Miramax and Broad Street Pictures are finally getting the ball rolling on Bad Santa 2, as the studios have just found the film’s director and finalized deals with two original cast members from 2003’s Bad Santa. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mean Girls director Mark Waters is officially on board for the sequel, while Tony Cox and Brett Kelly, who played Marcus and Thurman Merman in Bad Santa, will reprise their roles alongside Billy Bob Thornton’s Willie.
In addition to Mean Girls, Waters has directed a wide array of films aimed at both children and teens, including Freaky Friday, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Mr. Popper’s Penguins and Vampire Academy. Bad Santa was a rather raunchy R-rated comedy, so it will be interesting to see how he handles the shift in target audience.
While Bad Santa was by no means a box office blockbuster, it did end up making over three times its budget, bringing in $76.5 million worldwide; it also received mostly positive reviews from critics, who praised the film for being a funny, heartwarming and clever Christmas movie.
Entourage creator Doug Ellin will pen the script for the upcoming film along with Johnny Rosenthal and Shauna Cross. Geyer Kosinski is set to produce and is currently searching for a female lead to star in the film. It is unclear at the time if the female lead from the first film, Lauren Graham, will be returning in some capacity as well.
Bad Santa 2 is currently in the pre-production phase, but is set to begin filming in January.