The long-awaited sequel to 2003’s fantastically black comedy Bad Santa is getting some serious movement. Star Billy Bob Thornton first told Steve about the project last year, and this past March the actor entered talks to return for a second go-around. Now comes the news that Dimension Films, which is producing the follow-up, has commissioned two writers to pen two different scripts for Bad Santa 2. The studio apparently plans to choose between the screenplays once they’re finished, and may even use the sidelined one for Bad Santa 3. Hit the jump for more.
24 Frames reports that the two screenwriters working on the project are Johnny Rosenthal and John Phillips. They have yet to have a script produced, but Rosenthal sold a period adventure to Sony for $1 million and Phillips recently sold an R-rated comedy called Dirty Grandpa to Universal.
I’m a huge fan of the original Bad Santa, and I’m all for a sequel as long as it’s a hard-R. What made the first one so great was its incredibly dark humor anchored by a great cast that was game for anything. The first film’s director (Terry Zwigoff) and screenwriters (Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, with a little help from the Coen brothers) are not returning for the sequel.
While I’m a little concerned about outsiders coming in and trying too hard to copy the original, hopefully something surprising can come out of the two scripts. With Thornton definitely onboard, it should be interesting to see how many characters from the first film they’re able to bring back. Brett Kelly was spot-on as Thurman Murman (which remains one of the greatest character names ever created in the history of everything), but now he could very well suffer from Jonathan Lipnicki syndrome.