Every adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” features the deathly quiet Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.
The terror has returned. In “Spirited,” the blockbuster AppleTV+ film, the towering spirit has a tangible role in Dickens’ story.
With 7-foot-1 former NBA star Loren Woods under the robes, this Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is not only terrifying, but also massive.
On the set, though, the intimidating Woods got along swimmingly with “Spirited” actor Ryan Reynolds, who portrays the sardonic media man plagued by Christmas spirits (including Ghost of Christmas Present played by Will Ferrell).
“Loren Woods was simply the nicest person,” Reynolds adds. “He is also a former NBA basketball player. He needed it to physically perform what he needed to do while wearing that hideous outfit. But he was a joy.
‘Spirited’ stress dreams: Ryan Reynolds, Will Ferrell haunted by singing and dancing
When Tracy Morgan voices the terrifying figure in “Spirited,” the role is eventually portrayed for laughs (Morgan’s voice was inserted after filming).
Woods, who played for the Miami Heat and the Toronto Raptors during his 6-year NBA career, makes his film debut in “Spirited” after previously acting in the HBO Los Angeles Lakers TV series “Winning Time.”
According to the 44-year-old performer, his Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come costume weighed more than 30 pounds. A enormous cloak that reached the floor, a long leather vest (with chains and sticks attached), and a black headgear that concealed his face added to the spookiness.
“The headdress included eyeholes. But all I could see was what was right in front of me “Woods explains.
That’s difficult when the mission requires him to run or climb stairs, both of which the ghost must do during his haunting term.
To make matters worse, “Spirited” was filmed in Boston over the course of four sweltering summer months. So those cheerful winter dance routines were followed by sweaty, hot days.