Santa is sleighing at the gym this holiday season.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson shared behind-the-scenes photos of J.K. Simmons’ transformation into a jacked Saint Nick for the upcoming holiday film “Red One,” co-starring Chris Evans.
“Ladies, gentlemen & children of all ages…the coolest, strongest, kindest, most bad ass, most loving & most OG Santa Claus of all time,” Johnson captioned. “Brought to life by Academy Award winner, J.K. Simmons who worked his ass off for months to step into this iconic role in AMAZING SHAPE for our Christmas franchise film, RED ONE. We’re having a BLAST and so will you and your families when you see our movie!!”
Johnson is shown spotting Simmons lifting weights in the North Pole set.
Co-star Chris Evans posted two stills of the Prime Video film, introducing Johnson’s character Callum Drift and his own character Jack O’Malley.
“We’re already having WAY too much fun on this one,” Evans wrote. “I can’t believe I’m finally doing a Christmas movie!”
Directed by Jake Kasdan (“Jumanji”) and written by Chris Morgan (“Fast & Furious”) and Hiram Garcia, “Red One” also stars Lucy Liu, Kiernan Shipka, Nick Kroll, and Mary Elizabeth Ellis. Simmons plays Santa Claus, with Bonnie Hunt as Mrs. Claus. The plot remains under wraps.
Filming began in Atlanta in October 2022, with the premiere date set for the 2023 holiday season.
In addition to being a swole Santa, Simmons is set to star in buddy comedy action movie “My Only Sunshine” with John Cusack, thriller “You Can’t Run Forever” helmed by Simmons’ wife Michelle Schumacher, spy film “Our Man From Jersey” opposite Halle Berry and Mark Wahlberg, and crime drama “One Day as a Lion” written by Scott Caan.
“As an actor there are always things that, somewhere in your psyche, you’re not sure you can pull it off,” Simmons told IndieWire last year, hot off of the awards season circuit with films “Being the Ricardos” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”
“I have been in a position to be able to pick and choose for quite a while now,” Simmons reflected on his career, citing his upcoming collaboration with partner Schumacher. “It’s just fortunately coincided with the times when our kids were born, and family life was the most important thing. Our whole family is involved. Her brother is the producer, our daughter is in the film, our son is currently working on scoring the film. Now it’s the ideal combination of work time blended with family time — it doesn’t get much better than that.”
Check out the first look at Simmons’ transformation for “Red One” below.