Every year, fans will revisit the back catalogue of holiday classics in the weeks leading up to Christmas to try and drum up that festive feeling, but there’s only so much enjoyment you can get out of watching It’s a Wonderful Life, Home Alone, Elf, Scrooged or Die Hard for the hundredth time. New titles get released every year, of course, but very few of them manage to become staples of the genre. That’s not to say that many films haven’t tried, though.
Billy Bob Thornton’s booze-soaked and foul-mouthed performance in Bad Santa has seen the black comedy firmly established as an unlikely Christmas favorite since it was released in 2003, and now there’s another dark, twisted take on the classic holiday movie arriving before the end of the year in Eshom and Ian Nelms’ Fatman.
The pitch is a doozy, and follows a disgruntled 12 year-old kid who receives a lump of coal in his stocking. In retaliation, he decides to take matters into his own hands and hire a hitman that works in a toy store to kill Santa Claus. If that doesn’t sound exciting enough, the always reliable Walton Goggins plays the assassin named Skinny Man, and Mel Gibson stars as Jolly Old St. Nick.
The first image was revealed last month to celebrate the news that Saban Films had acquired Fatman for distribution, and now the movie has officially been rated R for bloody violence and language. That doesn’t exactly promise much in the way of festive cheer, but the idea of Mel Gibson starring as a foul-mouthed Santa forced to face off against a hitman sounds like an incredible concept if the filmmakers can pull it off, one that could see Fatman instantly establish itself as an alternative Christmas classic when it debuts later this year.