When you think of Christmas movies, your mind typically wanders to uplifting and whimsical tales like It’s a Wonderful Life, enduring family favorites like Home Alone, iconic entries in the genre such as White Christmas or Miracle on 34th Street, as well as the annual debate over whether or not Die Hard can be called a festive film. As always, though, there are countless new holiday-themed titles on the way this year, but rest assured that none of them will be anything like Fatman.
As far as high concept pitches go, they don’t come any more unique than this one. A 12 year-old kid finds a lump of coal in his stocking on Christmas Day, so he takes the next obvious step and hires a hitman to kill Santa Claus, except he isn’t the jolly fat man from the legends. Instead, he’s a bitter, disillusioned, angry and violent Chris Cringle, played by Mel Gibson in what looks like phenomenally grizzled form.
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The consistently excellent Walton Goggins portrays the hitman, and the idea of seeing him face off in a battle to the death against Gibson’s tooled up Santa sounds fantastic. The movie has already been rated R for violence and language, but there are also jet black comedy elements to the story. Not that you would gather that from the trailer, mind you, which plays like a straightforward action thriller with the notable caveat that the title character is a badass version of Jolly Old Saint Nick.
Eshon and Ian Nelms’ feature will be heading to cinemas on November 13th and VOD a few days after, on the 17th, but with the theatrical industry still wracked with uncertainty, it looks a lot more likely to end up being watched at home. And if you’re fed up with the carbon copy Christmas movies that arrive every year, then Fatman definitely seems like it could offer a solid alternative.