A Scrooged remake starring Kevin Hart is in development at Paramount. Classic novelist Charles Dickens certainly had no way of knowing just how huge of a hit A Christmas Carol would be when it was first published in 1843. Though it was well received and popular in its day, the lengthy list of adapted films, television specials, and theatrical retellings since is nothing short of staggering.
A Christmas Carol tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a crusty old miser whose only interests are work and money. The holiday season holds no joy for Scrooge, and on Christmas Eve after a long day of work, Scrooge returns home only to be met by the ghost of his past business partner, Jacob Marley. Scrooge is told that he must change his ways and that he will be visited by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. An adventure then kicks off in which Scrooge literally comes face-to-face with the person he is, was, and will be if he doesn’t alter his path.
Of all the stars to have played Scrooge on the big screen at one time or another, it’s arguably Bill Murray who managed to portray the cutthroat businessman with enough verve to leave a cultish following in his wake. Murray’s role in 1987’s Scrooged - in which A Christmas Carol was retold as an updated tale for the 1980s - is a festive season staple for many, and Paramount has decided it’s time to give the IP another go. According to THR, Scrooged will be remade, this time with comedian Kevin Hart.
It’s very early days for the Scrooged remake, with Paramount still on the lookout for a writer to deliver a script. So far Hart is the only big name attached, as the comedian will be portraying the Scrooge character, as well as producing. Surprisingly enough, despite the current status that both Murray and the original Scrooged have built up over the years, the film wasn’t exactly a box office smash upon its release - though it was nominated for a Best Makeup Oscar at the 1989 Academy Awards. Retold as hard-nosed 1980s businessman Frank Cross, Murray’s Scrooge was relevant for the time in which it was created, but the lingering question now is whether Hart’s remake will follow the same formula or branch out into something entirely new.
At present, there’s so little known about Paramount’s return to the Scrooged IP that making a clear prediction about its box office chances is almost impossible. Kevin Hart, while a highly successful stand-up comedian, has also managed to find some notable success in the films he’s lead. That success might only be mirrored in box office sales rather than critical acclaim, but a role like Scrooge is one that could really play to his strengths as an actor and a comedian. Whether Bill Murray fans are willing to acknowledge a new take on one of Murray’s most satisfying roles, however, is another story altogether.