It’s the most wonderful time of the year because Richard Curtis is back with another cozy Christmas film. This time, Curtis pens and produces the holiday fairytale comedy Genie, coming to Peacock on Wednesday, November 22. Sam Boyd directs the feature, which is a remake of Curtis’s screenplay of 1991’s Bernard and the Genie, which stars Alan Cumming in the lead role of Bernard.
I May Destroy You’s Paapa Essiedu stars as the “despondent Bernard” who sees “his job, life, and family unraveling around him,” per Genie‘s official description. Cumming stars in this film as Bernard’s boss, who fires him from Flaxman’s Auctions in New York City. Denée Benton stars as Bernard’s recently separated wife, Julie, while Jordyn McIntosh stars as his daughter, Eve, whose birthday Bernard misses. Genie also stars Marc Maron, Tate Ellington, and LaChanze.
However, Bernard discovers a potential salve to fix his life when he “dusts off a jewelry box and unintentionally release” a genie Melissa McCarthy portrays. Entertainment Weekly released exclusive first-look images of Genie and its trailer.
McCarthy’s Flora has been trapped in that “old antique jewelry box,” as Bernard describes in the two-minute trailer, for upwards of a thousand years. Common side effects of such a lifestyle for a genie include washing one’s hair in a toilet and thinking “zesty” hand sanitizer should be consumed. The latter feels comically in tune with the great perfume taste-test scene with Will Ferrell in 2003’s Elf.
Nevertheless, Flora may be able to help Bernard right his life with her unlimited, grant-wishing abilities because the three-wish thing is “fairytale stuff.” Flora can make a camel appear in Bernard’s living room and even change his Lionel Messi jersey to the Mona Lisa. But will she be able to right Bernard’s missteps with the people who matter most to him? Genie sees the pair embark on a magical holiday journey of friendship, love, and self-discovery.
Curtis and Boyd spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the upcoming film, with the latter speaking about shooting on location in New York City and the former divulging a bit about why Flora’s costumes are integral to Genie. “I hope the purple one will be the bestselling coat next Christmas,” Curtis said.
“When I was young and said, I always dreamed of the coat that Martine McCutcheon wears in Love Actually. I gave it twice to a girlfriend who wasn’t quite a girlfriend. So I’ve always thought that a big old Christmas coat was a gorgeous thing. I do love Christmas costumes. I’ve got my fair share of Christmas jumpers, all of which increasingly don’t fit me as the years go by,” Curtis added.
Fans of Curtis’ filmography will also remember that Love Actually coat all too well, or that unforgettable scene with Emma Thompson and Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now,” or Hugh Grant dancing around to The Point Sisters’ “Jump for My Love,” or the infamous and strange card scene on the doorstep. The list of holiday moments goes on and on in that film and Curtis’s Bridget Jones’s Diary. All of which makes the storyteller’s return to Christmas movies with Genie more joyous.
Watch Genie‘s trailer and see the key art below:
What did you think of the Genie trailer? Let us know in the comments below!
Genie streams on Peacock on Wednesday, November 22.