HBO Max developing high concept festive action comedy ‘The Naughty One’

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Christmas movies used to be fairly straightforward enterprises, ones that typically unfolded within the parameters of the comedy, romance or fantasy genres, and always told a story about family first and foremost.

However, that looks to be changing in a major way thanks to a slew of interesting-sounding titles to have either arrived in the very recent past, or others that will be entering production in the near future. Last year we saw Mel Gibson of all people playing Santa Claus in dark, R-rated thriller Fatman, while Dwayne Johnson has the big budget blockbuster Red One set up at Amazon, with Jumanji director Jake Kasdan kicking off the shoot next summer.

On top of that, the John Wick team are overseeing Violent Night with David Harbor in the lead, and HBO Max are now getting in on the new trend, after Deadline revealed Stranger Than Fiction scribe and Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium writer/director Zach Helm is scripting The Naughty One, a high concept action comedy set during Christmastime.

The streaming service won a bidding war that was described as “competitive” to land the project, which is being produced by Arrowverse co-creator Greg Berlanti’s Berlanti/Schechter Films. Plot details are being kept under wraps, but this is definitely one worth keeping an eye on as it moves forward.