In 2019, Ebenezer Scrooge is set to be visited by a fourth ghost on Christmas Eve,”The Ghost of Christmas Adaptations,” as Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight has been tapped to adapt Charles Dickens‘s A Christmas Carol and several of the author’s other works for BBC One. Produced by Ridley Scott’s Scott Free London in association with Tom Hardy’s Hardy Son & Baker, the series will premiere with a three-part adaptation of the holiday classic set for late 2019.
The project was originally commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, and Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content; with Knight, Scott, Hardy, Wenger, Kate Crowe, and Dean Baker serving as executive producers. Knight said of the project:
“If one were to hope to aspire to do what Dickens did it would be to take working class life and make it relative to fiction. Any question about narrative storytelling is answered by Dickens. To have the chance to revisit the text and interpret in a new way is the greatest privilege. We need luck and wisdom to do this justice.”
Originally published in 1843 and the subject of numerous stage and screen adaptations since that time, here’s an overview of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol:
In October 1843, Charles Dickens ― heavily in debt and obligated to his publisher ― began work on a book to help supplement his family’s meagre income. That volume, A Christmas Carol, has long since become one of the most beloved stories in the English language. As much a part of the holiday season as holly, mistletoe, and evergreen wreaths, this perennial favourite continues to delight new readers and rekindle thoughts of charity and goodwill.
With its characters exhibiting many qualities ― as well as failures ― often ascribed to Dickens himself, the imaginative and entertaining tale relates Ebenezer Scrooge’s eerie encounters with a series of spectral visitors. Journeying with them through Christmases past, present, and future, he is ultimately transformed from an arrogant, obstinate, and insensitive miser to a generous, warm-hearted, and caring human being. Written by one of England’s greatest and most popular novelists, A Christmas Carol has come to epitomize the true meaning of Christmas.
Knight and Hardy are no strangers to BBC One or Scott Free. Knight created the BBC/FX drama Taboo with Hardy and his dad, Chips Hardy, with the series set to return for a second season in 2018. Speaking of Hardy (though there is no word yet on whether he will appear in any of the adaptations), Hardy is currently featured in Peaky Blinders‘ fourth season (BBC Two in the U.K.; Netflix in the U.S. on December 21st). Hardy said:
“It’s extremely exciting to have the opportunity to team up with Ridley Scott, Steven Knight and our partners at the BBC with this rare and wonderful opportunity to revisit and interpret Dickens’ classic works. A Christmas Carol is a fabulous magical piece of theater and an embarrassment of riches for our creative team — from character all the way through to design. Here’s to having a lot of intricate and wonderful fun. We feel very lucky.”
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