Every adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” features the deathly silent Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.
The horror has returned. In “Spirited,” the hit AppleTV+ film, the towering ghost plays a physical role in Dickens’ story.
With 7-foot-1 former NBA player Loren Woods under the robes, this Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is not only terrifying, but also massive.
On the set, however, the imposing Woods got along swimmingly with “Spirited” star Ryan Reynolds, who plays the snarky media guy haunted by Christmas ghosts (including Ghost of Christmas Present played by Will Ferrell).
“Loren Woods was just the nicest guy,” Reynolds says. “He’s also a former NBA basketball player. He needed it to physically do everything he needed to do while wearing that hideous costume. But he was a joy.”
When Tracy Morgan voices the scary character in “Spirited,” the character is ultimately played for laughs (Morgan’s voice was added after filming).
Woods, who played for the Miami Heat and the Toronto Raptors during his 6-year NBA career, makes his film debut in “Spirited” after previously appearing in the HBO Los Angeles Lakers TV series “Winning Time.”
According to the 44-year-old actor, his Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come costume weighed more than 30 pounds. A huge cloak that reached the floor, a long leather vest (with chains and sticks attached), and a black headpiece that covered his face added to the spookiness.
“In the headpiece, there were eyeholes. “However, I could only see what was directly in front of me,” Woods explains.
That’s difficult when the assignment requires him to run or climb stairs, both of which the ghost must do during his haunting period.
To make matters worse, “Spirited” was filmed in Boston over the course of four hot summer months. So those cheerful winter dance numbers were followed by sweaty, hot days.
During the final musical number, Woods even showed off some dance moves in his full costume, as well as a singing voice. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come has the ability to keep up with professional dancers.
“It was extremely difficult and hot to dance in the full outfit!” says Woods. “The dance numbers were shot for 10 to 12 hours a day. Needless to say, I had to be in top physical condition to pull it off.”
Woods recognises that the film is an excellent showcase for his abilities. “Spirited,” which debuted on November 11 and quickly became a holiday favourite, was re-released in more than 100 theatres on December 16 as a sing-along version.
“It also prepared me for the villain role in the next Dwayne Johnson film,” Woods says. “If they decide to cast me in the role.”
‘Elf’ Easter Egg in ‘Spirited’ Explanation
There’s a hint of “Elf” in “Spirited.”
Ferrell’s Ghost of Christmas Present attends a Christmas party full of classic Christmas characters in the film. He encounters a partygoer dressed as Will Ferrell’s famous character Buddy from the 2003 film “Elf.”
Sean Anders, the film’s director, says he wanted to include the “Elf” character but wasn’t sure if the joke was too meta or what Ferrell would think of the Easter egg.
“Then Will came in one day and asked, ‘What if there was someone dressed as a ‘Elf’ at the party?'” “I said, ‘Great!'” Anders says. “He basically just played with the character.”
“You look stupid,” says Ferrell’s Present to the “Elf” partygoer, the polar opposite of what the eternally happy Buddy would say. The partygoer responds with an angry “you look stupid” retort. Anders says it was all improv and the first take.