Ryan Reynolds is at it again with his inimitable brand of movie marketing. On Sunday, the actor unveiled a special look at his new movie Spirited, with a video that also doubled as a commercial for Apple. Spirited, described as a revisionist take on A Christmas Carol, will debut on Apple TV+.
The one-minute video is made to appear as if Reynolds is casting a slideshow via the iPhoto app on his computer. In a voiceover, he says, “Okay, time for the Spirited first look. Don’t need anything fancy; just a little iPhoto.”
The slideshow includes behind-the-scenes photos of Reynolds and his co-star, Will Ferrell, rehearsing dance routines; a brief glimpse at Reynolds’ iMessage, which carries a gag about Ferrell paying him for craft services; coffee orders for the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future; and several new stills from the movie. The video ends with a tease of the release date: Holidays 2022.
Written and directed by Sean Anders and John Morris, the movie is probably a year out, but Reynolds and Ferrell have already kicked off the publicity tour; they participated in an elaborate joint gag when they appeared on behalf of each other on late-night talk shows.
Spirited will feature new songs from Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who are perhaps best known for their Oscar-winning work on Damien Chazelle’s La La Land. They have also written songs for NBC’s Smash, and were behind the music and lyrics of the Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen. Variety reported in November that three rising songwriters—Sukari Jones, Khiyon Hursey, and Mark Sonnenblick—will collaborate with Pasek and Paul on the film.
Spirited inspired a… spirited bidding war. Collider reported earlier this year that Apple beat out Netflix, Paramount, and Warner Bros. for the rights. The streamer is spending top dollar on the film, for which Reynolds and Ferrell are expected to make at least $30 million each, including their production fees and backend compensation. Anders and Morris are expected to pocket between $10 and $15 million, taking the talent costs alone to around $75 million.
Reynolds will play the Ebenezer Scrooge-like lead, who is visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Ferrell is expected to play Present, with Sunita Mani playing Past, and Octavia Spencer playing Scrooge’s co-worker. Apple’s upcoming slate includes Joel Coen’s Oscar contender The Tragedy of Macbeth, Antoine Fuqua’s action-thriller Emancipation, Matthew Vaughn’s spy film Argylle, and Killers of the Flower Moon, directed by Martin Scorsese.
You can watch Reynolds’ video here: