‘Bad Santa 2’ May Stumble Out Of Development Hell And Shoot This Fall

Bad Santa remains an annual holiday staple for unrepentant curmudgeons. The 2003 movie delighted audiences with a politically-incorrect portrait of the worst mall Santa Claus in existence. Billy Bob Thornton’s performance ranks among his most beloved moments on film. A rumored sequel has been in the works for several years.

Santa’s been stuck in development hell, but some feel-bad news has finally come down the pike. Thornton remains committed for a second film, and writer/director Doug Ellin (Entourage) says principal photography could start before the end of the year. If all goes well, we could see Bad Santa 2 in theaters by the 2016 holiday season:

Original star Billy Bob Thornton remains attached as the washed-up Willie. “He’s back and good to go,” says Ellin. “The exact status is we’re working on the script right now, and if we get it right, we’ll shoot in September or October.” He also confirms that the project remains, of course, in the R-rated zone, with “hopefully a similar tone to the first one”.

That tone came courtesy of a fractious post-production period between director Terry Zwigoff, uncredited co-writers the Coen Brothers, and the Weinstein Company. Cracking the misanthropic code ultimately involved reshoots that Zwigoff didn’t participate in, so that while the finished film remains queasily dark, it isn’t quite as black as Zwigoff envisioned. His director’s cut surfaced on DVD a few years ago. If the theatrical cut is a feel-bad comedy, Zwigoff’s is a feel-worse.

Santa was in rough shape already. How will the camera find him 12 years later? Perhaps the Kid will be waiting with a pile of sandwiches. Back in 2010, the sequel was announced as a Weinstein Co. property. With any luck, Harvey “Scissorhands” Weinstein will let director Ellin set the tone of the sequel.

(Via Empire Online)