July 6, 2007 / 8:00 PM / 10 years ago

Jim Carrey to play Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol"

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Jim Carrey, who brought Dr. Seuss’ Grinch to life on the big screen, will soon portray another Christmas curmudgeon, Ebenezer Scrooge, as well as the three Christmas ghosts in a remake of “A Christmas Carol,” the Walt Disney Co. said on Friday.

<p>Actor Jim Carrey and girlfriend Jenny McCarthy pose for photographers during the premiere of ''The Number 23'' in Los Angeles, in this file photo from February 13, 2007. In a new big-screen version of Charles Dickiens' "A Christmas Carol," Carrey will play Scrooge, the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Ghost of Christmas Future. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas</p>

Robert Zemeckis will direct from his own script, based on the Charles Dickens classic novel, a Disney spokeswoman said.

The movie will blend live action with 3-D digital animation and a computer-graphics style called “performance capture,” which Zemeckis used in his 2004 holiday adventure “The Polar Express” and his upcoming film “Beowulf,” the spokeswoman said.

Zemeckis, the Oscar-winning director of Tom Hanks’ 1994 hit drama “Forrest Gump,” wrote his “Christmas Carol” screenplay specifically for Carrey, who will portray the miserly Scrooge through various periods of his life. Carrey also will play the ghosts of Christmases past, present and future who visit Scrooge.

The movie will be produced through Zemeckis’ production company, ImageMovers Digital, and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. No release date has been set.

Several Internet sites have reported that Bob Hoskins, who starred in Zemeckis’ 1988 live-action/animated comedy “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” also has been cast in “A Christmas Carol” but Disney said no such deal is in place.

Seven years ago Carrey, 45, starred as the title character in the Ron Howard-directed “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” based on the popular Dr. Seuss story.

“Grinch” was a huge box-office hit but in recent years Carrey has suffered through a string of flops such as “Fun with Dick and Jane” and “The Number 23.”

Dickens’ classic tale of a bitter, old merchant given a Christmas Eve chance at redemption has been adapted many times for TV and the movies, including two Hollywood versions -- 1938’s “A Christmas Carol” starring Reginald Owen as Scrooge and 1951’s “Scrooge,” with Alastair Sim in the title role.

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