For years, Bad Santa 2 has eluded moviegoers. The original 2003 comedy, which stars Billy Bob Thornton as a hateful alcoholic con man posing as a department store Santa Claus to pull off a string of robberies, has gone on to become a holiday favorite since its theatrical release.
Word that a sequel was in the works dates back to at least 2010, but movement on the project has been remarkably slow. Now it appears that the production is finally ready to move forward.
Miramax and Broad Green Pictures have announced that Thornton is officially signed on to play Willie Stokes once again. Geyer Kosinski, whose work with Thornton include season 1 of FX series Fargo, will produce Bad Santa 2. Though no additional cast or crew have been revealed, filming is already set to begin in January 2016 in Montréal, Québec, Canada.
Here is a statement on the news, issued by Miramar's EVP of Film and TV, Zanne Devine:
“We’ve been waiting far too long to see Billy Bob’s Willie Soke mess with the holiday season in his own unique way. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Billy Bob, the entire creative and producing team, and Broad Green and Sierra/Affinity to bring back the outrageous humor and characters that made this movie brand iconic in the first place.”
Last we heard, Entourage creator Doug Ellin had been brought onboard to rewrite the script for Bad Santa 2, presumably to sharpen the lead character's incendiary dialogue. There's no telling whether this is still the version of the film the creative team is working with or if other screenwriters have come into to work on the material. Moreover, it's anyone's guess if Hot Tub Time Machine director Steve Pink is still being eyed to helm the project - though it's unlikely that original director Terry Zwigoff (who hasn't directed a feature in nearly a decade) will return.
Given just how near filming on Bad Santa 2 is, chances are that we'll learn more about the details behind the scenes in the coming weeks. In any case, the announcement that Bad Santa 2 is finally coming down the pipeline is a tremendous win for fans of R-rated comedy, as it has been a long, tenuous road to this point. With the right script and director in place, there's little doubt that Thornton -- who currently stars opposite Sandra Bullock in Our Brand Is Crisis -- can easily slip back into one of his most popular roles.
Are you excited to hear that Bad Santa 2 is on track to start filming soon? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for updates on Bad Santa 2 as this story develops.
Source: Miramax/Broad Green Pictures