Though we’re still quite a way off from the Christmas season, little signs of its inevitable arrival are already making themselves known. Aside from the decorations and festive accessories now lining the shelves of some stores, Hollywood knows that one of the biggest times of the year for releases is the holiday season. During this time the big awards contenders as well as the Christmas movies are rolled out and audience turnouts are sizeable.
Given the popularity of Christmas movies at this time, it’s easy to see how the prospect of a well-crafted family comedy has plenty of opportunity to succeed. That recipe for success is always aided by having a recognizable and popular actor on board, so for studios, someone like Kevin Hart is a perfect match. As the highest paid of actor of 2016, Hart has no trouble bringing in audiences. His most recent film Central Intelligence has performed very well to date, as has the animated The Secret Life of Pets, to which he lent his voice.
So who better to play Santa Claus than, Kevin Hart, right? Well that’s exactly what Disney is hoping. According to a report from THR, Hart is currently in talks to star as none other than jolly old Saint Nick in a new Disney Christmas effort. The film is titled Dashing Through the Snow and Rob Burnett (The Fundamentals of Caring) is writing the current script draft. It tells the story of a workaholic dad in New York City whose troubled relationship with his son could be fixed with the help of Santa, if only he can get the man to believe in Christmas magic.
Make no mistake about it; this has all the makings of a feel-good family holiday tale – which has always been one of Disney’s specialities. Kevin Hart’s profile could do wonders for the character of Santa Claus, a character who to date, has yet to be played in a mainstream Hollywood studio release by an African American lead. Hart’s comedic sensibilities have helped make his transition from stand-up comedian to actor an almost effortless one - and with Disney behind a project like this, there’s ample reason to believe that it could be a big hit for all involved. At present, word is that Dashing Through the Snow will aim to capture a tone similar to that of Liar Liar and Elf.
Dashing Through the Snow is probably bound to face a backlash from those who aren't willing to get behind the idea of a black Santa. This sort of intolerance has targeted other films in which “traditional” white/male versions of fictional characters are portrayed by actors of other races and/or genders – this past summer's Ghostbusters being the obvious recent example that comes to mind. The opposition is of course, futile and should Kevin Hart confirm his involvement as Santa Claus, his enormous popularity mixed with one of the biggest movie-going periods of the year for families could even end up lending itself toward franchise-worthy success.
Conjecture at this point is somewhat premature, however, considering that Kevin Hart still hasn’t signed on to Dashing Through the Snow. At present, Hart is still at work on the upcoming Jumanji, which is due for release in summer 2017. If Hart does take on the role of Santa, the prospect of a hit with Jumanji and then a role in Dashing Through the Snow could make 2017 as much of a successful year for the talented actor/comedian as 2016 was.
Screen Rant will keep you up to date on Disney’s Dashing Through the Snow.