Listing Madonna, Keanu Reeves, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Steven Seagal, Anna Nicole Smith, and Adam Sandler together as a film cast might assure a film director of good box office, but it does not guarantee any acting awards. These pseudo actors, and several others, have all been signed to star in a Tim Burton remake of the Charles Dickens' classic, A Christmas Carol.
In typical Burton fashion, he claims that this film will not be a remake of any of the other classic versions, but a re-interpretation of the original story. Some of Burton's changes to the tale will include the following:
The movie is still set in London of the late 1800's, but it is a slightly different London than we are used to seeing. For example, Ebenezer Scrooge is no longer an accountant, but runs a Century 19 real estate office with his secretary. The lion shaped knocker on his door is a Roswell alien head. Instead of meeting the two men who are asking for money outside of the financial district, he meets them in a Starbucks. Rather than actually filming in London, Burton, of course, attempts to recapture the feel of the time and city by filming on location in Hong Kong.
Bob Cratchit is now Bobbette. She is played by the buxom Anna Nicole Smith. In the classic scene where Cratchit asks if he can put more coal on the fire, while trying to keep warm by the light of a desk candle, Smith's enormous talents give new emphasis to how cold she is. A smiling Scrooge (Keanu Reeves) gleefully leers at her upper body and enjoys her pointed distress.
In order to protect friend Ebenezer Scrooge from the first ghost (Steven Seagal), Jacob Marley's ghost (Van Damme) attempts to beat him with his chain. The two get into a long fistfight that destroys Scrooge's bedroom. Two other ghosts, The Ghost of New Year's Past (Sylvester Stallone) and the ghost of Scrooge's twin brother Eric (Arnold the Governator) each come and join in the fight. These two are defeated first, but not after destroying half of London. Marley's ghost is eventually choked with his own chain and The Ghost of Christmas Past is able to take Scrooge on his first journey.
This ghost shows Scrooge his former girlfriend Belle (Madonna), and recounts their early sexual experiences together. He reviews a past scene of how he refused to invite three East End hookers to join them, so she leaves him to go waitress at Hooters. He also is talked to by his brother about the lack of love by their father (the brother was a sister named Fan or Fran in the original). Ebenezer also sees his first boss, Fezziwig (Arsenio Hall), who is now fast food restaurant manager rather than an accountant.
The Ghost of Christmas Present (Fran Drescher) appears next. Among other things, she shows Scrooge what is happening with his nephew, Fred Holywell, and his husbands (played by the entire cast of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy"). He also sees inside the home of Bobbette and is able to watch Tiny Tim (played by Tiny Tim) display his handicap (no musical talent) while trying to play "Tiptoe Through the Tulips."
The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Be, an ominous, unspeaking character in the story and all other versions, is played here by wisecracking and obviously Yiddish Adam Sandler. He refuses to show Scrooge what will happen at Christmas in the future, but instead shows him what will happen at Hanukah, Passover, and Purim.
When Scrooge wakes up in the morning after his journeys of the previous night, he has not learned from his mistakes, He calls in an early form of the Ghostbusters (the three guys from "Friends") to rid his house of the evil spirits. He then sends a letter telling Bobbette that her goose is cooked and she'll get no more heat in his offices. He does, however, send money to get Tiny Tim music lessons and reports nephew Fred to Scotland Yard on charges of sodomy.
Instead of releasing the movie for Christmas, Burton wants to release it at Easter. He feels that the "spirit" of the movie will be best served by showing it away from the yuletide holiday.