Billy Bob Thornton signs up for Bad Santa 2
The sequel is scheduled for release in late 2016
Rejoice! Rejoice! Billy Bob Thornton is to return as Willie T Soke in Bad Santa 2.
The film, which is being financed by Miramax and Broad Green Pictures, will be produced by London Fields producer Geyer Kosinski, who worked with Thornton on the first season of the Emmy award-winning TV series Fargo.
It is not yet known whether other members of the original cast – which included Tony Cox, Brett Kelly and Bernie Mac – or director Terry Zwigoff will return for the sequel.
It was reported in 2012, however, that High Fidelity’s Steve Pink was in line to direct. A script has already been written by Entourage's Doug Ellin, Shauna Cross, John Phillips and Johnny Rosenthal.
Zanne Devine, Miramax’s executive vice president of film and TV, said: “We’ve been waiting far too long to see Billy Bob’s Willie Soke mess with the holiday season in his own unique way.
“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Billy Bob and the entire creative and producing team... to bring back the outrageous humour and characters that made this movie brand iconic in the first place.”
Broad Green Pictures CEO, Gabriel Hammond, added: “Bad Santa has been a part of our family holiday tradition ever since we all saw it together at our neighbourhood theatre.
“We are excited to bring this memorable character and new chapter back to the big screen.”
Filming will commence this January in Montreal with an expected release date of late 2016.
The original Bad Santa film, which was executively produced by the Coen Brothers, was released in 2003 and grossed $60 million in the US.
The black comedy told the story of Willie T Soke, a depressed, foul-mouthed alcoholic who rips off shoppers every Christmas Eve by posing as Santa in the mall.