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Sean Astin, John Rhys Davies Star in ‘SCROOGE’ Podcast

Photo courtesy of Hope Media Group

Sean Astin, John Rhys Davies Star in ‘SCROOGE’ Podcast

By Movieguide® Staff

Creator and Director Mark Ramsay and President and CEO of Hope Media Group Joe Paulo recently sat down with Movieguide to talk about an all new, interactive way to experience the iconic Christmas story, A CHRISTMAS CAROL.

SCROOGE: A CHRISTMAS CAROL PODCAST‘ stars Sean Astin as Ebenezer Scrooge, along with John Rhys Davies and many other high-caliber actors. Collaborators Mark and Joe hope to invite new and old audiences into their immersive podcast version of the classic story first penned by Charles Dickens.

“I have been doing podcasts for a few years now and I’ve been doing scripted ones lately—t occurred to me with all the versions of ‘A Christmas Carol’ that we’ve seen, the ones we’ve heard haven’t nearly been so rich,” he said of ‘SCROOGE: A CHRISTMAS CAROL PODCAST.’ “They’ve either been audio books, or they’ve been straight dramatic reads of the novella. I thought, ‘Well, where is the full cast, Fully immersive sound quality, wonderful sound design, names you know in the cast version of a Christmas Carol in audio?”

Mark and Joe added that not only was it their goal to not just make another audiobook version of ‘A Christmas Carol,’ but to bring the story’s faith elements to the forefront.

“What if we were to bring the faith forward in the story?” Mark said. “What if we were to make those themes that are resonant within the story, and make them more obvious, more front and center? Themes like redemption and mercy and grace and generosity and compassion and forgiveness and just bring these more to the surface and do it really well?”

Mark said that as soon as he brought the idea to Joe at Hope Media Group, they were on board.

“It was a match of visions,” Joe said. “Because we’re always wanting to do and put forth content that is both fun and yet meaningful. So this fit that beautifully.”

“When you listen to ‘Scrooge, A Christmas Carol Podcast,’ you’re going to have fun, it’s immersive—it’s an incredible experience. Yet, the way that Mark and his team and his actors did it, it is meaningful,” he continued. “It really highlights very important things, and it can have an impact on our Christmas season and perhaps even be, hopefully, a new tradition.”

One of the motivations for telling the story in the podcast format came from Joe and Mark’s desire to help families come together during the Christmas holiday.

“Podcasts are so portable and pervasive, and more and more Americans are listening to podcasts,” Joe explained. “So it’s pervading our society. It’s a great format to present this [story]. And doing it in a four part series with a couple of bonus episodes with Compassion International, allows us to present it in bite-sized pieces.”

“We [also] put together with it some discussion guides and questions because we want people to really pause and reflect and synthesize the story and ask what it means for me, for my family,” he continued.

“It’s really fresh, it’s both thematically fresh, and it’s fresh in terms of the experience,” Mark added in reference to the cast. “It’s also fresh in terms of the level of faith that you can hear in the series. It’s fresh in terms of the intimacy of the experience, because it is all audio.”

Joe and Mark hope to breath new life into the iconic story so that new generations can learn from the story.

“Scrooge is our story, right?” Joe said. “It’s the story of mankind. It’s the design, God has to redeem people. So we see the way Scrooge was, you get a very clear sense of that in episode one, and then this experience that he has with these three spirits or four, if you count Marley, and then the new man that he has become… That can be the story of every person. So I can’t think of a better story to illustrate the path of redemption than this adaptation that we’ve done.”

The podcast is currently available for listening!

Movieguide® has not review ‘SCROOGE: A CHRISTMAS CAROL PODCAST’ and cannot advise on its content.

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