Legion’s Dan Stevens stars with Christopher Plummer in film with a new twist on A Christmas Carol

This one looks like it could be the next holiday classic.

Although he’s had theatrical roles in 2013’s The Fifth Estate, 2014’s A Walk Among the Tombstones, 2016’s Colossal, and this year’s Beauty and the Beast remake, Dan Stevens is better known for his British TV roles like Matthew Crawley throughout the run of Downton Abbey.  But the genre world really took notice of Stevens this year when he headlined a new X-Men TV series, playing David Haller, a crazed wielder of superpowers on FX’s new series Legion.  His next role takes him back to jolly old England and a character that can’t possibly be more classic and British: Charles Dickens himself.

Although the last time we saw someone play the part of Charles Dickens in a major film it was Gonzo in The Muppet Christmas Carol, Stevens’ off-kilter, frenetic kinetic sense, and quizzical expressions make for an intriguing take on Dickens in the first preview for The Man Who Invented Christmas.  Stevens looks like he’s channeling Gene Wilder from Young Frankenstein in one scene from the movie’s first trailer.

And we get to see Academy Award-winning actor and Shakespearean great Christopher Plummer (Twelve Monkeys, Up, Wolf, Dragnet, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Somewhere in Time, Return of the Pink Panther, The Sound of Music) join the likes of Alastair Sim, Albert Finney, Michael Caine, Patrick Stewart, and Bill Murray as Ebenezer Scrooge.  This take on Scrooge focuses on Dickens writing the novel A Christmas Carol and getting a spell of writer’s block.  And speaking of Finney, the view of the film in the preview looks like a mash-up of style from the comedies Tom Jones and Shakespeare in Love

Here’s a fun preview for The Man Who Invented Christmas:

The Man Who Invented Christmas is directed by Bharat Nalluri (Life on Mars, Torchwood), written by Susan Coyne, and adapted from a novel by Les Standiford.  It co-stars Jonathan Pryce (G.I. Joe movie series, Pirates of the Caribbean movie series, Tomorrow Never Dies, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Brazil), Miriam Margolyes (Dead Again, Mulan, Harry Potter series, Babe series), Bill Paterson (Doctor Who, Shetland, Sea of Souls, Law & Order: UK, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The Killing Fields), Ian McNeice (Doctor Who, Valkyrie, From Hell, Horatio Hornblower, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, The Russia House, No Escape, 1999’s A Christmas Carol), Donald Sumpter (Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Curse of the Pink Panther), and Doctor Who’s very own recurring Charles Dickens, Simon Callow (Amadeus, Phantom of the Opera, Shakespeare in Love, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Galavant, 2001’s animated A Christmas Carol and 2000’s The Mystery of Charles Dickens).

Look for The Man Who Invented Christmas in theaters in time for Thanksgiving.  It opens November 22, 2017.

C.J. Bunce

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