Gurinder Chadha’s adaptation of ‘A Christmas Carol’ to feature Indian Scrooge

Director Gurinder Chadha said making ‘A Christmas Carol’ with an Indian lead was difficult to financem

Director Gurinder Chadha is adapting Charles Dickens’ novel ‘A Christmas Carol’ in a movie featuring an Indian lead / X/@GurinderC

Director Gurinder Chadha is adapting Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ for her next film, with the central character, Ebenezer Scrooge, as an Indian character.

Chadha revealed that the decision made it difficult to get finances for the film. The ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ moviemaker said it was not her first time finding difficulty in getting the film off the ground as it featured an Indian central character, according to a Variety report.

During a meeting with the UK Parliament on January 23, she discussed the current state of the country’s film industry. She also spoke about the upcoming film with the Indian lead character. “My Scrooge is an Indian Tory who hates refugees,” she said.

Members of the Conservative and Unionist Party are referred to as Tories in the UK. They believe in the idea of the promotion of private property and enterprise, the maintenance of a strong military, and the preservation of traditional cultural values and institutions.

“It’s very close to Dickens’ original themes with the cost of living crisis in Britain,” Chadha added.

Speaking of the challenges of making her Scrooge Indian, Chadha was told, “It (movie) was not commercial and was small – it changes everything in how you get it financed.”

“Right now I’m putting together an independent Christmas film set in London, very diverse and it’s been a real struggle for me to get that film off the ground. Partly because the lead character is Indian. And I’ve always had that with the films I’ve made,” the filmmaker added.

Despite the struggles, Chadha saw potential in the film being her “pension,” essentially because it is a Christmas movie and could generate revenue every holiday season.  

“The reason I’m making a Christmas film is because I want it to be there every year,” she pointed out. “I’ve not set it up with a streamer — I’ve done it with a British distributor — because if I sell it to a streamer I have to sell the whole lot but if I do in the way I’ve done it, I have the possibility of earning from it every year.”