Posted: Nov 4, 2009 10:16 AM by Associated Press
Hollywood loves money. So does Ebenezer Scrooge. So what better way to launch the holiday season than putting the old money-grubber at the head of the line to separate movie-goers from their cash?
The latest version of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" features Jim Carrey as Scrooge. Coming on Ebenezer's coattails will be everything from vampire romance ("The Twilight Saga: New Moon") and end-of-the-world stories ("2012," "The Road") to epic science fiction ("Avatar") and a new incarnation of the world's greatest detective ("Sherlock Holmes").
Presented in 3-D, "Disney's A Christmas Carol" is the latest from Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis ("Forrest Gump"), who presents Dickens' London with the same performance-capture technology he used on "The Polar Express" and "Beowulf."
Carrey and such co-stars as Gary Oldman, Robin Wright Penn, Colin Firth and Bob Hoskins worked on a bare soundstage, their bodies covered with sensors so digital cameras could record their performances in 360 degrees. Sets, costumes and other details were filled in later by computer animation.
The process allowed actors to take on multiple roles, with Carrey playing Scrooge and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come that teach him the meaning of the season.
While Zemeckis loves Alastair Sim's 1951 "A Christmas Carol," he said previous adaptations never captured the full impact of Dickens' surreal images. As he made "Beowulf," Zemeckis realized he now had the tools to bring "A Christmas Carol" to the screen the way he imagined it on the page.
"It was the idea of being able to actually recreate London and not have any limitations whatsoever. Anything that existed at the time we could present," Zemeckis said. "Then the idea that Jim could play Scrooge in all the different ages, and the ghosts, they could be his alter-ego, and he could play those. Everything just fell into place."