There are few tales in English literature that have been adapted for the screen more often than Charles Dickens's 1843 novella A Christmas Carol: from modern-day comic reimaginations to beloved Muppet musicals to gritty three-part television series, the story has been reworked in just about every possible way.


This year alone brings several new retellings, including a Netflix animation starring Luke Evans as the voice of Scrooge and a filmed version of Mark Gatiss's stage play from last year.

And then there's Spirited, a brand new comic spin on the story from writer/director Sean Anders which stars Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds and includes several original songs from Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the songwriting team between Dear Evan Hansen and The Greatest Showman.

Read on for everything you need to know about the new film – including how you can watch it and who else appears in the cast.

Spirited release date

Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell in a snowy street.
Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell in Spirited. Apple TV+

Spirited will be showing in select UK cinemas from Friday 18th November 2022 (following a small number of preview screenings on Wednesday 16th November).

But the easiest way to watch it will be with an Apple TV+ subscription, with the film debuting on the platform on the same day as it arrives in cinemas.

Spirited plot

Although the film is derived from A Christmas Carol – the plot of which will be familiar to just about everyone – Spirited does differ a fair amount from the Dickens tale, providing a modern spin on the story that takes it in a few intriguing new directions.

The most major change is with regards to the film's point of view – it's told from the perspective of the ghosts themselves, as they seek to redeem a modern-day Scrooge-esque man.

The official synopsis reads: "Each Christmas Eve, the Ghost of Christmas Present selects one dark soul to be reformed by a visit from three spirits.

"But this season, he picked the wrong Scrooge. Clint Briggs turns the tables on his ghostly host until Present finds himself reexamining his own past, present and future

"For the first time, A Christmas Carol is told from the perspective of the ghosts in this hilarious musical twist on the classic Dickens tale."

Spirited cast

Octavia Spencer in Spirited Apple

The film is certainly a star-studded affair, with Will Ferrell taking on the role of The Ghost of Christmas Present and Ryan Reynolds starring as Clint Briggs, the modern-day Scrooge on the receiving end of a yuletide haunting.

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Elsewhere, Octavia Spencer stars as Clint's co-worker Kimberly, Mr Robot star Sunita Mani plays The Ghost of Christmas Past, and acclaimed Broadway performer Patrick Page is The Ghost of Jacob Marley.

There are also roles for Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids), Tracy Morgan (30 Rock), Aimee Carrero (She-Ra and the Princesses of Power), Joe Tippett (Mare of Easttown), and Andrea Anders (Cruel Summer), while there are also a couple of big-name stars cameoing as themselves...

Spirited trailer

You can check out a trailer below to help give you a flavour of the film – including snippets of some of the new songs written by Pasek and Paul.

Spirited is showing in select UK cinemas and on Apple TV+ from Friday 18th November 2022 – you can sign up to Apple TV+ here.

If you’re looking for something to watch tonight, check out our TV Guide or Streaming Guide, or visit our dedicated Movies hub for all the latest news.


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