While Charles Dickens may have written literary classics like A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations, it's his novella, A Christmas Carol, that has arguably proved the most influential. This slim holiday story has been adapted numerous times on film — one with The Muppets — the latest of which is by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight for FX. This TV movie airs on Thursday, Dec. 19 and stars Guy Pearce as the infamous Ebenezer Scrooge. FX's A Christmas Carol cast features other familiar faces, too.
The series will air both on BBC One in the U.K. and FX here in the States. Although the film is produced by Tom Hardy, among others, the Mad Max: Fury Road actor likely won't make an appearance. Guy Pearce, Joe Alwyn, and Andy Serkis do, however, alongside lesser-known actors like Vinette Robinson, Jason Flemyng, and Emma Caraman. And this version of A Christmas Carol looks like a worthy adaptation of the Dickensian story.
"It's a timeless classic, and Scrooge has survived all these years for a reason," Knight told the Express at the premiere. "But I think that when Dickens was writing certain things he could really deal with because of the sensibilities of the time. So what I did was go through the credits with the story sort of forensically looking for things that maybe were implied and suggested and those that could start to lead to an explanation of why Scrooge is like he is."
The result looks like a creative and spooky Christmas movie with a stellar cast. God bless them, every one!
Guy Pearce as Ebenezer Scrooge
Pearce is best known for his roles in Memento, L.A. Confidential, and The Time Machine. Here, he brings that dramatic flair to the notoriously grumpy, "Bah humbug!" saying Ebenezer Scrooge.
Joe Alwyn as Bob Cratchit
Although he had already begun dating Taylor Swift and starred in Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, Alwyn's biggest year was 2018, when he appeared in the Yorgos Lanthimos comedy The Favourite. In A Christmas Carol, he stars as Scrooge's poor but kindhearted clerk, Bob Cratchit.
Vinette Robinson as Mary Cratchit
Audiences may recognize Robinson for her work on Sherlock, where she played Sgt Sally Donovan. In A Christmas Carol, the actor portrays Bob Cratchit's wife, Mary.
Tiarna Williams as Belinda Cratchit
In addition to playing Bob Cratchit's daughter, this actor and model portrayed Young Éponine in the miniseries Les Misérables, which premiered on the BBC in late 2018.
Lenny Rush as 'Tiny Tim' Cratchit
Rush is a little person who plays Bob Cratchit's son, Tiny Tim. "I think why not cast a disabled actor in the role of a disabled person if they are good at what they do?" the 10-year-old actor told Daily Mail. "It raises awareness and shows that everyone is different."
Stephen Graham as Jacob Marley
This actor has had a prolific but under-the-radar career, appearing in everything from Snatch and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy to Pirates of the Caribbean. In A Christmas Carol, Graham portrays Scrooge's deceased business partner, Jacob Marley, who comes back to haunt him.
Andy Serkis as The Ghost of Christmas Past
It seems that Serkis hardly passes up a role that allows him to be weird and over-the-top. He particularly excels at playing villains, like Smeagol/Gollum from Lord of the Rings, Ulysses Klaue from Black Panther, and Supreme Leader Snoke from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In A Christmas Carol, Serkis brings his prolific character acting to the terrifying Ghost of Christmas Past.
Charlotte Riley as Lottie, The Ghost of Christmas Present
After Riley and Tom Hardy starred opposite each other in the 2009 Wuthering Heights adaptation, they got married in 2014. She has since appeared in Edge of Tomorrow, In the Heart of the Sea, Peaky Blinders, and now A Christmas Carol, where she plays Lottie. According to Radio Times, Lottie is Scrooge's dead sister, who is just described as "Little Fan" in the Dickens novella.
Even more interesting, the role of the Ghost of Christmas Present is typically played by a man. Riley told the Radio Times that adding the sibling dynamic "functions really well in terms of showing a huge amount more about Scrooge than you would get from the way it's portrayed in the novel."
Jason Flemyng as The Ghost of Christmas Future
Flemyng is a British actor known for his roles in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and even an episode of Black Mirror.
Kayvan Novak as Ali Baba
Novak has been in everything from Doctor Who to the British action comedy Four Lions. Most recently, he played a vampire named Nandor the Relentless in the FX series What We Do in the Shadows. In A Christmas Carol, Novak portrays the character Ali Baba, whom Scrooge mentions in the Dickens novel and is the protagonist of the Arabian Nights story "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves."
Emma Caraman as Elizabeth
Johnny Harris as Franklin Scrooge
Here, the Snow White and the Huntsman actor plays Scrooge's tyrannical father, Franklin.
Now that audiences have the rundown on who plays who, they'll be ready when A Christmas Carol premieres this Thursday.