If your name is Candace Cameron Bure, stop reading now. You’re not going to like this one…
Ten years ago this month, a gay little Christmas-movie-that-could premiered to a sold-out crowd at Chicago’s historic Music Box Theatre, and then was never seen again—until now!
It’s called Scrooge & Marley, which, as you can probably guess from that title, is a modernized and queered up musical take on Charles Dickens’ holiday classic, A Christmas Carol.
From first-time co-directors Richard Knight Jr. and Peter Neville, the film set out to unpack what made old-timer Ebenezer Scrooge so famously grumpy, imagining him as a gay man who, back in the day, was kicked out of his home by his bigoted father.
And, well, you know the story from there: On Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his old pal, Jacob Marley—also gay—and then subsequently by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, who take him on a trip back through his own life, inspiring him to lighten up a little in the process.
Of course, Knight and Neville continue to sprinkle the story with distinctly gay flourishes, like the fact that Scrooge and Marley meet at the local disco, and that the Ghost Of Christmas Past is a dapper twink played by model-actor Ronnie Kroell (who you may recognize as the runner-up on former Bravo reality show, Make Me A Supermodel).
The film stars David Pevsner (who makes for a particularly daddy-like Scrooge, we might add), former SNL cast member Tim Kazurnsky as Marley, A League Of Their Own‘s Megan Cavanagh as the Ghost Of Christmas Present, legendary club kid Jojo Baby as the Ghost Of Christmas Future, and a special cameo from Brunch Vilanch. Naturally!
You need only watch a few seconds of the trailer to realize that this was a super low-budget affair, but there’s plenty of charm (and camp appeal) to be found in what was clearly a labor of love, filmed in and around Chicago featuring local talent.
With the film available to stream for the first time ever, director Knight tells Block Club Chicago why Scrooge & Marley mattered then—and why it matters now: “Ten years ago, people were astonished to see this kind of film on the screen. That’s why representation is so powerful. Everybody wants to see themselves represented and should be represented.”
And even though there are plenty more queer holiday movies available these days, Knight says his film touches on something that still feels relevant: “Every time I watch the scene where Scrooge is kicked out, his father is just merciless, but that was the experience,” he shared. “And it’s still the experience. So many of us are still going through this, and hate is on the rise again. People are being vilified for who they are.”
Scrooge & Marley can is now available for digital rental/purchase via Amazon Prime Video, as well as Tubi and Vudu. Watch an updated trailer below…