Backstage reports that Hewitt will play Scrooge's lost love Emily, and Chaplin will be the Ghost of Christmas Future in the telemusical, which co-stars the previously announced Kelsey Grammer (Ebenezer Scrooge), Jane Krakowski (Ghost of Christmas Past), Jesse L. Martin (Ghost of Christmas Present) and Jason Alexander (Jacob Marley).
Arthur Allan Seidelman (Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks) will direct the project. Shooting will begin this June in Budapest.
The television event — set to air in November — will be headed by executive producer Robert Halmi Sr. of Hallmark Entertainment ( "Gulliver's Travels" and "Merlin"). Menken and Ahrens are onboard for the teleplay.
The deal came as reciprocity for another Grammer-Halmi project in the works—"Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde" — which the network had originally passed on. Jennifer Love Hewitt's screen credits include "Party of Five," "I Know What You Did Last Summer," "Time of Your Life," "The Audrey Hepburn Story," "The Tuxedo" and "If Only." Originally a dancer for the Royal Ballet Academy in London, Geraldine Chaplin received Golden Globe nominations for her performances in "Doctor Zhivago," "Nashville" and "Chaplin."
The musicalized version of A Christmas Carol, based on the Charles Dickens classic, was created and directed by the late Mike Ockrent (Crazy For You, Me and My Girl). The adaptation features songs by composer Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors) and lyricist Lynn Ahrens (Ragtime, Once on This Island). The production was overseen by his widow, Susan Stroman, the multi-Tony Award winner (The Producers, Contact) who also provided choreography.
After ten years of performance, the MSG staging ended its traditional holiday run this past season.