Spirited: release date, trailer, cast and everything we know about the holiday movie

Ryan Reynolds Will Ferrell in Spirited
Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell in Spirited (Image credit: Courtesy of Apple TV Plus)

Will Ferrell already has one holiday classic in Elf, could his new movie Spirited, alongside Ryan Reynolds, be another? The movie, which is a modern-day musical inspired by the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, is a new movie in 2022, so we won’t have to wait long to find out.

Part of Apple TV Plus’ upcoming lineup of movies, Spirited hopes to get people in the holiday spirit. Here’s everything we know about how the movie plans to do that so far.

When is the Spirited release date?

Spirited premieres exclusively in movie theaters on November 11 before it makes its streaming debut a week later on November 18. Here's how to watch Spirited.

While some may not love the idea of a Christmas-themed movie before Thanksgiving, having the movie available on streaming allows the audience to watch it whenever they’re ready to start their festive celebrations.

What is the Spirited plot?

Here is the official synopsis for Spirited:

"Each Christmas Eve, the Ghost of Christmas Present selects one dark soul to be reformed by a visit from three spirits. But this season, he picked the wrong Scrooge. Clint Briggs turns the tables on his ghostly host until Present finds himself reexamining his own past, present and future. For the first time, A Christmas Carol is told from the perspective of the ghosts in this hilarious musical twist on the classic Dickens tale."

If you are a little rusty on the story of A Christmas Carol, the original Dickens novel told the story of an old miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who was not fond of Christmas at all. A stubborn and uncaring businessman, on Christmas Eve Scrooge is visited by three spirits who try and teach him the meaning of Christmas and have him change his ways. There have been numerous adaptations of A Christmas Carol, both direct and inspired by. 

The Spirited synopsis points to this being a much more "inspired by" version of the story, with Reynolds, Ferrell and company offering a unique approach to the classic Christmas tale.

Who is in the Spirited cast?

Leading the way in Spirited is Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds. Ferrell is best known for his roles in Elf, Old School and Anchorman, while Reynolds has jumped to the A-list with movies like Deadpool, The Adam Project and Free Guy (he also has the docuseries Welcome to Wrexham). This marks the first time that Ferrell and Reynolds are in the same project.

Ferrell plays the Ghost of Christmas Present, who appears to be in need of some career reexamination, while Reynolds plays the supposed curmudgeon who has a thing or two to teach.

Also in the Spirited cast are Octavia Spencer (The Help, Truth Be Told), Sunita Mani (Everything Everywhere All at Once, GLOW) and Patrick Page (In the Heights, The Gilded Age).

Is there a Spirited trailer?

An official trailer for Spirited is now available, which pulls the curtain back a bit on the world of Christmas Spirits and some of the musical numbers that we can expect from Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell. Watch it directly below:

You can also watch the previously released teaser trailer right here:

Spirited reviews — what the critics are saying

Spirited reviews have been alright thus far. As of November 11, the movie has a score of 64% on Rotten Tomatoes, which makes it "Fresh." On Metacritic, the movie is scoring at a 58.

What is Spirited rated?

Spirited has a PG-13 rating in the US and a 12A rating in the UK for "language, some suggestive material and thematic elements."

How long is Spirited?

The Spirited runtime comes in at two hours and seven minutes.

Who is the Spirited director?

Spirited is directed by Sean Anders. Anders is known for his comedies, including Daddy’s Home and Daddy’s Home 2 with Ferrell. He has also directed Sex Drive, That’s My Boy, Horrible Bosses 2 and Instant Family.

In addition to directing, Anders co-wrote the screenplay with his long-time writing partner, John Morris.

Spirited poster

(Image credit: Apple TV Plus)
Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.