Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell are filming a Christmas movie in Mass., and they need lookalikes

"Spirited" will begin filming in early July

Will Ferrell Ryan Reynolds Spirited Christmas movie Massachusetts
Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds will star in "Spirited," a Christmas movie musical filming in Massachusetts. Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Are you or someone you know a dead ringer for Ryan Reynolds or Will Ferrell? If so, Apple TV+ wants you.

Reynolds and Ferrell are set to begin filming “Spirited,” a musical reimagining of the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol,” in Massachusetts later this summer.

Directed by Sean Anders (“Instant Family”), the Apple TV+ project is expected to film in the Boston area from early July until late October, which means lots of work for the local film industry.

That includes photo doubles for Reynolds and Ferrell, according to a casting notice posted by CP Casting. The listing calls for men between 6’1″ and 6’4″ available for several days of filming in summer 2021.


According to casting company Central Casting, a photo double “must resemble an actor as closely as possible in height, build, hair color, and complexion. They often need to look like they could be the actor’s twin.”

Unlike stand-ins, who typically never appear on screen, photo doubles take the place of star actors when they are in a scene but are not its focus, essentially functioning as background actors.

While “Spirited” doesn’t begin filming until early July, Reynolds and Ferrell have already been in town for pre-production in Braintree, according to a source familiar with the production. Among the locations to be used for filming is the South Shore Plaza in Braintree: The Nordstrom wing of the shopping center will be decorated for Christmas when filming commences in July, according to The Patriot Ledger.

Even if you don’t look like Reynolds or Ferrell, there’s likely plenty of casting opportunities available. Boston Casting, which did not confirm its involvement in “Spirited,” has posted multiple notices for a “movie musical” project filming during the same time frame as “Spirited.” Among the notices for the project are for background actors ages 20-60 who are comfortable “moving, shaking, and shimmying,” a swing band with 4-12 musicians, groups of figure skaters, Caucasian twins ages 3-5, and BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color) brothers ages 9-16. Boston Casting is asking extras interested in working on the movie musical to email [email protected].


Reynolds is no stranger to the Boston area, having spent two months here in 2019 while filming the upcoming adventure-comedy “Free Guy.” Reynolds also filmed the 2009 romantic comedy “The Proposal” in Massachusetts, and first connected with his wife, Blake Lively, while filming “R.I.P.D” in Boston in 2011. Anders and Ferrell have history in Massachusetts as well, having previously teamed up to film “Daddy’s Home 2” in the state.

According to reports from multiple trade publications, “Spirited” will star Reynolds as the Ebeneezer Scrooge-like figure, while Ferrell will play the Ghost of Christmas Present and Octavia Spencer will play a “good-natured co-worker” of Reynolds, a la Bob Cratchit.

“Spirited” represents another big swing for Apple TV+, which has prioritized big-budget projects led by A-list talent for its streaming platform, including “Defending Jacob,” the limited series starring Chris Evans that filmed in Massachusetts in 2019. According to Variety and Collider, Apple TV+ shelled out between $60-$75 million to land Reynolds and Ferrell as its stars and Anders as its director.


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