It’s around this time of year that I both love and hate the television. (Ok, I should clarify: I hate the monitor, as the television is hardly used as a TV in my household… But I digress.)
My wife loves watching “A Christmas Carol.” Especially around this time of year. (I finally cave in about watching and listening to Christmastime media once Santa goes by in The Parade, so these movies are shown in my presence after then.) I don’t mind it myself, but after two hours, I’m ready for something else. After four hours, I’m ready for anything else.
But tonight, I had a thought. From time to time, new versions are made. In our household, for example, we have four. The versions with Sir Patrick Stewart, Michael Caine, Bill Murray, and George C. Scott, to be specific. There are plenty more. (My wife tells me there’s roughly 75 more.) But if there were to be a new version of this Dickens classic, who would be brought on to play Scrooge?
There are certainly several who could do an admirable job. We were kicking around the names of individuals like William H. Macy, who might be better off playing a version of the Ghost of Christmas Past… if Scrooge was played like someone based on the character of Tim “the Toolman” Taylor. (Or as Scrooge in a version aimed at kids.) Then there is also Alan Rickman, who can certainly play a wide variety of roles, and would do a better-than-credible job. Steve Valentine comes to mind, also. Maybe in a voice-over role, perhaps in a live action. Robert DeNiro comes to mind, but with Al Pacino as the Mob Boss of Christmas Past, Ray Liotta as the Mob Boss of Christmas Present, and Leonardo diCaprio as the Mob Boss of Christmas Future. (And it really feels like it should be mob related… but that’s another story for another time.)
But the one name that comes to mind, the one that gets my vote, would be Willem Dafoe.
I’ve seen some of his works (and according to imdb.com, there’s about 80 of them), and the more I see of him, the more I am impressed. Certainly, while I do not see a lot of movies in the theater, thanks to the rise of on-demand and online movie sites like Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, and Redbox, I don’t need to go every time. While I don’t get excited to watch a lot of movies, and certainly cannot raise the excitement to watch all of the versions of the Dickens tale (like the animated version featuring Simon Cowell, or Jim Carrey, or the classic black and white with Alastair Sim), this particular choice does drive me to wait in line to see this. I might even do something completely against my typical habit, and go on opening night.
But that’s my selection. Who would you like to see in another version of this treasured tale?