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Ryan Reynolds is back in Boston for another big-budget movie, a musical with Will Ferrell

Filming on Apple TV's new "Christmas Carol" movie won't start till July, but Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds are already in town.
Filming on Apple TV's new "Christmas Carol" movie won't start till July, but Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds are already in town.Evan Agostini/Invision/AP; Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Looks like Ryan Reynolds can’t quit Boston.

Before the pandemic, Reynolds spent a good chunk of the summer of 2019 in Boston filming the action-comedy “Free Guy,” about a background character in a video game who’s determined to save his world before game developers can pull the plug.

That movie, which also stars Jodie Comer, Lil Rel Howery, Taika Waititi, and Newburyport native Joe Keery, has been delayed three times because of COVID restrictions but now looks like a lock to open in theaters Aug. 13.

In the meantime, Reynolds has returned to Boston, making yet another big-budget movie here — this one a musical.


Yes, the man behind Mint Mobile (and “Deadpool” and other ridiculously successful ventures) will star in a musical adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” alongside Will Ferrell and Octavia Spencer.

The Charles Dickens story, you’ll recall, tells the tale of cold-hearted Ebenezer Scrooge, who loathes Christmas — and most everything else — until a handful of ghosts persuade him to change his greedy ways.

The project, headed to Apple TV, is in pre-production in Braintree for the next several weeks, and word is that Reynolds and Ferrell are already hard at work, rehearsing choreography. Principal photography kicks off in July.

The name of the film remains up in the air. IMDb calls it “Christmas Carol,” but the project has also been known as “Spirited.” For now, we hear the working title is “Chili.”

A holiday staple, “A Christmas Carol” has been adapted repeatedly over the years. Some versions have been dark and dramatic, others animated or comedic. One featured the Muppets; 1988′s “Scrooged” starred Bill Murray.

If you’re wondering whether Reynolds can carry a tune (we were), please enjoy this 2018 video of the wisecracking actor dressed as a masked unicorn on a Korean singing competition. There are plenty of backing vocals to be sure, but the “Proposal” actor manages to acquit himself rather nicely. We can only hope his dance moves will be just as smooth.


Hayley Kaufman can be reached at hayley.kaufman@globe.com.