting a square-jawed, leading man type in the role of this physically crusty and morally decrepit old man. And while you could argue that this isn’t the first “hot Scrooge” (Patrick Stewart and Michael Caine are definitely both zaddy) he is the most classically (or stereotypically) hunky man to take on the role. It just seems like an interesting casting choice for a 2019 adaptation of A Christmas Carol. What message is it sending?

On the one hand, there is something to be said for casting the role of the most privileged man in his area as a classically handsome white man. He has all the trappings of power—he’s white, he’s male, he’s rich, he’s hot, he’s essentially unstoppable. Which perhaps is why it takes literal supernatural forces to turn him from his path of greed. But on the other, I don’t know if I want the symbol of morally bankrupt, evil capitalism presented as also sexy? Especially if the point of the story is to show how the path of wanton greed is corrupt and leads to damnation for us all? It seems to be saying, yeah he’s the worst but don’t you also want to hit it? Did Jeff Bezos have a hand in this casting?

No more sexy evil billionaires, please. I already have enough trouble with my feelings about the cast of Succession.

(Photo: BBC One)

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Brittany Knupper
Brittany is a lifelong Californian (it's a big state, she can't find her way out!) who currently resides in sunny Los Angeles with her gigantic, vaguely cat-shaped companion Gus. If you stumble upon her she might begin proselytizing about Survivor, but give her an iced coffee and she will calm down.