The first red-band trailer for Bad Santa 2 has been released online. The comedy sequel, directed by Mark Waters (Mean Girls), sees Billy Bob Thornton reprising his role as Willie Soke, who teams up once again with Marcus (Tony Cox) to knock off a Chicago charity on Christmas Eve. A wrench is thrown into their plans, however, when the pair are joined by Willie’s mother Sunny (Kathy Bates) who ups the ante.
As we’ve seen many, many times, making a good comedy sequel is incredibly difficult. There’s something about extending a comedy premise that makes it inherently less funny, and so while Bad Santa 2 has been in development for some time, it’ll be interesting to see if this one can break that semi-curse.
As for this debut trailer, there’s plenty of swearing and NSFW action, but little by way of actual laughs. The first Bad Santa worked so well because of the unique dichotomy between Thornton’s Willie and the young Thurman Merman (still one of the best names in film history). Brett Kelly reprises his role as Thurman here, but does blind naïveté still play as funny if the character is an adult? And will there be as strong an emotional center in the sequel? We’ll find out soon enough.
Watch the Bad Santa 2 red-band trailer below. Scripted by Johnny Rosenthal, Doug Ellin, and Sauna Cross, the film also stars Christina Hendricks, Ryan Hansen, Jenny Zigrino, and Jeff Skowron. Bad Santa 2 opens in theaters on November 23rd.
Here’s the official synopsis for Bad Santa 2:
BAD SANTA 2 returns Academy Award®-winner BILLY BOB THORNTON to the screen as America’s favorite anti-hero, Willie Soke. Fueled by cheap whiskey, greed and hatred, Willie teams up once again with his angry little sidekick, Marcus (TONY COX), to knock off a Chicago charity on Christmas Eve. Along for the ride is ‘the kid’ – chubby and cheery Thurman Merman (BRETT KELLY), a 250-pound ray of sunshine who brings out Willie’s sliver of humanity.
Mommy issues arise when the pair are joined by Academy Award®, Golden Globe and Emmy-winner KATHY BATES, as Willie’s horror story of a mother, Sunny Soke. A super butch super bitch, Sunny raises the bar for the gang’s ambitions, while somehow lowering the standards of criminal behavior. Willie is further burdened by lusting after the curvaceous and prim Diane, played by Emmy Award-nominee CHRISTINA HENDRICKS, the charity director with a heart of gold and libido of steel.