Billy Bob Thorton has been putting in good work for years. From his work with the Coen Brothers in The Man Who Wasn’t There and Intolerable Cruelty to his recent turn on the television series Fargo, Thorton has had some high profile turns. But there is no role he is more synonymous with than as conman Willie Soke, aka the eponymous Bad Santa. There has been talk for years that a sequel was in the works, and now it appears all the pieces have finally fallen into place.
Miramax confirmed by press release that production will start in January 2016 with the aim to have the sequel in theaters for the 2016 holiday season. Strangely, they do not mention a director, though Terry Zwigoff directed the original film. But as we previously reported, Doug Ellin has been part of the sequel discussion.
The first movie did quite well with critics and audiences alike, and I still hear people make references to it to this day. That being said, it is interesting that a sequel is being made twelve years after the first film came out. Now the fact that there will be a sequel isn’t an unwelcome development, but the reservation is that not only may there not be as big of an audience for it as there might have been a few years ago, but it may be hard to replicate the success of the first one. However, Dumb and Dumber To showed that an unasked for sequel released years after the in-high-regard original can prove popular, even without critical acclaim.
Here’s the press release:
MIRAMAX® AND BROAD GREEN PICTURES RING IN THE HOLIDAYS
WITH BILLY BOB THORNTON BACK AS BAD SANTA
Billy Bob Thornton To Reprise His Golden Globe Nominated Role
as Willie Soke in BAD SANTA Sequel
Broad Green Pictures to Co-Finance, Co-Produce and
Handle Domestic Theatrical Distribution
Sierra/Affinity to Sell International at Upcoming American Film Market
LOS ANGELES, CA (October 29, 2015) – Miramax® and Broad Green Pictures announced today that Billy Bob Thornton (television series ”Fargo”, Sling Blade, Simple Plan, Bandits) will reprise his signature role as Willie Soke in BAD SANTA 2, the follow-up to the raucous comedy hit BAD SANTA first released in 2003. Geyer Kosinski (The Astronaut Farmer, The Bad News Bears, television series “Fargo”) will produce.
Miramax® will partner with Broad Green Pictures to co-finance and co-produce. Broad Green will distribute BAD SANTA 2 theatrically in the U.S. during the 2016 holiday season. Sierra/Affinity will handle foreign sales with sales starting at the upcoming American Film Market (November 4-11, 2015).
“We’ve been waiting far too long to see Billy Bob’s Willie Soke mess with the holiday season in his own unique way,” said Zanne Devine, Miramax’s EVP of Film & TV. “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Billy Bob, the entire creative and producing team, and Broad Green and Sierra/Affinity to bring back the outrageous humor and characters that made this movie brand iconic in the first place.”
“Bad Santa has been a part of our family holiday tradition ever since we all saw it together at our neighborhood theatre,” said Broad Green Pictures CEO Gabriel Hammond and CCO Daniel Hammond. “We are excited to bring this memorable character and new chapter back to the big screen.”
David Thwaites will oversee the project for Miramax® and Victor Moyers for Broad Green Pictures. Principal photography will commence in January 2016 in Montréal, Québec, Canada.
BAD SANTA 2 is the latest project in a busy Miramax® pipeline of new content: In July, Miramax® in partnership with Roadside Attractions released the critically acclaimed summer specialty box office hit MR. HOLMES (http://www.miramax.com/movie/mr-holmes/) starring Academy Award® nominees Ian McKellen and Laura Linney; in January, Miramax® partnered with Sony-Screen Gems on the release of the Kevin Hart comedy hit THE WEDDING RINGER (http://www.miramax.com/movie/the-wedding-ringer/); the supernatural thriller THE 9TH LIFE OF LOUIS DRAX starring Jamie Dornan, Aaron Paul and Sarah Gadon is in post-production and represents Miramax’s first foreign sales partnership with Sierra/Affinity; and as recently announced, Universal, Miramax® and StudioCanal are co-financing BRIDGET JONES’S BABY with Working Title producing. As a television studio, Miramax® also just jointly announced with El Rey Network the third season of “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” (http://www.miramax.com/series/from-dusk-till-dawn-the-series/), with season two having concluded on El Rey Network on October 27.
Since its inception, Broad Green Pictures has released nine films including A WALK IN THE WOODS, 99 HOMES, LEARNING TO DRIVE, I SMILE BACK and SAMBA. In addition to BAD SANTA 2, Broad Green’s upcoming slate includes SONG OF LAHORE, THE DARK HORSE, three films by Terrence Malick (KNIGHT OF CUPS, VOYAGE OF TIME and THE UNTITLED TERRENCE MALICK PROJECT), INFILTRATOR, starring Brian Cranston and BRAIN ON FIRE starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Richard Armitage, Carrie-Anne Moss and Tyler Perry.
The deal was brokered on behalf of Miramax by Steve Hutensky and WME Global; Christopher Tricarico, EVP, Business & Legal Affairs and General Counsel, and Marc Danon, President of Acquisitions & Co-Productions, handled for Broad Green. Thornton is repped by WME.