It was only last year that Billy Bob Thornton expressed a sure opinion when he confirmed a sequel to the 2003 film “Bad Santa,” and true to his word, the project has steadily been rolling along. Dimension Films even hired two separate writers, John Rosenthal and John Phillips, to deliver competing scripts to ensure maximum comedy potential, but as the film finally finds a director at the forefront, it also finds the same man giving another pass at the text.
Deadline reports that director Steve Pink, last seen theatrically helming the 2010 comedy “Hot Tub Time Machine,” has been hired on to direct “Bad Santa 2,” taking over from Terry Zwigoff’s incredibly dark work on the first film. Pink will also rewrite Rosenthal’s draft of the script, which apparently won out over Phillips’ in the end. Since ‘HTTM,’ Pink has been directing episodes of “New Girl,” “The Office,” and “Happy Endings,” and will step back into features with Thornton’s return, the plot details of which remain under wraps for the time being.
Luckily for Pink, Thornton has been especially eager to step back in for a sequel, and while the actor has been out making and promoting his latest directorial effort, “Jayne Mansfield’s Car,” he’s always kept “Bad Santa” in mind. “I’m not worried about doing another ‘Bad Santa’ in terms of my career or anything like that,” he said in October, “My only worry is, you know, that the movie is pretty darn good.” After three writers, a committed star, and the considerable box-office take of the original, at least the film shouldn’t have any problem finding an audience.
Thornton is currently scheduled to shoot his road trip film, “And Then We Drove,” this summer, but has expressed plans for “Bad Santa 2” to shoot this fall prior to a Christmas 2013 release date. We’ll see if that prediction comes true, but if Pink can effectively utilize one of Thornton’s best roles in recent memory, we’ll certainly keep a keen eye open. [